Are Professional Tennis Players Pushing Their Bodies Too Far?


Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Is it just me (a Paphos Tennis Coach) or are there more injuries this year on the professional tennis tour?  The latest, Andy Murray, is just recovering from back surgery.  Nadal has just returned from injury with a phenomenal impact.  But, this year in grand slams and tour events for men and women alike it seems like there are more withdrawals than ever due to injury.

Some may preventative because the tennis calendar is brutal, but some could be that professional players are reaching their limits.  When Djokovic had his phenomenal year, he broke new boundaries in fitness, speed and results.  He was the man to beat.  Since then it seems that all the players have worked phenomenally hard to bring themselves up to that standard.  Some have tried the famous gluten free diet, but all have improved their fitness.  Just look at the players next time you watch a match.  They have lost weight, they have more defined muscles and performance is amazing.  But, all of this comes at cost.  If you push your body like that through all the gruelling rounds of a tournament where the competition is fierce whoever you’re playing and if you do this almost 50 weeks of the year without many pauses then your body may just fail.  Of course, players do everything to try to prevent injuries, but it is inevitable.  The only player who has been virtually injury free is Roger Federer.

So what do you think?  Have players reached their limits in terms of what their body can do?  Should the tennis year be shorter?

The lesson though for us amateur players though is that we do need to be careful with our own bodies as well.  We’re not pushing them to the limits of the pros, but at the same time, we should warm up properly and do training specifically to minimise risk of injury.

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September Tennis Classes have started!


It may be September, but it’s like a new year has started.  Al the regular pupils are back from their summer breaks and more are joining every day.  The schedule is gradually filling up.  So hurry up and book your place with the Paphos Tennis Coach.

The whole team together

The whole team together

Lessons are paid monthly at the beginning of the month so that prices can be kept as low as possible.  There are a selection of classes in Kato Pafos and Coral bay so you can have a choice of which to attend, or, if you miss one, you can attend another that week.  It will be a few weeks before the winter schedule is finalised, but at the moment the Group Tennis Lessons schedule is as follows:

Monday

5pm – Children’s Advanced Beginners in Coral Bay

Tuesday

8am – Women’s Freedom Class in Coral Bay

5pm – 3-4 year olds in Kato Pafos (1/2 hour lesson)

5.30pm – Children’s Beginners in Kato Pafos

Wednesday

5pm – 5-6 year olds in Coral Bay

Thursday

10am – Women’s Freedom Class in Kato Pafos

5pm – Children’s Beginners in Kato Pafos

Friday

5pm – 5-6 year olds in Coral Bay

Saturday

6pm – Women’s Freedom Class in Coral Bay

I hope to add some more lesson’s shortly.  I have a request in for a children’s intermediate group lesson in Coral bay and am looking for more pupils to join that one.  Also, some adult mixed tennis groups.

So, if you are interested, or know anyone who might be, let me know 🙂

Summer Tennis Academy Strikes Again!


The Summer Tennis Academy took place once again this July and several of the groups are continuing on into August.  There were four groups – Beginners & Intermediates in Kato Pafos.  The Intermediates was aimed at tournament training including some fitness.  In Coral Bay there was and Advanced Beginners and a younger Beginners class.  The aim was to either learn to play tennis or improve existing tennis significantly while having fun.  There were loads fun activities as well as technique, tactics and of course loads of match practice!  The slightly adjusted times this year worked well – it wasn’t too hot for the children or for the Paphos Tennis Coach.

Summer Tennis Academy 2013

Summer Tennis Academy 2013

There were a good mixture of nationalities, including English, Cypriot, Russian and Iranian, so there was plenty of opportunity to practice language skills.  There was also a fair balance between girls and boys.

Last Thursday, we held the wrap-up mini tournament. This was great fun with all the different groups together as well as some of my other younger pupils taking part.  There were loads of fun games and activities as well as singles and doubles matches.  The parents and some of my other pupils helped out with the umpiring and the most popular game was the one at the end – pupils vs parents – the children beat us!  We’ll never live it down!!!

Some of the Summer Tennis Academy pupils missed it though as they had already headed back home, so we hope to see them next year again!

