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The 4 Steps to Awesome Tennis Agility - Part 1

The 4 Steps to Awesome Tennis Agility – Part 1

Some of the top mistakes I see from coaches aiming to improve agility, is ignoring the core elements required to optimise movement. You see, in order for a drill to be considered an agility drill, there must be a reactive component. But before hitting these high intensity movements, players must first prepare the body through a specific sequence of exercises.

When discussing Agility Development I use the following terminology:

  • FMS – Fundamental Movement Skills
  • TT – Technical Training 
  • PR – Pattern Running 
  • RAT – Reactive Agility Training

In this blog I will touch on the first two – FMS and TT

Fundamental Movement Skills

These are the foundational movement patterns and shapes that underpin on-court movement and agility and would cover exercises such as squats, lunges, jumps, bounds and hops. They would effectively create the warm-up or ‘performance preparation’ for the forthcoming session.

This is where the SuperMovers concept of rehearsal comes to life, the goal would be to practice/rehearse the key shapes required to effectively accelerate, decelerate and change direction. It gives the coach the opportunity to correct any flaws in the movement patterns, as well as allowing the athlete to ‘feel’ the shapes too. Additionally, athletes can observe each other to learn to identify good and bad shapes – which aids with their skill development too.

See this post for a fun way to disguise fundamental shapes (the balloon could be replaced with a tennis ball_

See this post for some examples of different ‘jumping’ activities.

Technical Training 

These are more specific patterns and shapes linked to change of direction, for example drills that can be performed on boxes to develop ‘cutting’ and change of direction positions.

See this post for an example.

In tennis, the split-step is the key way to start movement, the split can be even or uneven in landing. Mattspoint’s Matt Kuzdub describes the key components that should be worked on as the Timing (linked to perception), Technique (even or uneven) and Reactiveness (the ‘sharpness’).

See this post for some specific ‘initiation’ / split-step drills

Next week, we will look at the next two components –

  • PR – Pattern Running 
  • RAT – Reactive Agility Training

Learn from me…

If you are keen to learn more about developing better tennis movers, I will be delivering an in-person coaching course in Lancashire, England, in December 2021. Please register your interest by emailing howard@tennissupermovers.com .

This week I’ve also hit a mini milestone of 15,000 followers on Instagram. And to celebrate I am offering a huge 30% discount off our SuperMovers Programme. Click herefor more info on the programme and then at the STORE use the discount code INSTA30 

Have a great week! 

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