Enhancing speed economy, which assure that minimal excess energy is expended (wasted) to perform the athletic movement, is an important factor in improving the athlete’s footwork, speed, agility and quickness (SAQ).
Enhancing Speed Economy
Speed economy gains can be realized with the help of:
- Balance & Stability Training
- Functional Training
- Strength for Performance Training
- Stride Length & Frequency Training (e.g. speed ladder drills)
The following exercises (speed ladder routine) are introductory speed ladder exercise. They have been selected to provide a good base for developing foot speed and coordination in a tennis athlete.
Kinesthetic awareness, which leads to the ability to perform complex movements in a fluid manner with ease, is developed in many SAQ drills.
It can be further challenged with the more complex speed ladder variations.
I should note that many of these drills may be implemented in reverse to add complexity and challenge after the movements are mastered.
When moving backwards maintaining a slight forward lean in the upper body is recommended. It helps maintaining balance and it improves visibility of the squares.