The medal winners included:

Adv Beginners Singles – James

Beginners Singles – Vasily

Overall score Adv Beginners – Lucy

Overall score Beginners – Stefan

Highest doubles score – Demetri

Highest number of Tap-Ups Beginners – Mobin

Thanks to everyone who took part and helped to make it such a great evening! Pafos Tennis Coach

Photos can be found on my Facebook page.

50 Shades of Tennis


Uh? You might ask, but Pafos Tennis Coaching took on a whole new meaning this Saturday morning.  The regular Freedom Class (women’s class) is always fun at the Ascos Hotel in Coral Bay.  Men beware!  This week was no exception.  It was in full swing  and serving was on the menu with “Whip your man!” echoing across the court. Ouch!

So, what were we doing?  Well, one of the ways to fine tune your service action is to use a skipping rope, whipping it as if you were hitting the ball.  It’s a great way to see how you’re hitting, stopping you from hitting too much to the side or pushing the ball.  It’s also great fun 🙂

 

By the end of the lesson, everyone’s serves had improved ten-fold, but their men had better beware when they get home!

Next week we’ll have to find something to top that!  There’s always working on top spin!

Timetable up for Summer Tennis Academy


The Summer Tennis Academy in Pafos starts on the 1st July, so hurry up and book your place.  This is the 2nd year that I have done the Summer Tennis Academy and for those of you looking for a Paphos Tennis Coach or wondering what to do with the kids over the long, long summer holiday, it may be the answer.

The schedule can be found by clicking STA 2013 timetable.

The academy will be run in the same format as last year – 2 hours a day 3 times a week, with several groups (divided into playing levels)  running in Kato Pafos and Coral Bay.  There are beginners, advanced beginners and intermediate/advanced groups. The morning slot is 8-10am and the evening 6-8pm.  I’ve tried to keep the price down as low as possible, so it’s € 50 per week or € 170 for the month.  It’s running from 1st – 27th July, with the option to extend it into August if there is demand.

What happens at the Summer Tennis Academy? Well it is designed to help children really progress with their tennis, as well as having fun.  It will cover various strokes, techniques, tactics and matchplay as well as having a mini tournament at the end.  The Intermediates/Advanced group will work on tournament preparation, stroke selection and winning strategies.  If there is demand, we can add tennis fitness and sports psychology training, which will incur an extra cost.

There will be children taking part from all over the world, including some from the USA.  Places are limited, so please sign up ASAP to reserve your space.

Either call me on 99 329107, or email me on tenniscoach@squaremango.net or click through to the online registration form.

Payment is either in advance by PayPal (Sacha Appleton Tennis Academy), or on the first day of the relevant Summer Tennis Academy class.

To pay for 1 week course via PayPal click here
To pay for 2 week course via PayPal click here
To pay for 3 week course via PayPal click here
To pay for 1 month course via PayPal click here

 

Meet me at the Go Gecko Fun Day on Saturday


The what?  If you haven’t heard of it, Go Gecko is a really great outdoor fitness facility at St Georges Football ground in Peyia near the Namos cafe.  They do very different classes using tyres and other more adventurous equipment that makes for a fun way of getting fit.  Not quite as much fun as a tennis lesson with your favourite Pafos Tennis Coach of course 🙂

St Georges Go Gecko Fun DayOn Saturday 15th June, they are holding a fun day for the whole family, so why not come along?  I’ll be there, doing two TennisFit classes and you can call to arrange a short introductory lesson there on my stand. Why not?  It’s free. I will have racquets and balls there and a small net.  There will be some competitions as well.

See you there!

Summer Tennis Academy starts 1st July – sign up now!


The French Open has just been won by the undisputed King of Clay, Rafa Nadal.  I just wish I’d realised before I booked my stand at the Elea Charity Day that it was Finals Day.  I was really sad to miss it and the satellite wasn’t working there 😦  Ah, well!

So, for those of you wondering what to do with the kids over the long, long summer

End of the Summer Tennis Academy

 Summer Tennis Academy 2012

holiday, never fear.  The Summer Tennis Academy in Paphos is here! After the success of last year, I am repeating the same format – 2 hours a day 3 times a week, with several groups (divided into playing levels)  running in Kato Pafos and Coral Bay.  The morning slot is 8-10am and the evening 6-8pm.  I’ve tried to keep the price down as low as possible, so it’s € 50 per week or € 170 for the month.  It’s running from 1st – 27th July, with the option to extend it into August if there is demand.

