Jez Green from NTC, Roehampton... PDF Print E-mail

I am writing this blog from the new LTA National Tennis Centre (NTC) at Roehampton which is truly an amazing facility. In fact, one particularly savvy media employee described it saying: “If Carlsberg did tennis centres, they would probably be the best in the world.” This is a pretty good assessment of this centre.

Anna and I were invited to stay here for 10 days and use all the facilities for a block of physical training before the grass court matches start in earnest and I have not been in many better places in all my years of training. We were welcomed very warmly and made to feel very at home while we worked and nothing was ever too much and whatever we needed was provided with no delay. This included access to a world class gym, courts, physiotherapy support, very comfortable lodging with wireless and food carefully prepared by a Michelin starred chef. All for the players and staff. No expense has been spared to make this an absolutely state of the art facility.

There are truly no excuses now for any of the players lucky enough to be able to use the NTC and tap into the knowledge of the high class people that are wandering around the place. From Federer’s ex-coach, Pete Lundgren to Sampras’ and Henman’s coach Paul Annacone and Andy Murray’s current coach Brad Gilbert, these types of people are easily accessible for information and only to willing to give it…(especially Brad, who has the capability of talking the hind legs of a donkey!). There are also guest appearances by some of the world’s top players. Last week Andy Roddick, Robby Ginepri and our new player Wes Moodie were all in the place practicing.

And bizarrely, if you come in around midnight you may even catch sight of Andy Murray doing late night fitness in the gym!

Anna and I raised a few eyebrows as we were the only ones doing purely fitness work two weeks away from a tournament but this was necessary as Anna has moved into an extremely important block of explosive training and this demands high levels of energy and incredibly disciplined technique that takes quite a while to master.

The types of exercises she is doing now are maximal Olympic lifts, sprints performed while wearing a weight jacket and doing specific movements up an extremely steep short hill. This work is all performed at 100% maximum effort so is therefore very advanced and very stressful for the body. Understandably, Anna and I have been very grateful for the rehabilitation facilities on site, even if Anna is not a huge fan of the freezing cold plunge pool!

We have left the NTC now as the matches have started and there is no reason to stay here apart from playing practice matches but both Anna and I are extremely grateful for our time here.

Hopefully this new explosiveness will be seen on the grass courts of England this summer!



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