The Relationship Between Tennis Serve Velocity and Select Performance Measures

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine if there was a relationship between tennis serve speed and isometric mid-thigh pull (IMTP) kinetic variables; countermovement jump height (CMJ Height), shoulder internal and external rotation strength and anthropometric measures in elite adolescent tennis players. Twenty-one elite junior tennis players from the Tennis Australia National Academy were recruited for this study (male, n = 12, female, n = 9). Correlations between the performance variables and peak tennis serve speed were calculated using a Pearson’s product-moment correlation coefficient. A significant positive correlation was found between peak serve speed and body height (r = 0.80, p < 0.01), IMTP peak force (r = 0.87, p < 0.01), CMJ Height (r = 0.77, p = < 0.01) and impulse at 300ms (r = 0.71, p = < 0.01). A significant, strong correlation was found between peak serve speed and impulse at 100ms (r = 0.58, p = < 0.01), impulse at 200ms (r = 0.64, p = < 0.01), internal rotation <900 (r = 0.63, p = < 0.01) and external rotation <900 (r = 0.63, p = < 0.01). Due to the significant positive correlations between IMTP variables, CMJ Height and peak serve speed, strength and conditioning coaches with access to a force plate should consider using the isometric mid-thigh pull in order to athletically profile athletes in regards to their strength, power and injury risk.

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