What happens at the Summer Tennis Academy? Well it is designed to help children really progress with their tennis, as well as having fun.  It will cover various strokes, techniques, tactics and matchplay as well as having a mini tournament at the end.  If there is demand, we can add tennis fitness and sports psychology training, which will incur an extra cost.

There will be children taking part from all over the world, including some from the USA.  Places are limited, so please sign up ASAP to reserve your space.

Either call me on 99 329107, or email me on tenniscoach@squaremango.net or click through to the online registration form.

 

 

 

 

Learning to play Tennis on a clay court


The French Open will be starting in a few days, the culmination of a jam packed clay court season on the ATP and WTA tour.  While you’re watching your favourite players, try to see what is different in their style of play and tactics.  If you’ve been brought up on hard courts like me, playing on a clay court is hard at first, but you will grow to love it.  I still can’t slide properly though.  The exact opposite is true of Djokovic, if you watch him, he slides on every surface, even hard courts.  It works for him, but unless you have elastic legs like him, I wouldn’t recommend it on hard courts.

Classic clay court players are of course the Spanish (like the King of Clay Rafael Nadal) and French.  In fact, most of Northern and Southern Europe, apart from the UK, play primarily on clay.  Here in Cyprus, there are not a lot of clay courts (they require a lot of water and maintenance) and those that there are are not in particularly good condition, apart from those at Aphrodite Hills.  If you do have a chance though, it’s worth trying.

So what’s different about clay?  What should you be watching for in what will probably be some very exciting matches at Roland Garros?

– the rallies tend to be longer

– at club level and even at the Open, you will see players waiting for the ball to drop before they hit it, whereas on hard courts you are more likely to hit at the top of the bounce or as it rises once you are in the groove

– there will be more drop shots & lobs

– spin becomes more pronounced because of the friction of the surface, so there’s more topspin & slice

– harder serves get slowed down, so it’s more about placement

– its physically more demanding, keeping the ball in and making your opponent run may work for you

– you’ll see Nadal, Ferrer and many others running around their forehands

– you’ll see most players sliding

That is a very brief summary, but I’ve included below some links to some interesting articles giving a bit more information:

http://www.thetennisspace.com/chris-evert-exclusive-how-to-play-on-clay/

Click here for a pdf article with tips to playing on clay

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/tennis/skills/4938068.stm

Español: Rafael Nadal durante la final del tor...

Español: Rafael Nadal durante la final del toreno, en la que se impuso a Roger Federer, que defendía el título logrado en 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Women’s Tennis Lessons in Paphos


Freedom classes have taken off.  We have a group in Coral Bay that have a great time every Saturday at 9am.  Progress has been quick and after only a few lessons, they are playing games.  The men had better watch out!

Freedom Classes

Freedom Classes

Pafos Tennis Lessons for women will shortly start.  Are you interested, or know anyone who is? The idea is that many women are more comfortable working out or doing sport in a class only with other women.  It’s also a chance to meet other women, chat, get fit and learn how to play tennis. Some will be in the mornings aimed at those of you wishing to escape from the children for an hour while they are at school, while others will be in the evening for those of you who work.

So, get your trainers on, bring a bottle of water and come have some fun!

1001 uses of a Tennis ball


A tennis ball is not just a ball to be hit in tennis.  It has multiple uses.  What do you think?  Can you suggest any?

 

They can be thrown at you, they can be used to create pictures, furniture, or to help as part of a disguise, or as a toy for a dog.  You can see some of my pupils trying out some uses  at http://www.facebook.com/SachaAppletonTennisAcademy/photos_albums in both the pupils album and the summer tennis academy one.

English: Australian Cattle Dogs, Thommo and Du...

English: Australian Cattle Dogs, Thommo and Dusty, wait for a tennis ball to be thrown. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Why do I ask?  Well yesterday, in my capacity as a Pafos Tennis Coach, I was asked for some old tennis balls.  What for?  Well, apparently a rumour is circulationg that if you put a tennis ball in the skimmer of your pool, all the suntan cream attaches itself to the ball instead of staying in the water.  You have to clean the ball every so often.  Crazy?  Maybe.  We will see 🙂

 

Send in any suggestions (polite ones please) of uses of a tennis ball.