The CTSS Blog is a place where I will share my thoughts on tennis speed, training, science, coaching, and all that is happening in the world of tennis… as it relates to tennis speed.
For the first-ever CTSS blog, let’s cover one of my favorite topics- TENNIS SPEED DRILLS!
However, I’m going to take a different angle than what you might expect. The drills I will be talking about are the ones I routinely watch on social media. The drills, which are not well thought out and rarely serve the tennis player.
You know the drills I’m talking about—the one’s where the player must learn ten different skills and patterns within the one drill.
By the tenth or eleventh attempt, the tennis player finally learns the pattern.
By this number of learning attempts, I prefer to call it a “Dance.” The tennis player is basically learning a ten-step dance routine versus being reactive and explosive and using all the innate reactive abilities.
The more the tennis player works in a subconscious state, as it pertains to his or her footwork, and can focus on the task, the better the drill.
When a coach trains players using the Tennis Reactive Tier System for Speed, they work at high perceptive training levels. They learn to read the environment- they don’t worry about their footwork.
When a player routinely struggles, and the footwork is the source of the struggles- now we move into what’s called correctives.
Correctives are contextual drills performed right at the moment when a player struggles with live reactive drills. Doing these corrective drills, the player understands the corrective strategy because they just made the footwork mistakes.
One of the significant reasons tennis coaches like to devise drills that look “cool” and “clean” is because it makes them feel like the player is learning. When in reality, the player is just memorizing steps.
Putting players in drills that force “reading” the environment causes the player’s brain to develop strategies to solve problems. This information becomes stored information.
On the other hand, when the player is taught a “dance-pattern-drill,” they don’t get context directed towards tennis movement and solving problems- so the information stays in the front of the brain and can be quickly forgotten.
Drills need to challenge tennis players to move at various speeds in relation to solving a need. If the need is to move half speed or super-fast, then so be it.
When selecting drills, be aware of the result of the game of tennis. If the drill doesn’t serve the tennis athletes’ purpose to improve athleticism or performance on the court… it’s time to rethink the drill.
The Certified Tennis Speed Specialist course is designed with the idea that a drill is a conduit to a skill. Movement is a solution for tennis players- not a choreographed pattern. There is too much variation in tennis, and the better the players can read and solve the better mover they will be. Become a CTSS so you can better serve your tennis players. Sign up here and be one of the xxx to know first-hand when it re-opens.