Author Archives: ITPA admin

PSYCHOLOGICAL PREDICTORS OF MENTAL TOUGHNESS IN ELITE TENNIS

By Joshua Colomar, iTPA Intern

In analyzing the psychological characteristics of highly skilled athletes, we find mental toughness as an important component many different ways (both practically and theoretically). However, many authors describe the importance of mental toughness, but consensus is not always clear. Continue reading

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Does Heat Affect Oxidative Stress in Tennis Players?

Oxidative balance is something that is discussed in many different circles, from elite athletes to the everyday person. Continue reading

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Learning the Tennis Forehand

By Joshua Colomar and Mark Kovacs, PhD, FACSM, CSCS*D, CTPS, MTPS

Although the forehand is one of the most important strokes in the game of tennis, the research data on the stroke is less than the data seen on the serve. It is likely due to the more varied methods Continue reading

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Can Shock Microcycles Improve Preseason Training in Professional Tennis Players?

by Joshua Colomar (iTPA) and Mark Kovacs, PhD, CTPS, MTPS (iTPA)

The calendar of a tennis player at the junior, collegiate or professional level is increasing each year. The demands have increased with exhibition events, Continue reading

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Development of Fatigue During Tennis Matchplay: What Do We Know?

By Joshua Colomar and Mark Kovacs, PhD, CTPS, MTPS

Classical descriptions present tennis as a prolonged activity (2-4 hours) of repeated, high-intensity bouts interspersed with standardized rest periods. Continue reading

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One Handed vs Two Handed Backhand? Performance Factors and Implications

Backhand groundstrokes are gaining importance in modern tennis. 20 or 30 years ago, many players had weaker backhands than forehands. In the modern game it is very difficult Continue reading

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What are the Physiological Responses to Tennis Tournaments?

By Joshua Colmar, iTPA Intern

It is known that tennis is a very demanding sport. Tennis movement is a combination of eccentric-concentric muscle action; all movements are rapid and explosive and include accelerations, decelerations, stretches, jumps and strokes. Continue reading

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Combat Sports and Tennis: What Can We Learn?

by Dominic King, CTPS, MTPS, ASCC, PES
I love to look around at many different sports and consider the transferable qualities that each sport can bring to tennis and how we can improve our training as a result. I believe that if you stay within the confines of a single sport, it is easy to get ‘blinkered’ and miss loads of great information that is out there and can be used. As a coach or S&C coach, to develop both ourselves and the players we work with, it is vital to learn from wherever we can.
boxing
An area I’ve liked to look towards is that of combat sports. I have always considered tennis to have many similarities to combat sports, both in terms of its ‘gladiatorial’ nature of being a battle most often fought 1 on 1, and also due to the fact that the tennis player must ‘strike’, though obviously in their case, a ball rather than someone else! As a result, looking at articles/literature related to combat sports is something I’ve always liked to do.

One such article I came across was, Assessment and Contributors of Punching Forces in Combat Sport Athletes: Implications for Strength and Conditioning’, Seth Lenetsky, Nigel Harris, Matt Brughelli.
NSCA Strength & Conditioning Journal (Vol 35, Number 2)

The article looked to explore potential S&C strategies to improve punching force and so I thought if we substitute ‘ball strike’ for ‘punching force’, it may be possible to get a few ideas that could relate to tennis.

3 primary contributors to punching force were identified:

1) contribution of arm musculature
2) rotation of the trunk
3) drive off the ground by the legs.

I’d say that the above would correspond very closely with contributors to tennis strokes, perhaps groundstrokes especially.
The article wanted to look primarily at the research relating to lower limb involvement in punching. It is however important to consider the other contributors too.

It presented a couple of key points for me:

– In one study (Filimonov at al), of 120 boxers analysed, boxers with more experience/elite level had a greater contribution from their legs to the punch when compared with the other contributors (arms and trunk)
– A further study (Smith at al) concluded that elite boxers produced a greater punching force.
Together, the above studies would suggest that the greater the contribution from the legs, the greater the force.

Fighting Style vs Playing Style

Interestingly, Filimonov broke this down further into fighting styles and concluded that ‘knockout artists’ had a higher leg drive contribution than ‘players’ or ‘speedsters’. I would suggest there could be a certain carry-over into relative playing styles in tennis…. would it perhaps stand to reason that the Aggressive Baseliner for example would display a greater contribution from the legs in the shot than a Counterpuncher might….?

The article also makes note of studies relating to other sports, such as shot-put, javelin, even overhead throwing in children, which also support the conclusions of Filimonov regarding the importance of leg drive. The image below, taken from the ITPA CTPS workbook, ties in the concept nicely regarding the kinetic chain and the importance of the legs in order to generate force up the chain, ultimately ending with the racket.

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Video: Taking Care of Your Body During Week of Tennis Matches

Video by iTPA Executive Director Dr. Mark Kovacs discussing dos and don’ts of preparation and recovery during week of tennis matches. Geared toward tennis players, but coaches can glean important info as well to share with players. Continue reading

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Traveling with a Tennis Player: Thoughts from a CTPS

By Dean Hollingworth, CTPS

Dean Hollingworth pic

It’s been a little over a month since I’ve come back home from the US Open. It took a bit of time to settle back into my routine and gather my thoughts on what was a great experience. Continue reading

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