I’ve been coaching competitive players of many different levels for the last 16 years.
From my experience, many of them lack the full picture of what the factors they can improve on to achieve their highest possible level of playing. It takes quite a few factors to all come together to make a great player, but even some attention to a few of them can yield great results.
I came up with a diagram that I believe perfectly illustrates all those factors. These factors are obviously would have to all be closely attended to and checked out for any aspiring professional tennis hopeful, but they are also just as applicable to any level player who wants to push his/her own personal limits.
The idea is simple; the more factors the player possesses the more advanced he/she will be. I believe tehnika (Russian word for technique) is the most important (and often most under-coached) aspect of training. It has to be the top priority for any player, regardless of their level. All of us can improve and tweak something in our stroke production, even pros change and constantly fine-tune theirs. Without it, nothing else matters. Good tehnika allows for the most possible output with the least possible effort. In addition, since proper tehnika is very efficient, it effectively shields a player from many unnecessary injuries and extends their years on court.
Here is the diagram with all the factors that a player should consider if they want to squeeze everything out of their game:
All the aspects I listed above are powerful weapons and that’s the way you should see and approach them. Some players may think that things like flexibility, recovery and nutrition are negligible, at least the time and efforts devoted to them would suggest that. They would be dead wrong! Without even one (let alone all) of those factors, you will be running a pretty high chance of an injury.
It’s always better to prepare the body for the high demands of competitive performance than deal with occurring and recurring injuries.
It is critical for you to get the big picture and to understand that everything counts in competitive tennis where often the winner of the match only wins a handful more points than the loser. Not to mention you have to be healthy enough just go out there and compete.
That’s why the world’s top players spend thousands of dollars on coaches, mental gurus, personal trainers and personal chefs. It all makes a difference!