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Raúl Reina, Francisco J. Moreno, and David Sanz

The purpose of this study was to determine visual behavior and motor responses between experienced and novice wheelchair tennis players relative to the return in tennis. Novice (n = 7) and Experienced (n = 5) wheelchair tennis players took part in the study. Two series of serves performed to the forehand and the backhand sides were examined in both groups. One series was performed in a video-based setting (two dimensional) and the other one on court (three dimensional). Experienced participants focused initially on the head/shoulders and the free-arm, while novice players focused on the expected ball toss area or followed the ball from the toss to the apex. Results suggest that the experienced players obtain useful information from racket-arm cues during the stroke phase. They also performed faster motor responses as well.

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Jaime Fernandez-Fernandez, David Sanz, Jose Manuel Sarabia, and Manuel Moya

Purpose:

To compare the effects of combining high-intensity training (HIT) and sport-specific drill training (MT) versus sportspecific drill training alone (DT) on fitness performance characteristics in young tennis players.

Methods:

Twenty young tennis players (14.8 ± 0.1 y) were assigned to either DT (n = 10) or MT (n = 10) for 8 wk. Tennis drills consisted of two 16- to 22-min on-court exercise sessions separated by 3 min of passive rest, while MT consisted of 1 sport-specific DT session and 1 HIT session, using 16–22 min of runs at intensities (90–95%) related to the velocity obtained in the 30–15 Intermittent Fitness Test (VIFT) separated by 3 min of passive rest. Pre- and posttests included peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak), VIFT, speed (20 m, with 5- and 10-m splits), 505 Agility Test, and countermovement jump (CMJ).

Results:

There were significant improvements after the training period in VO2peak (DT 2.4%, ES = moderate; MT 4.2%, ES = large) and VIFT (DT 2.2%, ES = small; MT 6.3%, ES = large) for both DT and MT, with no differences between training protocols. Results also showed a large increase in the 505 Agility Test after MT, while no changes were reported in the other tests (sprint and CMJ), either for MT or DT.

Conclusions:

Even though both training programs resulted in significant improvements in aerobic performance, a mixed program combining tennis drills and runs based on the VIFT led to greater gains and should be considered the preferred training method for improving aerobic power in young athletes.

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Cesar Gallo-Salazar, Juan Del Coso, David Sanz-Rivas, and Jaime Fernandez-Fernandez

Purpose: To determine whether the game activity and physiological responses of young tennis players differed depending on the session of play (eg, morning [MOR] vs afternoon [AFT]) and the final match outcome (eg, winners vs losers) during a simulated competition with 2 matches on the same day. Methods: A total of 12 well-trained male tennis players (age 14.5 [0.8] y) took part in a simulated competition of two 3-set matches separated by 3 h. All the matches were video recorded, and the participants were monitored using 10-Hz global positioning system units including a heart-rate monitor. Effect-size (ES) statistics were used to investigate the magnitudes of the differences. Results: During the AFT matches, in absolute terms, players covered longer total distance (ES = moderate) and ran more distance between 0 and ≤4 m·s−1 (ES = small to large) than in MOR matches. Total duration was also longer (ES = large) in the AFT, where the rest time between rallies was also longer (ES = very large). Heart rate was similar during AFT and MOR matches, but higher rates of perceived exertion (ES = moderate) were reported in the AFT. Only peak running velocity was observed to be likely higher for losers than for winners (ES = small). Conclusions: Game activity and physiological responses of young tennis players differ when 2 consecutive matches are played on the same day. These data might help elucidate the need for specific precompetition training loads and/or between-matches/sessions recovery strategies when facing overloaded competitions.

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Jaime Fernandez-Fernandez, Eduardo Sáez De Villarreal, David Sanz-Rivas, and Manuel Moya

Objectives:

The aim of this study was to analyze the effects of an 8-week (conducted biweekly for a total of 16 sessions) plyometric training program (PT) (e.g., upper- and lower-body exercises) combined with regular tennis training on physical qualities in young tennis players.

Design:

Sixty tennis players between the ages of 12 and 13 years (age 12.5 ± 0.3 years, weight 44.2 ± 7.0 kg, height 156.6 ± 7.1 cm) were allocated to either the control group (standard in-season regimen) (CG; n = 30) or the experimental group, which received an additional PT (TG; n = 30) for 30–60 min as a substitute for some tennis training within the usual 90-min practice.

Methods:

Pre- and posttests included: anthropometric measures; vertical countermovement jump (CMJ); standing long jump (SLJ); 20 m sprint time (with 5 and 10 m splits); a modified 505 agility test; overhead medicine ball throw; and serve velocity test.

Results:

After the training intervention, the TG showed significant (p < .01) improvements in all the parameters analyzed, with percentages of change and effect sizes ranging from 3.1% to 10.1% and 0.4 (small) to 1.3 (moderate), respectively. No significant changes were observed in the CG after the training intervention.

Conclusions:

PT was shown as an important stimulus for enhancing explosive actions in young tennis players.