Early descriptions of the split step reported both feet landing on the court simultaneously after the athlete made a small jump and then reacted left, right, forward, or backward, depending on where the ball was hit. Now it is known that good athletes react in the air during the split and land on the foot farthest from their intended target a split second ahead of their other foot.
Flexibility training is often the most overlooked component of a quality conditioning program. Some of the reasons people do not adhere to flexibility programs include the following: Stretching may not feel particularly good. The on-court benefits are not obvious to the player.
Applying the energy system continuum to tennis is easy and helps illustrate the reason that both anaerobic and aerobic conditioning are necessary for enhancing tennis performance. Because tennis ultimately involves repetitive muscular contractions and exertion, the aerobic energy system provides the baseline energy production over the duration of a tennis match or practice session.
The most common injury site in the shoulder is not the rotator cuff muscles themselves but rather the tendons that attach these muscles to the upper arm. There is not a lot of space inside the shoulder. When muscles fatigue or improper technique is used, it is very easy for one of the rotator cuff tendons that pass through this space to get pinched.
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Accessing the Online Video
Chapter 1. Meeting the Physical Demands of Tennis
Chapter 2. Muscles and Tennis Strokes
Chapter 3. Muscles and Tennis Movements
Chapter 4. High-Performance Fitness Testing
Chapter 5. Dynamic Warm-Up and Flexibility Training
Chapter 6. Speed, Agility, and Footwork Training
Chapter 7. Core Stability Training
Chapter 8. Strength Training
Chapter 9. Power Training
Chapter 10. Tennis-Specific Endurance Training
Chapter 11. Program Design and Periodization
Chapter 12. Solid Shoulder Stability
Chapter 13. Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation
Chapter 14. Nutrition and Hydration
Chapter 15. Recovery
Chapter 16. Age and Gender Considerations
About the Authors
The United States Tennis Association (USTA) is the national
governing body for the sport of tennis and the recognized leader in
promoting and developing the sport’s growth on every level in the United
States, from local communities to the crown jewel of the professional
game, the U.S. Open.
Established in 1881, the USTA is a progressive and diverse
not-for-profit organization whose volunteers, professional staff, and
financial resources support the singular mission.
The USTA is the largest tennis organization in the world, with 17
geographical sections, more than 700,000 individual members and more
than 7,800 organizational members, thousands of volunteers, and a
professional staff dedicated to growing the game.
In addition to the professional side of the sport, the USTA offers
sanctioned league-play opportunities to players 18 years of age and
older. Camps and other instructional opportunities are also provided to
younger players around the country.
Mark Kovacs, PhD, FACSM, CTPS, MTPS, CSCS,*D, USPTA, PTR, is a
performance physiologist, researcher, professor, author, speaker, and
coach with an extensive background in training and researching elite
athletes. He runs a consulting firm focused on optimizing human
performance by the practical application of cutting-edge science. He is
a consultant to the ATP, WTA, USTA, and NCAA. Dr. Kovacs also is the
director of the Life Sport Science Institute and associate professor of
sport health science at Life University. Heovacs has worked with
hundreds of elite athletes and more than two dozen top professional
tennis players, including John Isner, Robby Ginepri, Ryan Harrison, and
He formerly directed the sport science, strength and conditioning, and
coaching education departments for the United States Tennis Association
and was the director of the Gatorade Sport Science Institute as well as
an executive at Pepsico. He is coauthor of the book Tennis Anatomy (Human
Dr. Kovacs currently is the executive director of the International
Tennis Performance Association (iTPA), the worldwide association for
tennis-specific performance and injury prevention. He is a certified
tennis performance specialist and a master tennis performance specialist
through the iTPA. He is also a certified strength and conditioning
specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association
(NSCA) and both a USPTA and PTR certified tennis coach. Dr. Kovacs is a
fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. In 2012, he was the
youngest-ever recipient of the International Tennis Hall of Fame
Educational Merit Award.
Kovacs was a collegiate All-American and NCAA doubles champion in tennis
at Auburn University. After playing professionally, he performed
tennis-specific research and earned a master’s degree in exercise
science from Auburn University and a PhD in exercise physiology from the
University of Alabama.
E. Paul Roetert, PhD, FACSM, is the chief executive officer of
SHAPE America, the largest organization of professionals involved in
school-based health, physical education, and physical activity. Founded
in 1885, SHAPE America is committed to ensuring all children have the
opportunity to lead healthy, physically active lives. He holds a PhD in
biomechanics from the University of Connecticut and completed his
bachelor’s and master’s of science degrees in physical education at
California State University at Fullerton.
Before joining SHAPE America, Roetert was the managing director of the
United States Tennis Association’s Player Development Program and
tournament director of the U.S. Open Junior Tennis Championships from
2002 to 2009. In that role, he directed the High Performance, Junior,
and Collegiate Competition as well as coaching education and sport
science departments. He has also served as the executive director of the
American Sport Education Program (now known as Human Kinetics Coach
Dr. Roetert has authored four books, including Tennis Anatomy
(Human Kinetics, 2011). He has written numerous chapters and articles
related to the fields of health, fitness, sport science and medicine,
and strength and conditioning and has given hundreds of scientific and
invited presentations worldwide. He is a fellow of the American College
of Sports Medicine and an honorary professional of the Professional
Tennis Registry and became a master professional with the United States
Professional Tennis Association in 2005. In 2002 he received the
Educational Merit Award from the International Tennis Hall of Fame for
outstanding service to the game. Roetert received the Editorial
Excellence Award in 1999 from the National Strength and Conditioning
Association for his work on the Journal of Strength and Conditioning
and Research, and in 2000 he received the Outstanding Alumni Award
from the University of Connecticut.
Todd S. Ellenbecker, MS, DPT, SCS, OCS, CSCS, is a physical
therapist and clinic director of Physiotherapy Associates Scottsdale
Sports Clinic in Arizona and is the vice president of medical services
for the ATP World Tour. He received his bachelor’s degree in physical
therapy from the University of Wisconsin at LaCrosse in 1985 and a
master's degree in exercise physiology from Arizona State University in
1989. He completed his doctor of physical therapy from MGH Institute of
Health Professions in 2006. In addition, he is certified as a sport
clinical specialist and orthopaedic clinical specialist by the American
Physical Therapy Association. He is a certified strength and
conditioning specialist by the National Strength and Conditioning
Association and was named their Sports Medicine Professional of the Year
in 2003. Dr. Ellenbecker is the chair of the International Tennis
Performance Association Certification Commission and a certified USPTA
tennis teaching professional and was the chairman of the USTA National
Sport Science Committee for more than a decade and still serves as a
committee member. Todd is also the national director of clinical
research for Physiotherapy Associates. In 2007 he received the Ron
Peyton Award by the Sports Physical Therapy Section and in 2008 was the
recipient of the Samuel Hardy Educational Merit Award from the
International Tennis Hall of Fame.
Ellenbecker serves on the editorial boards of the International
Journal of Sports Physical Therapy and Sports Health. He has
conducted and published research primarily on upper-extremity athletes
as well as shoulder and elbow rehabilitation. He is the author of
several books, including Strength Band Training (Human Kinetics,
2011) and Effective Functional Progressions in Sport Rehabilitation
(Human Kinetics, 2009).
Ellenbecker lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, with his wife, Gail.