Workshop: Conditioning & Fitness

I) Overview of Conditioning

A) Principles of Conditioning

  • Adaptation — Physical changes occur in the body to meet goals
  • Specificity — Adaptation is specific to ability (aerobic vs. anaerobic)
  • Variety — Cross train
  • Individuality — Respect different athletes physical attributes and needs
  • Progression — ability improves with training
  • Recovery — Within each session and day to day

B) Strength, Power & Endurance

  • Slower exercises
  • Emphasized in preseason
  • Higher volume of work, lower intensity

C) Speed, Agility, Quickness

  • Quicker exercises
  • Emphasized in pre-competitive and competitive season
  • Lower volume of work, higher intensity

II) Planning Your Conditioning

A) Pre-season Phase

  • Work on strength, power and endurance (weights) — Low intensity, high volume
  • Build player’s aerobic base — sprint/interval training (aerobic activity not necessary and may be detrimental)
  • Work on flexibility — stretching

B) Pre-competitive Phase

  • Work on speed, agility and quickness — High intensity, low volume
  • Maintain player’s aerobic base — sprint/interval training
  • Continue to work on flexibility — stretching

C) Competitive Season

  • Same as pre-competitive phase (for a short high school season)

III) Plyometric Training

IV) Weights

V) Periodization
Periodization is a long-term training plan designed to systematically control the volume, intensity and frequency of rest, training and competition to optimize the chances that peak performance will occur at the most desired times.

A) Theory of Specificity — As we get closer to our tournaments, our workouts should more closely resemble a tennis match.
B) Periodization – – planning a tennis season

  • PreSeason (Preparation Phase)
    a) Aerobic workouts to develop aerobic base
    b) Weight training and conditioning = strength, power and endurance
  • Pre-Competitive Season
    a) Sprint training
    b) Weight training and conditioning = speed, flexibility, agility
  • Competitive Season
    a) Sprint Training
    b) Weight training and conditioning = speed, flexibility, agility
    c) Drills should emphasize match play
    d) Rest periods before matches
  • 4) Off-season (Transition Phase or Active Rest)
    a) No tennis, rest, then cross-train
  • Macro vs. Micro cycles

VI) Injury Prevention and Treatment

VII) Conditioning Drills and Exercises


•Tennis training should mirror the body’s demands during a match. Do not practice at maximum intensity for more than 30 seconds without a realistic break.
•Coaches should follow the theory of specificity both on court and off (conditioning).
•Train with a 1:3 Work/Rest ratio, depending on your player’s condition.

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