What Are Your Goals For 2012?

A green check symbol.

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So, you’ve decided you want to get fit, maybe you have made the decision to take tennis lessons, or to start competing in tournaments.  For all of these, it’s important to set goals – overall ones and then milestones.  Sometimes you aren’t sure though what they should be, what is reasonable.  So, either just bounce your ideas around with a friend, or ask an expert.

I have now laid out my plans for the year in terms of training for tournaments.  Coaching isn’t enough and just playing isn’t enough.  You have to look at all aspects of the game.  For fitness, I have worked out when the tournaments are, so that I know when i need to peak.  I then can work back and see where are the best time to work on preparation and transition to the pre-competitive stage, as well as planning in active rest and complete rest.  I’ve then broken down each week and worked out what I need to work on every day.  Sound like a lot?  It is and I’m sure I won’t stick to it 100%, but hopefully I will keep to it more or less and achieve what I want to achieve.

The same goes for tennis itself.  You need to plan when to work on technique, when to do drills and when to practice playing.  I haven’t even started on the mental side of things.

So what are your goals?

Mobility – Key To Fitness Preparation

The first of our fitness tips is all about mobility. Now is still the off-season in Cyprus, with everything kicking off in February with the ATL 1000 & National Juniors and then in March the Famagusta Seniors & Audi Sporting Club Pancyprian (if 2012 is the same as 2011).

So, we need to use this “break” to get our bodies fit, strong and ready to kick some serious ass in 2012’s tournaments.  It’s time to shed those pounds, build up our core strength and, as mentioned, increase mobility to prevent injury.  So, let’s get cracking.

Exercise 1  – Seated rotations (3 sets of 10)

There are several different ways to do this, but below is an example that is very tennis specific.  It is an exercise that works all of the core muscles, simulating forehands and backhands. A partner is required.
1. Sit on an exercise ball with your feet on the ground, approx shoulder-width apart.
2. Using a four-to-six pound (1.8 to 2.7Kg) medicine ball, throw the ball to your partner with both hands as if you were hitting a forehand.
3. Mix up your simulation with cross-court and down-the-line patterns in sets of 30 seconds.
4. Switch to the backhand side, and repeat steps above.

Exercise 2  – Shoulder rotations (3 sets of 10)

These can be performed using weights machines, free weights or  bands.  There are of course different variations, but the concept is more or less the same.

Internal rotationsInternal rotations are performed using a cable attached to a weight stack. Holding the handle at waist level with your elbow at your side and your forearm out away from your body, rotate your arm until your forearm crosses your waist. Keep your forearm parallel to the ground at all times, and never jerk the weight.
External rotationaExternal rotations are done in the same manner as internal rotations, only you start with your forearm across your body and the weight on the same side as your non-lifting arm. An alternate method involves sitting with your upper arm firmly supported while straight out to your side. Holding a light dumbbell in your hand, bend your elbow until your forearm is perpendicular to the ground. Lower the dumbbell slowly until your forearm is parallel to the ground, then return to your starting position.

Exercise 3 – Hump & hollow stretch (3 sets of 10)

Kneeling on all fours, weight evenly distributed.  Hump and hollow your back.  Then, as you hump up, lower your head and as you hollow, lift your head up to look ahead of you.

Exercise 4  – Pelvic tilts (3 sets of 10)

Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet  flat.  Slowly tighten your abdominal muscles and press your lower back into the ground.  Hold for three to five seconds and return slowly to the starting position.