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Tournament planning and goal setting

Helping players plan 'how much' and 'how often'
By: Rob Antoun

‘If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first hour sharpening the axe’. Abraham Lincoln

Planning the programme 5:10:1

Maximising your player’s potential is a long-term process. To help you and your player through this process it helps to plan your tennis programme using training cycles.

Training cycles allow you to break down your player’s long-term goals into more manageable chunks of work. They also allow you to make sure that there is enough time allocated to training and improvement as well as match play.

We recommend splitting a year into three training cycles using our 5:10:1 formula.

The 5:10:1 formula is a simple yet effective way to plan a training programme and is appropriate for all players. Using this method a training cycle will consist of:

5 weeks of training: During this time a player will not compete in important events and may well only play practice matches. They will make any significant changes to their game during this period, if they are needed, and will emphasise physical training in particular.

10 weeks of training and competition: During this period a player will continue to develop their game, but they will also be competing in events and looking to show these improvements on the match court. They will not compete every week of the 10 weeks, but will compete fairly regularly.

1 week of rest: During this period the player will take a break from tennis. They should, however, continue with some light exercise and stretch regularly.

For each 16 week cycle the coach and player need to fill out a goal setting sheet. This goal setting sheet will drive the training programme for the whole of the 16 week cycle. The goals for the 16 week cycle should relate to the player’s longer-term goals. (See goal setting section and appendix for PTS goal setting sheets).

This method will allow you to run three training cycles every year. Three 16 week cycles makes 48 weeks. This gives you 4 weeks to play with. These 4 weeks will be for holidays, exams, or to add an extra week into the programme where necessary.

The 5:10:1 formula is a guide. As a coach you can adjust it to suit the needs of the player who you are working with. It may be that in one cycle you have a longer training period as you know that a player has some major technical work to do – such as a grip change.

The 5:10:1 training model gives you a framework to plan your player’s training programmes. You now need to:

· Know how many hours your player should train for

· Know how to plan a training week

· Know how many matches they should be playing

· Know how to goal set for each training cycle

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