THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SERVE VELOCITY AND MEASURES OF TENNIS SPECIFIC POWER EXERCISES
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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The purpose of the study was to investigate the relationship between tennis specific power exercises and serve velocity. A group of 17 male tennis players who train at Cardiff Metropolitan University took part in this investigation. The participants were divided into two groups: team and recreational players. The subjects carried out 4 different tennis specific power exercises; 2 overhead medicine ball throws (once as a full service action and once performed with arms only) and 2 countermovement jumps (once with an arm swing and once with hands on hips). Their maximal service velocity was also measured to assess the influence of power upon this action. The results showed that there was a significant difference in serve velocity between team and recreational players, with the team players and recreational players averaging 106.4 (mph) and 88.7 (mph) respectively. The results also demonstrated a negative correlation between the team players serve velocity and both variations of the medicine ball throw exercises performed. No significant correlations were found between the recreational players serve velocity and any of the tennis specific power tests. Although the results contradicted the current literature on the importance of physical capabilities on serve performance it remains evident that power training is an essential element of a tennis players conditioning programme. Further research is required to gain a greater understanding in this area. This is due to the importance of the leg drive within the service action to help generate maximal serve velocity.
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