Given how much I love tennis, I was delighted to talk with Steve Madden, a golf pro and certified personal trainer, about the notion that amateur athletes can improve their performance through conditioning.
See also: Stretch for flexibility.
He noted that advances in technology have dramatically changed sports equipment. Golf clubs are made from space-age materials, tennis racquets use computer chips, and everything from running shoes to skis, for example, have features unknown 20 years ago.
“But the one piece of equipment whose design hasn’t changed,” says Madden, “is the one that matters the most — the human body.” Without realizing it, we compensate for imbalances and limitations in our muscle and skeletal structures when we play a sport. Once those imbalances are corrected through a conditioning program, performance improves.
“Specialized fitness and conditioning programs are designed to address flexibility, balance, muscular strength, stability and posture,” Madden explains. A workout plan based on a comprehensive assessment of physical structures will prevent injury and provide the most direct path to better performance — whatever the sport. Combined with a healthful diet and plenty of water, conditioning the body results in increased endurance and stamina. And all of that helps make practices and games more fun!
Since talking with Steve, I’ve added more variety into my daily workout. I’ve added some flexibility and balance exercises, along with working with weights. Now let’s see if my tennis game improves.