While there’s no substitute for hitting balls on court, there are also plenty of opportunities to improve your game without a racket in your hand.

All Jonathan Markson Tennis camps put plenty of emphasis on strength and conditioning and the importance of speed, agility and flexibility. 

Simon James, Head Coach of Jonathan Markson Tennis’ Oxford camp, explains why a simple drill with three hurdles will quickly improve your movement on court.

“To understand movement in tennis we must look at stats from the singles game,” says James, who is also a qualified strength and conditioning coach. “Less than 8% of movement is backwards, less than 20% of movement is forwards and 70% of movement is lateral. A typical rally lasts between seven and ten seconds.

“Therefore working on lateral exercises with good quality and high intensity for 10 seconds followed by 25 seconds’ rest is far more beneficial than making a player run suicides across the tennis court.”

Set up three hurdles about roughly 50cm apart and stand with the hurdles to your left. Leading with the left leg, drive up with the left knee and land over the first hurdle, followed by the right leg. Repeat this for the second hurdle. Drive with the left leg over the third hurdle but keep the right knee in the air, shifting the balance back and change direction. Continue for 10 seconds.

 “In this exercise we are looking for a high knee drive, use of the arms and minimal ground contact time,” explains James. “That introduces an element of plyometric movement. This exercise also has an element of deceleration and balance when stopping at the end of the three hurdles.”

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