How to make a qualitative training?

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Mistake: the new best friend of training

entrainement tennis

What are we talking about?

Training allows you to prepare, perfect and maintain a player’s performance. Training is continually used over time to increase these mental and physical skills, and therefore the performance. By learning over time, the variety of training situations and numbers of repetitions change and grow in order to best suit the player.

The quality of the training is what determines how a player’s skills will grow. The quality will depend on the player’s intensity and commitment. Ultimately, the player himself is the sole determiner in what kind of training he needs. 

Discipline as a compass

According to the dictionary, discipline can mean: education, teaching, and training
When we look at the idea of discipline, we ask ourselves: how can the player become both the student and the teacher?

The discipline of training can be defined by the capacity of the player to control the different parameters at play in his practice. In turn, the different parts of his body help to determine his technical mastery.

The legitimate emotions that overwhelm players as they go through training are by definition incontrollable. Nevertheless they are recognizable and identifiable. Once they are identified, they can be used to determine the quality and concentration of training, as these are dependent state of the spirit of the player. 

The player’s behavior is controllable while emotions overwhelm him, but the essential work behind the quality of your training is to recognize and handle these emotions.

These emotions are good gauges for your behavior management and ability to grow as a player.


Errors, my new best friends!

In tennis we talk a lot about errors. We recognize that some errors are intentional, while others are involuntary, and thus can be pardoned. However, mistakes are not so forgivable. That said, I don’t know any player who deliberately makes errors. As we talk about errors, let’s keep in mind that it is essential to forgive your erros and be kind with yourself. 

entrainement tennis

Learning a new method means you will make mistakes along the way. 

Our errors are our best ways to see progress if you still observe, analyze and correct them. Blaming yourself is not something that must occur during a training session. You must instead analyze your mistakes 

You should take into consideration your negative feelings (anger, fear, shyness, worry…) in order to enjoy the positive ones even more, therefore reinforcing your balance and your state of mind. 

By recognizing these feelings, you avoid any overreaction (crying, throwing rackets....) and manage your behavior with efficiency.

You must be willing and ready to learn: tiredness and external stimulation (a fly in the air, your girlfriend on the bench chatting with another boy...) can be disturbing while working to achieve a goal. Having simple and unique goals (1 per session) makes them easy to attain. Don’t look for a Nadal shot because you will constantly fail (injuries don’t count).

Keys to make a qualitative training:

  • Stay positive in order to avoid wishing to quit tennis or training. If you don’t you will want to quit after every shot. 
  • Keep thinking about the good things you have done. Don’t think about the errors. You can recognize that you have made them, but analyze them after training
  • Be positive throughout the entire training process and not only after you achieve your goal
  • Choose simple goals when you start your session. That way you will have 100% success every time you finish a practice




Patrick Ottaway : entraineur fédéral Brevet d'Etat à la ligue des Yvelines