Written by TC Costello, Director of Fitness
Edited by Mackenzie Clark, The Green & Gold Editor-in-Chief
April Monthly Update
April is a month where we try to get outside as much as possible to allow our players to get in plenty of conditioning work. We have been doing a lot of sprint work on the gravel outside the bubbles and agility work in the sand. We also make sure that our players fit in some tough endurance runs too. It is an important time for players to work towards being in the best shape possible for the busy summer tournament season. We want our players to be in peak physical condition and to never lose a match because of their fitness level!
Medicine Ball Training in Tennis
One specific way of training that is very beneficial for tennis is the use of medicine balls. Completing exercises with medicine balls truly is a great way to improve our athletes’ performance on the court. It is fantastic for developing power and explosiveness in addition to working on the specific movements involved with tennis.
Many sports training programs will require the use of medicine ball work to help develop power and with tennis it is especially important. You will see top players throwing a medicine ball against the wall replicating the same technique they use when they hit a shot. Medicine ball work like this is a great way to work on weaknesses players have in their games. It is very common for coaches to tell players they need to “load more” or “get lower” during their strokes. The practice of working on this with a medicine ball is an excellent way to improve. The weight of the ball will force you to use your legs more and follow through with your hips to drive the ball forward. Whether it is with a closed or open stance, a player will learn how to load their legs properly and transfer their weight through the ball. All of this can help develop more power and overall sturdiness on the court in addition to better core stability.
It is important that the athlete understands the right way to do the exercises. You have to know what the best weight to use is and how to focus on what you specifically need to work on. It is always best to do these drills with one of the fitness/tennis coaches until you are able to do them properly on your own as having the correct form is so important. At JTCC, we always try to come up with new medicine balls drills that can help push our players onto the next level on the court.