OUR FIVE STEP APPROACH TO TRAINING
Technical training is a fundamental block in tennis training.
- Players develop key tennis strokes including ground strokes, volleys, serves and returns.
- Players develop accuracy, speed, and consistency.
- Players learn to hit with appropriate spin, direction and angle
- Ultimately, each player should develop his/her own game-style to suit his/her strengths
Footwork is also an important component of technical training
- Moving forward, backward, laterally and diagonally
using legs to produce power
Tactical training is what a player does with the ball in a game.
- What a player does with the ball in match play situations.
- Coaches assist players in developing consistency.
- Physical conditioning and the technical training are crucial to developing consistency.
- Accuracy and shot selection training in order to improve tactical strategy.
- Development of player’s strengths in order to exploit the opponent’s weaknesses.
- Development of both first and second serves
Niagara Academy of Tennis fitness training program is developed and delivered by qualified, certified and committed fitness trainers and coaches.
- Developed and delivered by qualified, certified and committed fitness trainers and coaches.
- Quickly identify athlete’s strengths and weaknesses
- Determine areas for improvement
- Fitness training 4 days/week in 45 minute periods
- Additional training in our well equipped gym
- Fitness testing three times per year
Prevention is Better than Rehabilitation
Niagara Academy of Tennis philosophy regarding fitness and wellness is that prevention is always better than rehabilitation. Our goal as coaches, trainers and physicians is to have our athletes injury-free as much possible.
When rehabilitation is necessary, coaches refer tennis players to Dr. Tim Prince, Sports Physician and Physiotherapist and Gail Harris, Physiotherapist at Vineland Physiotherapy.
Certified Fitness Coaches
Niagara Academy of Tennis is pleased to have Gizelle Marchand as our fitness coach. Gizelle is a Canfitpro Certified Personal Trainer. In addition she was a Physical Education teacher for the Toronto Catholic School board. For more information on Gizelle, please check our Coaches page.
Physical Training Plan
Niagara Academy of Tennis utilizes a holistic approach to training. Physical areas of training include:
It is crucial that athletes undergo the proper type of training during the appropriate stage of development in order to reach their full potential.
- Ability to resist fatigue and sustain a given power output over time, without loss of efficiency
- Ability to run explosively without undue fatigue
- Ability to play the ball with the highest possible energy level, combined with motor coordination and timing
- The ability to apply force to overcome resistance.
- An essential component of physical skill development.
- Speed, strength and endurance strength will be developed using body weight, lighter loads, medicine balls and Swiss balls.
- Strength training, in harmony with technical, tactical, physical and psychological skills, will give players more tools to better express their game.
Muscular Power Endurance
- The muscles’ ability to perform at their maximum capacity more consistently and for an extended period of time.
- Critical for the proper execution of any tennis stroke
- Connects and transfers the power from the lower body to the upper body
- A vital area of athlete development and must not be ignored.
- The ability to react to a stimulus in the shortest possible time
- The ability to perform movements at the highest tempo for a given resistance. important to get to the ball because the quicker you can get to a ball, the more time you have to prepare for your shot. The major emphasis is on reaction speed.
Speed endurance: Once a player develops a good foundation of speed, the next progression is to improve speed endurance. This is the ability to move, react, and move faster for longer repetitions over stretched periods of time.
Suppleness or Flexibility
Flexibility characterizes the range of movement in one or more joints. Flexibility depends mainly on the ability to stretch or on the elasticity of the muscles. Good flexibility provides the tennis player with a favourable basis for maximum speed of movement, precise execution of movement and good economy of movement.
For the development of strength and stamina, the developmental age of the player will determine when these components are integrated into the program. However, for the development of speed, sport specific skills and suppleness, chronological age is the determining factor.
Balance and Recovery
Working on platforms or bosu balls give the athletes the opportunity to improve their balance and therefore have a better set-up prior to hitting the ball. In addition, working on balance exercises can speed up recovery time from low-body injuries, such ankles and knees. As well, it helps decrease the risk of suffering another injury as we tend to work other muscles to compensate for injured muscles.
Nutrition or sustenance includes a broad range of components with the central theme of replenishing the body. This is to prepare the player for the volume and intensity required to optimize training, competing and living life to its fullest. Along with nutrition, this program includes coaching on hydration, rest, sleep, and regeneration, all of which need to be applied
differently to training plans. Variations in nutrition/sustenance will depend on the athlete’s developmental age as well as the objectives pursued in the MICRO/MESOCYCLE. As the player advances through the stages, s/he becomes a full-time athlete, placing a high degree of importance on her/his activities away from the tennis court for proper sustenance.
