Stručni radovi

7 Tips for Making A Future Tennis Champion

By Dr.Tijana Ivancevic and Prof. Leon Lukman

Collaboration between Tesla Science Evolution Institute, Adelaide, Australia and Sports Academy, Belgrade, Serbia

Champions are not born, they are made. Every champion starts off with powerful intentions and energy concentrations, and through the realisation of their goals. The next step involves obtaining real knowledge, as opposed to using trial and error. Finally, the inner mind needs to be examined for inner sabotage; something which is present if the performance level during training is higher than that during competition, and which can be fixed with subliminal exercises.

  1. Change of Game. As the tennis game of today becomes increasingly involved with modern technology, the way that it is played correspondingly changes. Modern tennis is more active than the game that was played a few decades ago, both physically and mentally. Innovative technology has revolutionized tennis into an extremely fast and dynamically efficient sport. Nowadays, you will hardly ever see the traditional or “textbook” shots, with their two distinct phases: loading and hitting. This is all history! Today, almost every point begins with an extremely fast serve, and is followed by an extremely fast return. Every shot is an attempted winner; from any imaginable body position, and from any location on the court.

  2. Change of Players. Elite tennis players have had to adapt to this change of the tennis game. They have become stronger and faster, both physically and mentally, in order to succeed in the sport. Tennis balls are now hit much harder, by players that think and move much faster than those of yesterday. It has become evident in these past few years that balls hit by top players are flying through the air too fast for even the umpire’s eyes. One ex-champion even suggested returning to the wooden racket!? No way is that ever going to happen!

  3. Change of Technique. Traditional tennis techniques have also had to change to accommodate a faster moving game. To match the demand of more speed and strength, more efficient techniques have had to be devised. Exaggerated ballet-like swings in ground-strokes, and multiple loops in serves, have needed to be replaced with more efficient whip-like movements, biomechanically called “kinetic chains” or “segmental interaction”, which may or may not include minor swings and loops. When a whip is cracked, a bending wave travels along it, transferring both kinetic energy and momentum from handle to tip. These whip-like movements need to be composed and trained as sequences, or chains, of muscular stretch-reflexes, while using the whole body in a fluid and integrated manner.

  4. Change of Approach to Tennis. Conservative tennis coaches have always been advising their players not to get involved in any other sports, as this may damage their technique. And yet, today’s top players come from soccer, football, basketball, etc.

  5. Change of Players’ Development. The classical advice of coaches used to be: “Start serious tennis and only tennis as early as possible – if you want success in tennis.” However, experience from other sports tells us that, if you start serious and specialized tennis training and competition at the age of three, then you will finish it at the age of thirteen with a number of serious injuries. Why? Because the human body cannot endure more than about ten years of serious training and competition (give or take a year or two). This sad fact has been proved again and again, particularly in female tennis; very rarely do junior champions even become senior ones.

  6. Change of Attitude Towards Tennis. Think! Don’t be constrained by anybody. Sport is a science, not a religion. Learn the facts, apply the knowledge and believe in your unlimited potential for success. Producing a sports champion should be a joy, satisfaction and fulfilment; not frustration and suffering. A brain is also needed to complete a tennis champion – a strong and fast brain can make strong and fast muscles invincible.

  7. Model of a Future Tennis Champion Development. A future tennis champion may (or may not) begin playing tennis at an early age – that is, at the age of three or four, as some of the top players did. There is no harm in an early start, provided that it is for only about half-an-hour a week. They should, however, at the same time, also start training in gymnastics, handball and blitz–chess, all for about a half-an-hour a week.

Therefore, yes, an early introduction to tennis can be beneficial, as long as it is not only tennis, or for extended periods. At the age of six or seven, a future tennis champion should still be practicing all of these activities, in parallel, only for longer periods of time (about 1-2 hours a week). By following the steps in this book, at the tender age of nine, they should already be able to duplicate Roddick’s serve and Federer’s forehand and backhand. However, unlike the current champions, at the same time, they should be able to do a somersault on the court, halfway through a tennis game – just to entertain the audience by demonstrating real athleticism. In the change rooms, while waiting for the next game, they should be able to quickly solve a checkmate-in-3 problem. And lastly, just for fun, they should be able to successfully play super-fast video games, simultaneously developing high-speed visual perception. At home, visualisation skills should be developed as well.

At about the age of ten would come a change: instead of gymnastics and handball, which are more for entertainment purposes, some serious track- and-field javelin training would be required. Why? To begin crafting their tennis weapons. A 60+m throw of an official (off–balance) javelin could give a 300+ km/h serve with the use of a technique like Roddick’s, as well as a 240+ km/h forehand and 200+ km/h (single-handed) backhand, with roughly Federer-like techniques. The real purpose of this serious javelin training, together with intense tennis training (including competing at various tennis tournaments), would be to make every tennis serve and stroke an efficient whip-like movement Each of these whip-like tennis movements would naturally be composed as a cascade of muscular stretch-reflexes.

Tennis Evolution
Experience the training of future tennis champions
Tijana Ivancevic, Leon Lukman