As 2018 is soon coming to an end, I wanted to share the top 5 articles from the past year at Mattspoint. While I know that some of you might read the blog regularly, others may not have had the chance to check-in weekly - here’s a second chance to do so. The following posts were the most popular of 2018:
1. Rally Lengths in Tennis: A Contrasting Perspective - We’ve all probably seen the stats on tennis. Short rallies, aggressive play, big serves etc. There’s no denying the importance that data has on practice structure. That said, we shouldn’t neglect repetition in the development of tennis skills. Basic motor learning theory has confirmed this time and again.
2. The Truth About Speed & Acceleration Training for Tennis - Tennis is a power sport — now more than ever. The pace of play is fast. Movement is at a premium. But before players can benefit from tennis-specific movement & footwork drills, improving general speed and acceleration abilities are a must! This topic is tackled here in detail.
3. General Preparation for Tennis - Part 2 - In recent years, the term ‘sport-specific training’ has emerged. For those in the industry, it’s just a buzzword. Sport scientists and elite coaches understand that nothing is more specific than playing the actual sport. Off-court training should be organized in a way that prioritizes general qualities FIRST, before moving on to more specialized ones…and finally, ones that are more specific.
4. What Factors Influence Serve Speed? Research Review - A review of a 2018 pilot study on serve speed and factors that influence it. Researchers looked at the following variables (and whether they had a correlation with serve speed): range of motion, strength, motor control, power, player characteristics (level of play, height etc).
5. Rethinking Our Approach to Tennis Conditioning - Do players really need to build an endurance base by running long and slow? Furthermore, how much off-court conditioning is truly necessary? Especially if players are already training and playing on-court for hours per week. Research suggests that tennis drills which emphasize conditioning might be just as effective - if not more effective - than off-court interval training.
Hope you enjoy these posts and that they help direct your training for 2019!
In about 2 weeks, I’ll be launching High-Performance Specialization (HPS). This new resource includes a 6-week specific physical prep program for elite tennis. There’s also a 12 section performance guide outlining key sport science principles, a step-by-step look at building a periodized plan for tennis, a section on monitoring and more.