A sport of remarkable elegance and beauty, tennis is widely practiced throughout the world by people of all ages and on a variety of playing courts. Regardless of what your particular style is, there are certain fundamental aspects of the game that need to be mastered before you can make the most of your talent. Having good stamina, or the ability to perform physically during matches that can sometimes last for hours on end, is a crucial aspect of anyone’s game. In order to be fit and healthy on the court, all players need to practice a variety of drills, here are five of our favorites:
1. Spring Stops
Both sprinting and stopping are essential skills for tennis players, so it stands to reason that you'll need to build up the muscles responsible for these actions. Sprint stops are usually done by placing a couple of cones a few yards apart and then running as fast as possible from one to the other. The sprint is alternated with a casual return jog in order to give those fast-twitch muscles a chance to recuperate.
2. Squat Jumps
A tennis player is only as good as his or her legs, which is why it's so important to develop strong leg muscles and maintain them constantly. Squat jumps are done by jumping as high as possible from a squatting position while keeping both legs straight. This will have a tremendous effect on a player's serve and ground strokes, in addition to building stronger core muscles.
3. Jumping Rope
An all-around classic that everyone knows, jumping rope is a tremendously effective way of building quick footwork and explosive legs. Players who regularly incorporate jumping rope into their fitness workouts will usually find that they have a much better first step and can hit previously unreachable balls much more easily.
4. Back Sprints
Another sprinting exercise, this time with emphasis on backwards movement. Over the course of a game, players will sometimes find themselves having to trace back in order to catch certain shots, particularly lobs. Those who don't develop the muscles responsible for this operation tend to move in a sluggish manner when back peddling. That being said, don't let this exercise's name fool you - when going backwards, you're expected to jog, not sprint.
5. The Four Ball Pick-up Drill
A popular exercise that requires both speed and dexterity, the four ball pick-up drill basically involves placing four balls at key points along one sideline, including at the net and at the service line. The goal here is for the player to sprint until he or she reaches each ball, picks it up and then drops it at the baseline. Once the player has completed this trajectory with one ball, the next quickly follows.
While fitness drills may not necessarily be the most eye-catching or exciting aspect of tennis workouts, they are essential for building a well-rounded game. If you're interested in finding the best possible environment for honing your tennis skills, the Five Seasons Family Sports Club has everything you could possible ask for, including personalized classes and tournaments fit for every skill level.