Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2023) 22, 133 - 141   DOI:

Research article
From The Ground Up: Expert Perceptions of Lower Limb Activity Monitoring in Tennis
Matthew Lester1,2, Peter Peeling1,3, Olivier Girard1, , Alistair Murphy2, Cameron Armstrong1,2, Machar Reid1,2
Author Information
1 School of Human Sciences (Exercise and Sport Science), The University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
2 Tennis Australia, Melbourne, Australia
3 Western Australian Institute of Sport, Perth, Australia

Olivier Girard
✉ School of Human Sciences (Exercise and Sport Science), The University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
Publish Date
Received: 02-09-2022
Accepted: 15-02-2023
Published (online): 01-03-2023
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Understanding on-court movement in tennis allows for enhanced preparation strategies to improve player readiness and performance. Here, we explore expert physical preparation coaches’ perceptions of elite training strategies for preparation and performance in tennis, with special reference to lower limb activity. Thirteen world renowned tennis strength and conditioning coaches were interviewed in a semi-structured method that explored four key topic areas of physical preparation for tennis: i) the physical demands; ii) load monitoring practice; iii) the direction of ground reaction forces application during match-play; and iv) the application of strength and conditioning for tennis. Three higher-order themes emerged from these discussions: i) off-court training for tennis should be specific to the demands of the sport, ii) the mechanical understanding of tennis lags our physiological approach, and iii) our understanding of the lower limb’s contribution to tennis performance is limited. These findings provide valuable insights into the importance of improving our knowledge relevant to the mechanical demands of tennis movement, whilst highlighting important practical considerations from leading tennis conditioning experts.

Key words: Racket sports, movement analysis, on-court movement, physical preparation

           Key Points
  • Strength and conditioning programs for tennis should be specific to the nuanced demands of the game, with close attention paid to the direction of movement, magnitude of the forces involved, and mechanical characteristics of match-play.
  • A player’s developmental stage, as well as their individual game and movement style, need to be considered when designing physical training programs.
  • The typical direction of force application in tennis is poorly understood; however, coaches believe this information can become an important framework for designing physical training programs.
  • At the elite level, there is still reluctance to rely on GPS data to infer information about lower limb activity; therefore, new technology (i.e., camera-based systems, inertial measurement units, and/or wearable insoles) might be considered as promising tools to further our understanding of lower limb activity.
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