There used to be a well-known rule, that in order to achieve top-class quality in any activity, be it in sports, music, dancing or something else, you need 10.000 hours of practice in the period of 10 years. That rule doesn’t apply for some time now. More precisely, it doesn’t apply for all of the activities mentioned above. In sports, the long-term development of an athlete is prolonging and it surely lasts for more than 10 years, which also means a greater annual volume of training.
Let’s first introduce the differences between sports. The annual number of practice hours varies greatly from sport to sport. Long-track runners practice around 600 hours, rowers 900 hours, cyclists 1100 hours and swimmers even 1300 hours per a year. The differences between sports are huge. The big question is, where do these differences come from? They are the consequence of a different nature of the movement, resulting in different kinds of workload. If we compare only two sports, that are different in the aspect of annual training volume, you’ll get the picture in a second.
Long-track runners practice 10-12 hours weekly. They perform 185-210 steps per a minute, which means 148.000-168.000 steps per a week. The muscles of these runners are functioning concentrically and eccentrically. The workload timing is ~150ms/step and runner body weight 65 kg, which leads to a weekly workload of 280-350 million N.
Rowers practice twice as much as runners, that is 25-30 hours per a week. They perform 50-120 paddle strokes per a kilometer. The timing of concentrical muscle workload is ~900 ms/paddle stroke. The total weekly workload of rower weights 100 kg is 30 times smaller than in runner, it amounts only 9-10 million N.
If experts in endurance sports have a fairly clear picture of athletes’ workload, let’s look now which data on players’ workload is available for tennis coaches. The workload in runners is huge and their movement is just linear. On the basis of expert analysis, we can quickly find that the workload in tennis players is even bigger, both in terms of the content of the movement (direction changes during running), the volume (up to 25 training hours weekly) and the content of practice (performance of various movements and strokes), as well as the duration of tennis matches (they can last for many hours) and competitions (several days, even up to two weeks).
Armbeep – a tool for monitoring players’ game development, analyses tennis practice and matches from the aspect of individual active phases. Besides that, it also provides the analysis of speed, acceleration, quality of the contact point of each stroke, daily mental and physical condition of players, monitoring tennis statistics and more.
With the easy-to-use Armbeep System coaches can monitor more than a few workload indicators:
- Total practice time,
- Active phase practice time,
- Number of active phases,
- Number of executed strokes,
- Average number of strokes in active phases,
- Distribution of active phases during the practice,
- Speed and acceleration in individual strokes.
You can monitor all the mentioned workload indicators for many players on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. With the use of such a coach can make a step forward towards long-term, objective and individual practice planning for tennis players.