When we plan the training to face formative ages, we must take into consideration a number of aspects so that the development of the tennis player is as appropriate as possible. There is always the idea of boys and girls training together, after reading this article I hope it will be as clear as possible.
Important Qualities for Tennis
From my point of view, the most important quality in tennis is the Strength and it develops continuously during the period of growth and reaches the highest level during the third decade of life.
- From 6 to 10 years, the development of strength is slow and parallel between men and women.
- Around the age of 11, the development of strength increases, the development of the boy being much faster than that of the girl.
- From 12 to 14 years old, there is no substantial increase in strength, only that caused by the growth in length and thickness of bones and muscles. It is of vital importance to carry out a very structured and compensated work of force to all the levels.
Resistance increases, more or less steadily, throughout childhood and adolescence, and represents a major factor in maintaining health.
- At age 8-9 there is a significant increase in child performance.
- At the age of 11 there is a relative standstill.
- Around the age of 13 it can be seen that the boys experience a great improvement, while the girls not only do not increase it, but in many cases they stagnate.
Therefore, boys have better requirements for endurance training at these ages. It is at the base that resistance must be worked on most, both at the level of aerobic capacity and aerobic power, without discarding the anaerobic ways.
Speed increases from 6 to 9 years. The acyclic movements are completed and the motor frequency improves remarkably.
- From 9 to 11 years old, there are satisfactory levels of coordination that favour the development of factors such as frequency and velocity of gestures, although with lack of strength.
- Around the ages of 11 and 12, it is a good time to perform specific motor skills of speed.
- From 12 to 14 years old, strength acquires higher rates and there are important differences in coordination, also called “adolescent clumsiness”, something that limits speed.
It is important to remember that the speed is very determined by the type of fibers that the subject has, and another important factor is the part of information processing, that is to say since the student sees how the other player hits the ball, until the decision is made (decision making), is an internal process that can be improved.
Flexibility involves with growth. Maximum flexibility is found in childhood, although there is also a certain peak at the beginning of the pubertal stage, more specifically, around 10-12 years and then it is progressively lost.
- Until the age of 6, the locomotory system is characterized by its great elasticity, being indicated the global activities, of basic movements that allow it to freely exercise its motricity.
- From 6 to 12 years old, the decrease is not very important, but precisely from this age, because of the hormonal changes and the anthropometric growth that is so accentuated, there are a series of changes in extensibility, until then maintained, opening a point of interruption in the progression of flexibility, since its regression is more accentuated. Along with strength, it is necessary to give a lot of attention to the habits of warming up, myofascial liberation, joint mobility and stretching of body structures, in addition to a good team of traumatologists, physiotherapists and osteopaths, make a correct assessment of the tennis player, and then make a personalized training plan.
After this small review, I would like to open a small debate, as soon as, the coaches see convenient that the boys and girls train together, and because, I have it quite clear after my experience as a coach after almost 25 years.