HarTru

Developing

Champions

The game of tennis has changed. Today’s champions need a core set of skills that are best developed and honed on clay courts.Read More...Read Less...

In the 1980s the game of tennis became extremely fast. Racquet technology, new training regimens, and fast, hard courts placed a premium on first strike tennis and hitting everything as hard as possible. But the game has changed. Courts are slower (even the grass!) and string technology is giving players access to greater topspin and control than ever before.

First strike tennis no longer works. To be a champion in tennis today players must be able to create and adapt, to attack and defend, to lose an agonizingly long point and still be ready for the next one. These attributes are best learned on clay. 

10 Reasons To Train on Clay
  • 1

    Long points mean more decisions must be made per point resulting in improved decision making.

  • 2

    Long points require more mental endurance, resulting in greater mental toughness.

  • 3

    More shots come back on clay and players learn to be patient.

  • 4

    Adjusting to losing a point because of a bad bounce or loss of footing helps players mature emotionally.

  • 5

    Conditions on clay can be fast or slow depending on the day. Players learn to recognize this and adapt.

  • 6

    Longer points and longer matches help players develop their strength, fitness, and endurance.

  • 7

    It is extremely difficult to end a point and to do so a player must learn a wide variety of shots, spins, and angles.

  • 8

    The slippery footing teaches players to slide while maintaining balance and control.

  • 9

    Occasional bad bounces make players’ strokes more adaptable.

  • 10

    The softer, sliding nature of clay protects the body from injury.

Clay Court Training Tips

Training tips to help you release your inner champion

Allow at least 50% of your tennis training to occur on clay. If you are a high school or college player it is essential to utilize your off season to practice and play matches on clay. It is easier to go from clay courts to hard courts than the other way around and practicing on clay will help you substantially improve your hard court game.

Use clay-court practice to refine your strokes and augment your game. Focus on topspin, accuracy, and consistency. If you are a doubles specialist, clay-court play will teach you to be ready for everything to come back, challenge you to volley with greater precision, and make you more aware of the best shot locations to keep your team in control of the point.

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