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Conditioning the mind and body for clay with Cam Norrie and Vasek Jursík

In the latest episode of the Hytro Performance Podcast, we delve into the dynamic world of British number one tennis player Cam Norrie and his performance coach, Vasek Jursík. From their unique meeting to their integration of cutting-edge training methods like Blood Flow Restriction, we uncover the secrets behind their success as they gear up for the clay court season ahead.

Hytro Performance Podcast text with Cam Norrie celebrating win

As we sat down with Cam and Vasek, they were in the midst of preparations for the Monte Carlo Masters, Cam reflects on their reunion after a month apart, jokingly citing Vasek’s absence from their caffeine-fuelled routines. Vasek, with his background in rugby and a passion for high-performance sports, shares how their journey began when they crossed paths at a tournament in 2018. Their camaraderie is palpable as they reminisce about their initial meeting over breakfast, developing into a partnership thanks to Vasek’s willingness to adapt to the demands of tennis and travel extensively, setting the stage for a fruitful collaboration. 


One aspect that defines their approach is their shared philosophy of relentless dedication and hard work. Cam described the team’s ethos: “I think our whole team, including my coaches, Fakou and Julian, we all have the same philosophy of always doing everything we can and doing that extra fitness, that extra set. We all share the same philosophy of working hard and having that mindset.” 


Rich Frost (Hytro CMO) who interviewed the pair shared that at Hytro, Cam is known as a ‘Gladiator of tennis’ because of his indomitable will to give everything to every fight; “Other players that face Cam know that they are not going to get an easy game, they will have to outwork one of the hardest working players out there!”. 


Cam emphasizes the importance of quality over quantity, especially in a sport as mentally and physically demanding as tennis. “I think as I’ve got older, especially the last couple of years, we have to adapt. We’re bringing more quality than quantity. The calendar is so long so you want to make sure you’re peaking for the biggest tournaments” Cam explained. 


This is mindset is key to the partnership between Cam, Vasek and the brand, in that we are all striving to push what’s possible in human performance not by cutting corners but by maximising every single opportunity to get better.  BFR is a fantastic tool that can let you achieve physical adaptions quicker than normal training alone, also saving time in the PWO recovery process.  But Cam and Vasek have implemented BFR not to cut corners but to get the maximum amount of output from all their time together and every rep. 


Cam Norrie wearing Hytro BFR Performance Shorts whilst performing split squat


Their meticulous planning extends to recovery strategies, with Performance BFR emerging as a game-changer in Cam’s training, particularly in managing knee issues. Vasek shared, “We started using it last year during the grass season in the UK. We had already used BFR before, but the Hytro technology was pretty simple and very, very easy to use. We started using it for body preparation before training and then for recovery. We found it to be very good, Cam’s knees were getting better. So we started using it more and more, seeking different approaches to how we could use it.” 


Diving deeper into their training routine, it’s evident that balance is key. Amidst rigorous on-court practice sessions, they incorporate elements of strength and conditioning tailored to the demands of the clay court season. Cam commented on their focus as they prepare for a change in surface, “This block, we really wanted to focus on playing a lot of tennis, getting used to the clay again and the movements. I think when I’m feeling good with the movements on the clay, it can be my best surface.” 


Vasek’s emphasis on rest and recovery challenges Cam’s perpetual drive, underscoring the delicate balance between pushing limits and respecting the body’s needs. Reflecting on this Cam shared more on their work ethic: “With our philosophy, we never feel like we need the motivation. We’re always keen to do everything, and I think it’s more the other side, knowing when to pull back.” 


Vasek added “We try to teach him that rest is important, before he wanted just to hit the ball, be in the gym, and run. Which is OK when you’re pretty young, you can do all these things. But right now, Cam has to know when he needs to rest.” 


Taking a more strategic approach to training has been a clear focus, incorporating innovative techniques like BFR has enabled Cam to maximise the time he spends training. Cam commented on his use of the modality: “I think I’ve probably used Hytro more than any other human being in the last 10 months. We’re using it every day before I’m training to get the knee ready and activate the tendons.” Now that BFR is an integral part of their programme they are exploring new ways to embed it alongside preparation and recovery. 


Cam Norrie wearing Hytro BFR Performance Shorts in Cryobain


Not only has it been beneficial for the team at Hytro to continue to develop tennis product and protocols with coaches and athlete teams at the top of their sport, Vasek’s roots in rugby also support ongoing discussions around the wider implications and efficacy of BFR going in to more impact style sports, leading to more specific explorations of BFR application to really deliver value for the Hytro community. 


Hytro BFR wearables have been widely adopted in pro sport to enhance recovery, and Cam is testament to the benefits Recovery BFR can offer. Showcasing its usefulness for when post-match recovery options may be limited, travel is extensive and turn-arounds, during competition and in the time-pressured training blocks in between, need to be optimised. “It’s very easy to use Hytro for recovery. We’re doing passive recovery where you strap in on the couch and then we’re using it on the bike as well. It’s just very easy, very simple and quick. You do it by yourself. So for me, that’s our number one recovery at the moment.” 


Their pre-match rituals offer a glimpse into the rituals and routines that anchor their mindset before stepping onto the court. From breathing exercises to shower preferences, each ritual serves as a touchstone of familiarity in the midst of competition. 


What truly sets their partnership apart is Vasek’s unwavering commitment to Cam’s success. For Vasek, witnessing Cam’s triumphs on the court, such as their memorable run at Wimbledon, is the ultimate reward for his dedication to excellence. Vasek reflected, “I think my best memory is from Wimbledon when Cam finished in the semis, when he was playing five sets against Goffin and just overplayed him at the end physically. For me, it was just one of the best moments in my career so far.”  Their shared vision and relentless drive for improvement pushes them onwards, with each milestone marking a testament to their collective effort. Vasek added, “Every day I am thinking how can I improve? How can I help Cam be better?” 


As they look ahead to the upcoming clay court season and beyond, their approach remains rooted in adaptability and perseverance. With an eye on the Olympics and other prestigious tournaments, they navigate the uncertainties of the tour with unwavering determination to always be working at that peak level. “I am always trying to make it as physical as I can and make the other guy work as hard as I can, keeping that constant pressure” stated Cam. 


Cam Norrie wearing Hytro BFR Performance Shorts whilst performing split squat with Vasek coaching him


Heading into upcoming season, Cam is looking forward to the prestigious Roland Garros tournament: “I feel like I always bring a pretty good base level when I play in the Roland-Garros; it’s a pretty cool opportunity. If I do make the team in the Olympics, we’ll be playing again in the Roland-Garros venue which could be very special.” 


In an era where sports documentaries open the previously closed doors that kept the human side of athletes hidden, Cam and Vasek embody the resilience and dedication that define champions. Their story serves as a testament to the power of successful partnerships and the consistent hard work evident within the whole team. It’s clear that the journey of Cam and Vasek is far from over with each serve, and each win, they continue to leave an indelible mark on the world of tennis. As they set their sights on the clay courts of Monte Carlo and beyond, it will no doubt be an exciting season and not-to-be-missed spectacle for any tennis lover. 


Listen to the full podcast on Spotify or YouTube or read more about Vasek’s journey into tennis and coaching expertise. Get your Hytro BFR Performance Shorts now.

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