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Last Tennis Camp Update!

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This week marked the end to a fun summer at the DVTA
Villanova tennis summer camp! This was the last week for our summer training.
We were in the last phase of our training program, the sport specific
performance phase. We had the task of delivering a solid workout while keeping
it fun. It turned out to be a great last week of training for the players and a
perfect cap to great summer program, despite some bad weather on Thursday.

Tuesday: We started with our normal active dynamic warm-up to get the
player’s bodies ready for the work ahead. First up was our lateral tuck jump
into a turn and change of direction sprint. The players alternated facing the
net and facing away from the net for 3 times each direction. After performing
8-10 tuck jumps the players blasted into the sprints. They changed direction at
the center line of the service box, back to the starting doubles line, across
court to the far doubles line, and finally back to the starting doubles line.
They decelerated and held a low squat position for 5 seconds. After a couple
minute break for water it was time for our main drill. For this drill the
players worked on moving laterally through shuffles and ladders into a ball
feed. They moved to the left on the first ladder performing different footwork
drills. They then circled around a cone right into right side shuffles, around
a second cone into left side shuffles, and then back to the right with another
ladder. Finally, they sprinted up and across court for the ball feed. The feeds
were “bad.” I put quotations around bad because really the feeds help in
several good ways. Some feeds were high, some were low, some were fast, and
some were slow. By throwing the feeds out and away from the players, they had
to break into a full sprint in order to make it to the ball. Reacting to the
different feeds helps the players learn to adjust their bodies to hit the ball.
This is helpful in a match where the players can’t always perfectly predict
where the ball will make contact on their side of the court. It makes for
easier adjustments in crucial game situations. It also works on reaction time,
coordination, balance, and stability.

Thursday: Strong storms Thursday morning made for wet courts and a
half hour delay. The pros and DVTA staff did a great job using the rollers to
dry the courts. The rain made the surface of the courts very slick so
unfortunately to avoid injuries we couldn’t do any drills or exercises
involving cuts and sprints. After a long active dynamic warm-up the players
went through a quick circuit 3 times, made up of pushups, davies taps, leg
lifts and mountain climbers. After the circuits it was time to have some fun
and end camp on a happy note. I broke the players into groups of 3-6 players to
play agility ball. The game is played with a reaction ball. It looks like
several small balls fused together. When the ball makes contact with the ground
it bounces in different directions forcing the players to quickly react to
catch the ball. The slick surface of the court actually added to the games. It was
slippery and harder to maneuver and forcefully push off of the court. The kids
all played great and had a fun time!

Working with these kids this summer has been nothing but a
pleasure for me. I have watched each player grow as an athlete, as a tennis player,
and as a person. The results have been undeniable. They are faster, stronger,
and more explosive then they were 3 months ago. I am extremely excited to work
with these athletes again in a few weeks at DVTA and take their game to another
level!

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