Stations 2-5 are to test and, again, eventually improve all of my tennis shots. In station 2 I will be aiming to hit the ball into cornered off areas in the service box, I will record how many times I am successful in hitting the space. I have put the first serve practise after the second serve to try to simulate a match situation as well as possible. In a tennis match I would warm my serve up serving more slowly at first, serving the equivalent of second serves and only increasing the power as I get my slower serves in. After station 2, I should be more successful in station 3, as I would be in a match.
Station 3 is simply attempting to get serves in at my regular first serve pace, and recording how many are successful. In station 4, my partner will hit me balls to my backhand side on the base line and I will attempt to hit it in cone circles either down the line or across court as my partner calls it. The same occurs for station 5 except this time my partner will feed balls to my forehand. Station 7 is very similar to stations 4 and 5, however I will be standing close to the net in the service box and aiming at a variety of different points in the court.
This is also harder as I have less time to react to where I have to place the ball. As a result, this station particularly improves my reaction time and coordination. In station 8, I stand in the same position, but this time I will be attempting to beat my partner on the other side of the court with a successful volley. To do this I must hit the ball in the singles court in a way that my partner will not be able to touch it with his racket before its second bounce. This will improve the power and accuracy of my volleys and will simulate a real game feeling in the station.
Finally, station 8 is to improve my stamina. I will use a double tennis court as the area where I will be running. As in most sports, tennis does not consist of non-stop sprinting. Fartlek involves all stages of speed, from walking to sprinting. In my Fartlek course I will start by walking from… A –> B, I will then jog from B –> C, then I will run at 75% from C–> D, I will then sprint at 100% from D –> A. I will do this as many times as possible in 3 minutes, recording how many laps and to what letter I got to
At the end of the circuit is the warm down. This is the final part of the circuit and is where the body can rid itself of all built up lactic acid in the joints to avoid stiffness and aching the next day. The stretches should be held for slightly longer, and you should be able to stretch slightly further for each stretch. As tennis is a non-contact sport, the only real safety consideration is injury by falling over or from pulling a muscle – being hit by a ball rarely causes injury!
I will be playing on grass courts throughout and will postpone my circuit when the grass is too wet; when it rains and when dew starts to form, and so I should hopefully not injure myself in this way. I will be warming up, and down, thoroughly when practising so should hopefully not pull a muscle either. As I mentioned before, I will be working with a partner who can call for, or give help if necessary. On the first day I will do each station for a minute. This is to judge my ability and fitness for the first time so I can then overload my body successfully in the days to come.
In days 2 and 3, I will be doing each station for 2 minutes, or however long it takes (i. e. station 1). In days 4 and 5, I will be doing each station for 3 minutes. This is called progression and will stop me from staying at the same level of fitness in the duration of the programme. On day 6, I will be doing each circuit for 4 minutes. The Principals of Training Specificity – Making the training specific to the sport. Progress – Progressing the training so you constantly stretch the body’s performance boundaries.
Overload -You must make sure that the training overloads your body so that you improve to the maximum. Reversibility -This occurs when you stop training, your muscles deteriorate roughly three times faster than they build so to maintain your level of fitness you need to consistently train. Tedium -This is another word for boredom, to make the training more interesting, and therefore to increase the chance of actually training, tedium must be avoided by varying the activities The principals of training are Specificity, Progression, Overload, Reversibility and Tedium.
All of these are important factors to consider when trying improving fitness. Although the majority of my circuit focuses on improving skill levels as opposed to fitness I still aim to improve fitness, so I have to take these factors into account. The effects of training are very specific, for example if we do sit-ups then it will be our abdominal muscles that improve, not our legs. This is the same for skills, if we want to improve in a game of tennis then practising dribbling a football will not be very productive, therefore we need to do exercises specific to tennis, like volley practise.
As you overload your body, it eventually adapts to the extra stress you are placing on it, so you are no longer overloading it. When this happens your fitness will not improve any more, and will stay at the same level of fitness until the exercise is made harder. To prevent this the exercise needs to be made progressively harder to ensure the body continues to improve. To improve the fitness of our various body systems we need to overload them. This means we have to work them beyond their usual limit. This can be done by either exercising more often, more intensely, or for longer each time.
In the same way that a body adapts to extra stress, it will also adapt to less stress. This is called reversibility; it only takes as little as three weeks for our bodies to become out of condition. This is why I will be playing tennis regularly outside, and inside of my programme, and why I am training almost constantly. Tedium means the same as boredom, in sports context it means much the same as in other situations in life. In any sports programme tedium should be avoided, as it will reduce enthusiasm and effort, which in turn will reduce improvement.
To avoid tedium you should vary the exercises in your programme, the more interesting you find the sport the more you can get away with having similar exercises. Muscular Endurance Training To improve my muscular endurance I will be doing a series of exercises focussing on most major muscle groups in my body. Although tennis does not need a huge amount of muscle, only muscles in the shoulders and legs needing to be larger than normal, I feel that I will benefit in my game, and in my everyday fitness if I exercise a wider range of muscles. I will do progressively more every week. The following table shows what I will do.