This is a guest post by tennis coach Marcin Bieniek, our regular contributor. This month’s column gives tips on how to play your best tennis despite scorching summer heat, focusing on physical preparation, nutrition, game style, and hydration/cooling.
Summer season is on and everyone is playing on outdoor courts. Now it is a great time to get a nice tan and play tennis with friends or compete with rivals during competition. Would you like to have fun on the court and play at your highest possible level? If yes, then you have to make effort to achieve these tasks and survive high temperatures.
It is not surprising to see players having problems with movement, breathing and with producing good-quality shots after 45 minutes of playing during summer season. The weather is quite demanding, plus, people tend to do more physical activities apart from tennis, so their bodies have more load to bear every day. Only conscious actions can guarantee that players will be able to get on the court and play full practice/match with high quality from the first to the last shot. Top players always show how important it is to prepare for long battles, so we should learn from them, incorporating additional steps into our weekly schedules to make sure that our tennis can grow and flourish even when it is over 30°C/86°F degrees outside.
Modern tennis is a complex game and taking care of different aspects is crucial for being able to show your skills on the court every time you want. If you are a player who lacks energy after a few games of an important match, it is a signal that you have to make some changes in your approach. Start today and make sure that you will never let lack of power have negative influence on your game.
Tennis is a great physical activity, but to constantly improve your game and compete against good opponents, you have to implement additional specific fitness routines. Strengthening your body, working on speed and agility, and taking your stamina to a high level are factors that all serious tennis players should consider while planning weekly training. You can’t show your skills if your body doesn’t allow you to do so. Take care of your body and your body will take care of your tennis. Rope jumping is an outstanding, yet simple workout and this Nike Fundamental Weighted Rope has extra weight in handles to take your cardio and upper body workouts to the next level.
Nutrition is responsible for our energy level. If we mostly consume unhealthy foods, then we can’t expect that we will be able to play well for more than several gems. Only conscious, healthy eating will guarantee high energy level before the match, as well as quicker recovery after the match. I know that it is easier to grab a snack than to prepare a healthy sandwich, but look at this as a long-term plan that will make you a better player and a healthier human being.
Moreover, during practice/match, you need access to quick boosts of energy. The best sources are bananas, isotonic drinks and energetic gels, so all players at all levels should always have these products in their tennis bags to make sure that they won’t be beaten by their own body.
We are all individuals, so we play using different tactical weapons. Some players love to hit hard and shorten points, while others base their games on consistency and placement. It all depends on your skills, but also on your habits created in the past. I know many players who struggle on the court and get really tired because they use wrong strategy. If your physical preparation is not where it should be, you can’t be the guy who strives for a 20-shot rally. It is crucial to be aware of your strengths and weaknesses in order to allow your game to grow and allow you to win more matches.
Hydration and cooling
Proper hydration and cooling with ice towel are two simple actions that guarantee you won’t underperform because of dehydration and extreme hotness. Remember that it is always better to have more water than enough, because you can’t be sure how your body will respond on a given day. Also, if you plan to use ice towel during a match/training, remember to bring two towels: one for cooling and one for drying hands and face.
All year long we play tennis, but this sport is all about preparation and hotter months have to be approached differently than colder ones. There are many factors that have influence on our games, so only by being aware of them and adjusting own preparation are we able to achieve great results, both during winter and summer seasons.
MORE ARTICLES BY TENNIS COACH MARCIN BIENIEK:
- The reasons you absolutely have to play tennis on all surfaces
- 3 simple products parents miss to buy to help their kids excel in tennis
- How to improve reaction skills in offensive, fast-paced tennis
- How to control anger and frustration to win a tennis match
- Tennis tips: 3 areas that cost you too many points
- How to practice serve the right way
- Coaching tips: How to avoid mistakes in tennis
- Things to (not) do on vacation to improve your tennis game
- 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