There is no doubt about it, movement on a clay court is different to other surfaces and becoming competent and confident on the dirt is hugely important. Building balance, strength/stability in the ankle, strength/range in the hips and good core strength are vital to maintain an effective body position on the clay.
Below are a couple of videos to demonstrate how we can use the gym to build some strength in specific movements, and then look to transition that to the court. The sliding motion can be very advantageous if carried out effectively but does use muscles in a different way.
Using the slideboard for some controlled forward ‘lunges’ helps to train the muscles effectively.
We can then take this strength onto the court and carry out a sliding pattern in the same direction.
Clearly this is just one combination of exercises and there are many more variations that can be used to build up some specific gym strength and transition it onto the clay court, because if it doesn’t translate onto the court, is it actually effective training…?!?