Improve Your Game

Player to Player: Exercises for Teens

December 3, 2012 02:54 PM
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Player to Player is USTA.com’s regular feature in which everyday tennis players are given a forum to ask advice on the sport they love – and their fellow players will dish out advice. We’ll post a number of the best responses we receive to our question of the week.
 
Player to Player:
This week's question from A'Kiva:
 
I've only been playing tennis since this year. I'm ambidextrous, and although I am able to use both hands easily while playing, I cannot serve with my right hand, as I am a natural lefty. The only thing is that I can't serve from the right side of the court without it being out. Any tips for wrist control?
 
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Last week's question from Pernilla:
(Please note: There is no need to send additional responses to this question.)
 
Is it beneficial for teenagers to do "low frog jumps" about 10-20 times across the court on har court as a conditioning exercise? All the students who did this were extremely sore for five days and had problems with their knees locking. I know hard training is a good thing, but are other exercises better for teenagers?

Player Responses:

Eric R.

I just imagined the whole team squatting low like frogs and jumping madly about, at least until their knees or their will to imitate a frog just plain gave out. The serious question about the usefulness of that or any exercise is, first and foremost, do no harm.
 
You alluded to the fact that many players had their "knees locked" and were very sore. That is not a good thing, and although I am sure that your coach meant well, this particular approach sounds just plain dumb if it indeed caused injuries to even one of the team members.
 
Fundamentals of any exercise that do work well are those that are sport specific to tennis. For example, those that develop speed, agility, balance, stamina and flexibilty are good to base your exercise choices from, as all will truly help tennis players.
 
Another argument against doing low frog squats repeatedly is that a very low frog squat is not a movement that tennis players actually can ever be seen doing in competitive play. Have you ever seen a top pro who moved like a frog?
 
No Virginia, I mean Pernilla. Kermit the Frog of the Muppets is not a top player. He is actually just a puppet with a painted sock for a mouth, right? So why imitate a frog when there are many speed and agility exercises that replicate what real tennis players have to do on the court.
 
Thanks for the question, Pernilla. I would encourage the coach to rethink his lesson plan next time. Whatever the case, enjoy the journey.

Hopefully they are playing tennis in groups, semi or private lessons, playing tournaments and with there friends to get better and have fun. It is great for them to go and want to play tennis and do some running, play soccer or basketball or other sports outside or at a local club or park district. Jump rope in the basement, do sit ups, pushups and even ping pong is great for the game and some exercise. You can push them but only so hard they need to want it also. Don't try to live through there success's and lives.

Kenny S.

Hopefully they are playing tennis in groups, semi or private lessons, playing tournaments and with their friends to get better and have fun. It is great for them to go and want to play tennis and do some running, play soccer or basketball or other sports outside or at a local club or park district. Jump rope in the basement, do sit ups, pushups and even ping pong is great for the game and some exercise. You can push them but only so hard -- they need to want it, also. Don't try to live through their successes and lives.
 
 
*Please note that any advice given out in this forum should in no way be confused with actual medical advice. Before starting any new exercise regimen or altering your existing one, we strongly urge you to consult with your regular physician.
 
Click here for USTA.com's Player to Player Archive.
 

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