A powerful serve and quick return is needed in tennis but quick and agile footwork is essential to keep you ahead of your opponent and react to the ball quickly.
And here are some great tennis conditioning drills that can be performed right on the court, indoors or outdoors.
Line DrillRELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
Stand facing one of the side lines, jump forward and back on two feet, 15 – 20 times, rest 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
Next, stand to the right of the line and jump sideways over line, 15-20 times, rest 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
Perform standing to the left of the line and repeat. Once done on two feet then perform hopping on the left foot then on the right foot.
Standing over the side line hop laterally to the right away from the line then hop to the left over the line. Continue from side to side across the line for the length of one side of the court. Rest 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
Lateral Figure 8s
Run a figure 8 the width of the court. Repeat 3 times starting to the right and 3 times starting to the left.
Cross Over Steps
Standing on the left side line facing the net, quickly turn hips to the right and perform crossover step by quickly turning hips to the right while moving left leg and foot crossing over front of body and sprint to opposite sideline.
Be sure to move left leg as a whole without torqueing at knee. Repeat at the right sideline crossing over with right hip, leg and foot. Repeat 3-4 times each direction.
Standing at the end line facing the net, sprint to mid court then turn hips to the right still facing the net and run back to the end line, then sprint to the net and turn hips and run back to the end line. Repeat turning hips to the left. Repeat 3 times each direction.
Can also perform the same drill running the width of the court starting at the sideline.
Standing at middle of net sprint to the left side line and back to the middle, then sprint to the left back corner of the court, sprint to the middle of the net then straight back to the end line, sprint to the middle of the net then to the right back corner of the court, sprint to the middle of the net then to the right sideline and sprint to the middle of the net.
Repeat 3 times starting to the left and 3 times starting to the right.
Foot Pattern – Cone Drill
Place cones at each corner of one half of the court and place cones at the middle of the net and middle of the end line. Have one person standing in the middle of the cones.
Have another person call out a cone location, (“right back corner”) and a foot pattern, (“back pedal”), continue to call out different cones and different foot patterns using all locations and foot patterns. Can perform for number of repetitions or for time duration such as 30 – 60 seconds.
Foot Patterns include: back pedal, sprint forward, side shuffle, carioca or grapevine, skip, gallop.
Z Ball/Reaction Ball
Using a Z ball or reaction ball, (ball with small nodules on it that bounces in different directions), toss ball against wall or board allowing ball to bounce once and hit against wall. Repeat.
Can also perform with multiple players on either side of the net.
Strengthening and Flexibility Exercises
Tennis requires strength, flexibility and muscular endurance of the calf muscles because of the multiple changes in direction, hops, jumps, and lunges throughout a match.
It is essential to include calf strengthening exercises with calf raises and shin raises. Perform flexibility exercises with Achilles and calf stretches, foot circles and point flexes. These will not only help prevent injuries but will help players perform at their best.