By Mark Kovacs PhD, W. Britt Chandler MS, T. Jeff Chandler EdD
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Additional info for Tennis Training: Enhancing On-court Performance
With anaerobic activity, note that the oxygen deficit is much larger because the demand for energy is greater than in the initial stage of aerobic activity. So in the sport of tennis, the athlete is creating relatively large oxygen deficits during a high intensity point. Some of this deficit is paid back during the rest periods between points. METABOLIC SPECIFICITY Specificity of training is a key concept in the field of conditioning for athletic performance. If training is to be specific to an actual sport or activity, then the training must focus on the same metabolic energy pathways used in the sport or activity.
However, this is still how many coaches and tennis players train for competition. Bergeron and colleagues (1) conclude that because blood plasma lactate does not change during a tennis match (although this result was not supported by other research (9, 27)), conditioning for tennis should generally emphasize exercises at near, but not beyond, anaerobic threshold. However, this method of training might not adequately develop the anaerobic power and explosiveness required to produce effective strokes and movements in tennis players.
Recovery is important both from one day to the next and also within a workout session. If a player is required to serve for long periods of time without rest, fatigue may cause a decrease in performance, and the player will not receive maximal adaptation to the exercise stimulus. In fact, a player’s skill level may decrease from using inappropriate mechanics while serving in a fatigued state. In resistance training, it is important to allow recovery between sets depending on the specific goal of the training session.