Being a performance tennis player is so much more than hitting tennis balls. It is extremely important that you have a team of professionals working together to increase the chances of success. The understanding of what each of these professionals brings to the table and how this works in the overall big picture is fundamental.
Who is your team:
- Tennis Manager (normally your tennis coach)
- Tennis coach
- Fitness trainer
- Sport Massage Therapist
- Sports Psychologist
I’m going to briefly list out a quick description of what each of these professionals will do. Please be aware that there is probably a few things I miss out but I hope you get the idea.
This role is normally done by the coach and involves planning a weekly load and yearly training plan as well tournament planning/ budgeting/tracks goals and coordinates the team to maximise improvement.
Controls the environment/culture of squads to get best outcome/continues technical development so the player continually grows into there swings. Relays physical issues to fitness trainer weather is be speed/strength or general injury.
These professionals will be able to do what’s called a muscular skeletal assessment from head to toe to check on any imbalances. This is especially important as the children start to grow as they will have imbalances and the information collated from this will be sent to the fitness trainer who will then start to work on the problem areas. I think this should be done at least every 6 months for a performance player and even every 3 months if your child is going through a growth spurt.
The fitness trainer is so important as they will communicate with the Physio/Chiro/Osteo with any injuries or muscle imbalances and start to work on fixing them. They will also communicate any areas of concern to the tennis coach or how the player is tracking in certain movements. A lot of the things we ask of the kids as a coach are not always possible because they are not strong enough/ flexible enough or are carrying an injury. I call this tennis insurance and I have to be honest it drives me nuts that people don’t value this
enough. The sooner you get onto this the better. It will not mean that your child won’t get injured but if will mean that they will recover a lot faster and improve a lot faster as well!
This is a simple one for me… Eat crap play crap! I always feel talking about food is like selling religion but it completely blows my mind that amount of crap kids eat especially in a tournament environment and then wonder why they haven’t played well or been able to back up going from one match to another. Common sense is a good start here and getting in touch with a nutritionist especially to discuss what foods are good and timing of eating in relation to when your child is playing/how much to drink and what to drink (WATER!!! Not sugar drinks!).
Sports Massage Therapist
I say this as a complete hypocrite but the kids don’t stretch enough or when they do they don’t generally stretch properly. Getting a sports massage especially if they are going through a growth spurt/in a heavy training block or have played a lot of matches is a good way to loosen things up and limit the risk of injury.
Giving your child the tools to control their emotions and play at there very best! This is huge! Your performance coach should have a pretty good set of tools to help in this area as there is a lot of trial and error as well as the discipline of the player to implement this when under a match pressure but having a sport psychologist is an amazing link to pull your child’s game together!
I hope this is helpful, again with all these blogs we are trying to help educate and make this journey an easier one and a successful one. If you have any blogs you would like us to do please let us know as part of these we will be starting to put videos up as well. Thanks for reading and if you found this helpful please share!