By Kim Hanson PT, DPT, CCI
Tennis is a multi-faceted sport that requires a variety of skills such as agility, power, flexibility, strength, and endurance. Many athletes are comfortable working on their own to improve strength, flexibility, and endurance; however, agility training is often either forgotten or neglected as a component of training. In this post, we’ll review the importance of agility training and some key exercises to help you fine tune your agility skills.
What Is Agility Training?
Agility is defined as a rapid whole body movement with change of velocity or direction in response to a stimulus. For tennis, agility is essential to reacting and responding to the variety of shots that may come from your opponent. By improving their agility, athletes will not only improve their tennis game, but will also reduce their risk for injury while playing. The decrease in injury risk comes through improving their ability to change speed and direction quickly while maintaining proper body mechanics.
Agility Training Drills
All training, including agility training, should be functional. This means that the activities performed in practice should directly translate to the tasks that will be performed in an actual match. Initially, agility training doesn’t need to be performed on a tennis court. However, as your training progresses, it’s a good idea to perform drills on the court and even incorporate your tennis racquet and volleys/ball returns in order to simulate a game setting.
Some examples of agility drills to incorporate include:
When initiating an agility program, it’s wise to do so with a trained professional to ensure your body mechanics are safe and efficient. If you’re ready to take your tennis game to the next level by improving your agility, FX Physical Therapy can help! We can perform a musculoskeletal assessment to determine any areas of weakness or imbalance that may affect your game and increase your risk for injury.