Sports & Gaming

Training Like a Pro

Serena Williams

Lesson time 14:50 min

The average women’s professional tennis match lasts two hours, but Serena trains to play all-out for four. Here she reveals her tips for staying in top shape, her pro drills, and how to keep it fun while putting in the hard work.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Conditioning • Motivation • Arm Strength • Get into a Rhythm • Don’t Miss Drill • Stretching • Diet and Nutrition


When I was a kid I trained really, really, really hard. And I think that's so important for kids out there that want to grow up and be the best. Ask any professional player. You train really hard. You train for hours. I remember in the summer, we would train from, I think it was from like 9:00 to 11:00 and then 1:00 to 6:00. And then on Saturdays, we would train from 9:00 to 12:00. And then we would have Sundays off. So we trained a lot. We practiced hours and hours and hours. And obviously when you get older, you don't practice as much, but you're building a really strong foundation when you're younger so you can have a solid foundation that doesn't shake when you get old. [MUSIC PLAYING] In the beginning of the season, I train very hard. I almost break my body down. That way, when I start, I'm ready for anything and I'm ready for it to last for about eight to nine months in the season. Somewhere in the middle of the season, I have another intense training session. I don't train as intense as I do in pre-season, so that's before January, usually around December. I don't train as intense of that in the mid-season, maybe halfway like that, just to have enough energy to finish the year. [MUSIC PLAYING] When I am conditioning, I try to achieve a goal of being able to last on the court for four hours or more. I've never in my life played a match for four hours or more. And I figure if I can last that long in a match, then I'll be able to last any time, period. So that is always my goal. What I do now to condition myself is, I do lots of running. I do lots of biking. I do lots of work on the tennis court, actually. I play for a few hours on the court, and that really helps get your body conditioned for tennis. I also started dancing, because after running for 20 minutes or 30 minutes, I just get bored. And with dancing, you still are able to condition itself, but you can have a lot of fun while doing it. Growing up, my dad did put me in a sand pit. And he told myself that that would help my legs to grow strength and to be stronger. And I think working out in sand or if you run on the beach, it is very, very difficult. I have to say, I hated that, I don't do that. There's only so far I can stretch my body. [MUSIC PLAYING] There are many punishment and rewards that you can do to try to improve. One thing I did as a punishment when I was younger, if I lost a match, I would get a tape of the match and I would watch it. And it was like reliving the loss again. But in a way, it was always like learning what I did wrong and watching and knowing all the mistakes I made and why I lost the match. And that'll make you play better, because for me, it's nothing worse than reliving that lost moment. And a reward can be, if you do well, then you can have a couple of days off. You can go on a vacation. You can have fun. ...

About the Instructor

Serena Williams, the world's #1 ranked women's tennis player and winner of 23 Grand Slam singles titles, teaches you tennis and reveals the secrets of her game. This is as close as you can get to a private lesson with one of the world's greatest tennis players.

Featured MasterClass Instructor

Serena Williams

Step up your game with two hours of the techniques, drills, and mental skills that made Serena the best in the world.

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