|dc.description.abstract||Fitness allows tennis players to optimise their playing technique,ensuring high level of performance and reduces the risk of
injury. Combined with psychological, tactical and
technical training, physical fitness makes a significant difference
to determine winning a tennis match. The purpose of this study
was to profile competitive Kenyan junior female and male tennis
players and determine differences in their fitness on recognised
tennis related physiological parameters. The fitness
components measured included aerobic capacity (1.5 mile run),
strength (grip strength), power (vertical jump), speed (20-yard
dash), muscular endurance (60-second sit-up), agility (spider
test), flexibility (sit and reach) and body composition (calipers).
A questionnaire was also administered to the players to
determine fitness training habits and attitudes to fitness.
A physical fitness training programme was suggested to the
coaches and players but not enforced by the researchers. A
comparison of3month interval repeat test results for the different
fitness components was made between KLTA junior ranked
male (n=14, age 16.23) and female players (n = 12, age=14.23
yrs) and unranked players male(n = 10, age = 17.10 yrs), female
(n=13.23yrs). The results of the present study showed that the boys and girls'
fitness levels were sub-standard compared to I1F age based
normative standards. This may partly explain the lull in the
performance of Kenya's tennis players given the relative
importance of physical fitness on high-level competitive tennis
play. Questionnaire results showed that most of the players were
spending considerable time doing fitness training each week, did
not have a fitness program to follow and would like a fitness
program written for them.
The study recommends that Kenyan players need to be coached
on how to implement fitness in their daily training regime, be
provided with individualised fitness programs that make more
efficient use of time, minimise the risk of burnout and injury,
and provide maximal fitness gains.||en_US