A well structured plan can be the key to reach a desired result. But what is good planning? Some clubs and coaches make very detailed templates of what you want to get done on the court while others go more with the feeling from lesson to lesson. Some clubs works with different theme for every week, while others don’t. We have asked a number of clubs how they do and how they work with their plans. Today we talk to Partille Tennis!
Name: Juan Maria Semperena
Club: Partille Tennisklubb
Role in the club: Coach of competitiongroup
Example for a plan on a day:
Week 2- Stances, open stance, close stance, semi open
Day 1 : 01/17/22
-Slice to slice from mini tennis
Volley to volley, one has a stop hit in the middle
Exercise 1 – Bucket: close stances around the cone 6 balls + 2 volleys with close stances around the cone + close stand shadows with medicine ball + slalom shadow close stance and sprint
Exercise 2 – Control:
2 cross and 1 down the line touching the line in between/ from the other side they don´t touch the line. (if 4 do the same – touching the line but just cross)
Exercise 3 – points with second serve/cross return/ down the line/ free play.
Serve 20 second serves, 10 first serves
1 and 2nd Serves stick to the single line
Tell us about the idea with it?
We have a weekly plan as you can see so we can focus on different things but through the whole term the main focus is in control. So I would say under these themes there’s 1 big thing underlying plan that is to work in control at a slower speed.
The idea to have a 16 weeks plans is that every time we finish the term we can evaluate how it worked. If we can balance out in different aspects or improve or change it and once we have the plan, like now, we don´t have to spend much energy in the plan itself but just in making it better and have more focus on things on court.
How did you come to the conclusion that this approach works best for you?
I´m coming from Argentina and was lucky to train when I was a junior in an Academy that brought up some professional players and there we had a big focus in Controlling the ball in a not so high tempo (in all different variations). In this way you could learn how to feel the ball and become more and more accurate by repetition, and also learn to like the training itself when there wasn’t points all the time. And because we didn’t get as much points and excitement in the trainings then we had the hunger to go look for that in tournaments producing a positive circle to want to compete more.
We still played our French Games (called “la vaca” there) but not that much.
Can you reflect a little on the advantages and disadvantages of theme weeks?
I think theme weeks are good but maybe I felt that it was making more difference on the players to be consequent in something through the season than focusing a lot in a short period of time.
For example: to improve volley in the players, the volley week helps in the way that gives us the chance to correct technique, and to sometimes makes a change, but what I feel makes a bigger change is to have five minutes every day to hit volley to volley or volleys in whichever way you want to make them train. Same with slice, serve, overheads.
How do you get all the coaches in the club to follow this plan?
I usually work on three courts and have one more coach to help me. After I made the plan and know how many players that come for that day, I inform that other coach about the plan and sometimes I get suggestions and can make it better, sometimes we go with my plan.
How much freedom does each coach have within this planning / themes?
As long as they keep the exercise that we set, then they can set goals or give it the twist they want. But I try to keep a balance, so if we work control on one exercise in the next one we focus on points, or something different.
Are there different plans for different ages / levels of the business?
For sure, with the youngest players we always ask for more simple things and with the oldest players we ask for more.
For example, with the players from 10-12 years of age we ask 1 cross in a certain area then free play. For the players from 12 to 16 then we ask for 4 crosses in a certain area then free play.