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How to build a physical training block

How to build a physical training block

At the start of each new academic year at Bolton Arena tennis academy where I work, we run a short period in which the physical training takes more of an emphasis. For the players, this will see a reduction in tennis volume (minutes per squad) and intensity (difficulty of the content) and an increase in physical volume and intensity.

In its simplist form, what we do is is add either an extended warm up or cool down, each of these last 40-45 minutes. Each squad at the academy consists of 2hr tennis and 1hr fitness. Some squads begin with tennis and then come to fitness afterwards, so these players will complete the extended warm-up, which is planned by the S&C coaches and can be delivered by the tennis coaches. The reminaing 75-90min tennis will have a focus more on lighter technical work, rather than intense drilling, meaning when players come to the S&C session, they are fresher which means we can push them a little harder. Conversely, the players who start with the S&C team will do a tough 60min fitness session, 75-90min light tennis, followed by an extended cooldown.

Following a long competitive period over the summer, an extended warm-up at the start of the new term will include additional mobility drills for the hips, leading into a progressive RAMP warm-up (see here for what this stands for – Part 1 & Part 2), and finally we will add some races, games and multi-sports at the end for fun and diversity of movement. In contrast, an extended cool down will consist of some injury reduction work, foam rolling and flexibility work.

Over the course of four weeks, the duration of the extended warm-up and cool down will reduce down to their normal length of 15min, the tennis will return to 1hr 45min and will slowly increase in intensity, with the player continuing to complete 60min S&C fitness, either before or after their tennis.

Have a great week,


PS – If you need some ideas for drills as well as follow along warm-ups for your players to complete, check out our Tennis SuperMovers programme here

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