How important is fitness for tennis playing kids? What should fitness focus on?
Well, the answer depends on what level of tennis your child wants to play. If the child plays recreational tennis for keeping fit, he/she doesn’t need additional fitness training. If the child participates in any level of competitive tennis, fitness becomes the differentiator in most cases. Fitness is a big component of any sport, be it Formula 1 or tennis! So, if your child plays competitively, what aspects of fitness need to be improved?
Tennis requires coordination, balance, flexibility, reaction, speed, stamina, strength, and agility. These can be achieved only to a certain extent through match play. To be able to improve competitively, we need specific routines enhancing the key skills. Therefore, choosing the right fitness routine is very important. Many people make the mistake of training young tennis players like they would an adult. This leads to injuries at a young age.
It is very important to calibrate the right level of strength and fitness training for juniors. Players under the age of 16 should stay away from weights and heavy lifting. Alternatively they should use body weight exercises, resistance bands and medicine balls. The basic drills for juniors would be Lunges, Squats, Bending, Pull and Push and Rotation. These along with jumping rope, agility ladder, double side step, short sprints develop speed and agility.
TAMS Fitness program:
At TAMS, we have trained fitness coaches to help our kids develop the optimal fitness for success. Speed, reaction and agility improve the most between the ages of 8 and 16. These skills are developed only to a certain extent by playing matches. If the child needs to keep playing competitively, enhancing these skills are very important.
Our fitness routine provides the right thrust to improve these skills by focusing on fitness as a whole, with the right mix of drills for upper body, lower body and footwork. Exercises that improve explosiveness of start, improve speed of footwork and improve agility are regularly done. For the upper body, medicine ball, resistance band exercises are done under the supervision of the fitness trainer.
Fitness drills are done as small groups to keep the fun factor going. Kids thoroughly enjoy doing these routines as they challenge each other in the group.
Here’s a look at some of the drills for speed and agility.
You are welcome to drop in to know more about our fitness program!