For proper nutrition/sustenance and recovery arrangements, the coach and (host) parent will monitor recovery through the identification of fatigue.
New: Club-based Integrated Brain & Mental Skills Training For Sport
For the first time in Canada, a program to enhance the brain and mental skills of club-based players is being offered at Niagara Academy of Tennis. The benefit of this training goes beyond the tennis court and can be the foundation of life skills to enhance learning and day-to-day activities.
ACADEMY PSYCHOLOGICAL TRAINING
The purpose of psychological training is to introduce the student athletes to the importance of mental training in sports. The goal is to instill an interest and desire for players to begin studying and practicing this on their own at an early stage in their careers. Using various situational examples, students are made aware of how their minds can allow them to play to their potential and also how the mind can work against them, virtually keeping them from playing up to their capability.
The students are then shown a number of techniques that they can practice that will allow them to increase their ability to focus, concentrate, and use visualization as a powerful tool that can be applied to their tennis, academics and or to any situation. Showing the students actual methods of practicing, takes mental training from mere theory to a tangible tool that they can work with and see results.
Philip Sullivan is a professor in the Kinesiology Department. His Ph.D. from Michigan State University is in Sport Psychology and he has been practising in this field since 2000. Phil is working with two of his graduate students, Simon Drum and Matt Marini, to help the coaches develop a first-rate psychological training program to suit the needs of each of the individual student-athletes.
Playing tennis is a physical and mental challenge. The ability to maintain levels of concentration, yet remain relaxed with the confidence to succeed, is a skill essential to long-term performance in any sport. This skill also has the potential to transcend sport and affect the player in their everyday life. To develop the mental toughness for success at high levels, Niagara Academy of Tennis training programs address the specific gender and Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD) stage of every player. The program will include key mental components identified by sport psychologists: concentration, confidence, motivation, and handling pressure. As the player progresses through the LTAD stages, the mental training aspect will evolve from having fun and respecting opponents, to visualization and self-awareness, to goal setting, relaxation, and positive self-talk. To master the mental challenge of sport, these basic skills are then tested in increasingly difficult competitive environments. Ultimately, the planning for high-level competition will have a large impact on performance. The mental training program is critical at all stages of the LTAD. Dealing with success and failure will determine the player’s continuation in the game and physical activity.
The OTA (Ontario Tennis Association) in collaboration with T.C. (Tennis Canada) sanctions the best tournament schedule in Canada within the Southern Ontario region.
Literally every weekend throughout the year there are sanctioned events, hosted at clubs in the South-West region. Niagara Academy of Tennis is conveniently located within this region and most clubs are within a .5 hour to 1.5 hour drive from Niagara Academy of Tennis. Tournament entry fees range from $40.00 to $50.00 dollars and some offer 2 or more guaranteed matches. Age groups range from U8 to U18 and offer entry level 1 star to top level 5 star provincial events. In addition some ITF Junior and Open Men’s and Women’s events are offered through the year, within the region.
Good competition planning is critical for the overall development of the player. Coaches and parents need to review the overall calendar to schedule proper training and recovery for quality competition. This, in turn, will optimize player development.
All Niagara Academy players will join the Ontario Tennis Association (OTA) which is Ontario’s governing body of tennis. Visit www.tennisontario.com for tournament information, registration, rankings, and other tennis information. Once players are a registered member of the OTA they are eligible to compete in provincial events; however, only Canadian citizens and landed immigrants are eligible to participate in Selection events, provincials and nationals. As a result of participation in competition, results and rankings will be recorded on the OTA website.
Niagara Academy of Tennis coaches will make recommendations and help register players into events. When possible, they will accompany players to competitions. Additional fees will apply when travelling to events. Players are responsible for entry fees, food, gas, and coaching expenses.
Optimal competition calendar planning allows for the strategic development of the physical, mental, technical and tactical performance factors required to play tennis. This planning will foster success and continued involvement in the sport for the individual player. Different LTAD stages of development have different requirements for the type, frequency and level of competition. At the early stages of development, the level of skills level and physical development should take precedence over results at a competition. In later stages, it is more important for athletes to perform well.
Throughout the player’s career a win-loss ratio of 3:1 has been identified as essential for both developing confidence and ensuring optimal challenge during competitive play. It should be the most important criteria in the selection of competition. For example players should look to “play up” only when they are able to consistently achieve this level of success in their appropriate category. Conversely, if a player is not achieving this level of success, they should adjust their competition selection by entering into lower level events, ensuring that the 3:1 win-loss ratio is met.