This is a guest post by professional tennis coach Marcin Bieniek, giving us tips on how to constructively use our days off if we like to stay active throughout the year and at the same time encouraging us to completely shut off on vacation as that can also turn out to be fruitful for our tennis improvement.
There is nothing more rewarding than great vacation with family or friends. We work hard every day, give our best, chase own dreams and spend life in a really quick pace, so it is important to slow down from time to time, let our bodies recover and get additional boost of motivation.
Being on the court almost every day is not an easy job, so you need one or two weeks off to keep your spirit up and love what you do on a daily basis. As a player, you try to improve every minute you are training, you spend money on a good coach, pay court fee/membership, and sacrifice time with family to follow your passion. As a coach, you are responsible for development of many players, so this is not only tough physical work, but it also puts a lot of stress on your mental side. Overall, good vacation is necessary to let your body rest, rethink some aspects of your life and to remember that there are other important things that you should also do.
Many players think that development happens only on the court and that is the biggest mistake that keeps them at the slowest improvement rate. Development can happen anywhere: in your room, on the beach, on the plane. If you are aware of your possibilities to get better, you will see that practice on the court will be just the last step to your big improvement.
If you can’t forget about tennis, here is what I suggest you to do during vacation.
1. RETHINK YOUR GAME
Busy life doesn’t give too many chances to slowly rethink what you do. You have your daily schedule and you follow it automatically from morning to evening. Vacation slows you down and it can be the best thing that can happen to your tennis. While being on the beach or watching old monuments, you can take a few moments to think about your game. What are you doing well? What could you do better? What mistakes did you do recently? How can you get closer to your dreams? Answer these questions and your practice sessions will have much more quality when you come back.
2. READ BOOKS
Not too many players appreciate the power of tennis books. There is plenty of information that is waiting for anyone interested and only a small percentage of athletes reach for it. Top coaches in the world share their stories and knowledge in the form of books, so there is no better way to experience high-quality coaching for $20-$30. The more you know, the better your game can be. If you understand the reasons why you should play with confidence and why it is recommended to attack second serve, it will be much easier to work on these aspects during training sessions.
I really recommend Brad Gilbert’s book “Winning Ugly”. It is your first step in understanding why tennis is a mental game and how you can get advantage over your opponent.
3. TAKE AN ONLINE COURSE
More and more people take part in courses, so why wouldn’t tennis players and coaches take them too? Online tennis courses are convenient because you can learn from any device and from any spot in the world. There are many topics that you can choose, so only your lack of motivation can be a limiting factor. If you need to “do something” for your tennis during vacation, an online tennis course is a great choice to take your game to the next level.
Preparation for the match is most important. Your performance depends on your preparation, so the course I recommend is “Professional match preparation”.
Vacation doesn’t mean stagnation. Some people want to completely rest during this time, but others can’t forget about tennis. I understand both mentalities. If you are the latter, this article shows you ways to let your body rest while your mind is working. Have a great and productive vacation!
MORE FROM MARCIN BIENIEK:
- How to translate your tennis practice into match wins
- How to build team spirit in tennis
- How to become a master of claycourt tennis
- How to make your serve more effective
- How to choose the best tennis racquet to fit your level, playing style and body type
- How to handle playing tennis in sunny conditions and even take it to your advantage
- 5 portable fitness tools for serious tennis players
- Best foam roller exercises for tennis players