Athletes

Andy Murray’s Top Tips for Staying Tennis-Ready

Andy Murray

Throughout 2020 and 2021, times were tough for tennis players, with courts closed, club tournaments cancelled, junior tennis scaled back and limited professional tennis to watch. 

While the clubs were shut, Andy Murray shared his top tips for staying tennis-ready, and they’re not only useful if you’re getting back to the game after lockdown – they’re also incredibly helpful if you’re getting back into tennis after a break or an injury or just want to make sure your mind and body are always ready for your next opponent. 

Andy Murray shares his top tips below…

1. Stay Active

Keeping fit during a break from the game is really important. Tennis is a physical sport, especially if you’re used to playing singles, and it uses most of the main muscle groups in the body, so you could be prone to injury if you return having not done any exercise for a couple of months.  

After my hip operation, I was encouraged to start moving as soon as possible, to minimise any loss of muscle strength and flexibility, and this is exactly the same reason it’s important to stay active as much as possible. 

Walking, running and cycling are all good options, and there are hundreds of exercise classes online which you can do from home. I’m an ambassador for the NHS and they have put together some great fitness videos on their website for all abilities which you can see here.

2. Practice Your Ball Skills

Hand-eye coordination is an essential skill in tennis and speed of reaction can make all the difference in winning a point.  

Wall Ball

A drill I practice in my own training sessions to help with hand-eye coordination and anticipation is called Wall Ball. I stand facing a wall, with my coach standing behind me. My coach then throws the ball at the wall, and I have to react and catch it without it bouncing. If you haven’t got a partner to hand you can also do this yourself – you’ll just be better at the anticipation part! 

Ball Toss for Serve

Another good ball skill to practice while you’re at home, is the ball toss for your serve. Making sure the ball is in the right place for when you strike it during a match can be challenging when playing in the UK, as we are often subject to adverse weather conditions, particularly in Scotland! 

Andy Murray playing tennis

Practising your ball toss is a useful thing to do – it will help you feel more confident if the weather is bad. Stand near a wall or a door frame where there are straight lines and practice throwing the ball up along the line over and over again.

3. Target Practice

One of my favourite drills on court is target practice. I’m very competitive, so anything that turns my training into a challenge always appeals. I use tennis balls or tennis ball cans as targets, or if I’m feeling very confident, I use the small bottles from my TRR Nutrition Collagen Shots, which I take to protect my bones and joints, to aim at. 

If you have space in your garden, you can use your racket to hit tennis balls at a target, or if you’re doing this drill indoors, it’s still just as effective to throw a ball instead. This is also a great game for children.

4. Fancy Footwork

Keeping on your toes in tennis is essential in making the shot – the best players on the circuit all have great footwork in common. This is something you can also perfect from home.  

A footwork drill I do during training is the figure of eight around two tennis balls. This drill takes up very little space, and all you need is two tennis balls or equivalent markers. Using the balls as reference points, move around each ball and through the middle creating a figure of eight with your feet. You can start slowly, and gradually increase the pace as you get more confident.  

This is a great drill for footwork speed and moving to the ball, and every couple of rotations you can step out and hit a shadow ground stroke to add some more specific movements to the exercise.

5. Upper Body Strength

Maintaining your upper body strength is something else you can do from home. If you don’t have weights, you can use your own body weight for press-ups or tricep dips. Burpees are good too if you’re feeling energetic!  

If you want to add some weights into your routine, you can use litre bottles of water or baked bean cans.

6. Flexibility

Flexibility in tennis is really important as you move side to side and forwards and backwards around the court, plus you could be stretching upwards for a point or crouching low down to retrieve a short ball.  

I’ve incorporated lots of different flexibility practices into my training over the years – including Pilates and gyrotronics. There are plenty of different classes online or you can just incorporate some simple stretches into your day like touching your toes, lunges and chin tucks. 

Andy Murray uses TRR Nutrition Collagen Shots to protect his bones and joints. Find out more about the importance of collagen for athletes here: 

Why is Collagen So Important for Athletes?

Collagen

Why is Collagen So Important for Athletes?

Explore the benefits of collagen for athletes with TRR Nutrition.

2021-10-04 08:41:41By trrnutrition



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trrnutrition

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