Is the Pro Tennis Season Too Long?

There will always be a debate to the length of the tennis season. The game itself has changed in almost every way that you can think of.

Here are some personal insights that help break down how the game has changed and provide a historical view that might help you decide. The second part of this topic will be addressed next month. In the meantime, go to twitter @nickbollettieri and share your thoughts.

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Physical fitness

Back in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, success came to those who could keep the ball in play the longest. Players would have two sessions each, some only had one. They would rally, play points, and then move on to a few sets. Physical and mental training? What was that?

A major change has taken place over the years in the process of physical fitness. Today, many of the pros divide their practice sessions into four parts:

  1. On court
  2. Physical conditioning
  3. Mental conditioning
  4. Nutrition

The physical part is a well planned program designed for their individual needs. The player can make specific adjustments to their strength, flexibility, power, movement etc.

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The mental portion is also designed to their needs. They can work on emotions on court, confidence, preventing breakdowns, and how to play the big points, etc.

Equipment

The majority of racquets were basically the same until the late 70s when Howard Head came out with a weird oversized version. The Prince Green racquet gave you much more hitting surface, but looked like cross-country ski shoes. The strings were natural gut and later on synthetic with basically the same stringing pattern.

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Equipment has undergone extreme changes and is almost unrecognizable from the gear players used several decades ago.  Tennis started with small, wooden racquets strung with nylon. Tensions were basically the same as was the stringing patterns.

Back then, string was put on either by hand or with a very simple stringing machine. Now, the modern machine is accurate to exactly the tension needed by the player. During tournaments, players will have different racquets at different tensions to account for changes in the weather.

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