What my Doctoral Thesis Taught me: Tennis Training for the Future Champions

Coaches teach tennis from the point of “racquet-ball” rather than movement and timing. Interception has two aspects, movement towards the ball to intercept it and create an impact point. This can differ from the concept of the hitting in which player can wait for the ball to approach before the impact. Even with the perfect contact point in which the ball lands at the string bed at the sweet spot, if the momentum of the hitter’s racquet movement does not match the movement momentum of the incoming ball, the stroke will not be satisfactory in intensity and direction


One of the greatest challenges of the dynamic tennis environment is a creation of a quick and accurate decision of the physical response (movement) corresponding to the technical-tactical intentions of the opponents’ striking actions. By prioritizing the needs of high-speed reactions, expert tennis players tend to decide of the movement direction and intensity while still being above the ground, at the air phase of the split step, as proposed by Uzu et al. (2009). From there the decision of the movement intensity and direction corresponds to receiver gathering information while increasing the much-needed muscle spindle sensitivity of the leg muscles before the ground contact, moving their center of mass away towards the edges of their support base.




Through the course of tennis history, players’ performance enhancement evolved around the strokes and its effective application for the purpose of winning points in the competitive environment. Players’ stroke execution is surely one of the most researched field in the game of tennis as all tennis players, no matter of the level of their game or competitive involvement, are mostly attentive to the stroke mechanics and consistency of their body parts movement in space and time. Players usually try to be mostly aware of their own hitting space, with a tendency to underestimate the fact that tennis is a game of movements and interactions. 

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