In his first monthly column in 2019 tennis coach Marcin Bieniek talks about the importance of recovery and ways of taking care of your body to ensure that you stay healthy so that you can play tennis for the many years to come.
When we train hard, we have fun, we improve physical abilities and we get stronger mentally. On the other hand, many hours of physical activities put a lot of stress on the body, so players are prone to injuries. Moreover, it is impossible to train and play in the same manner at the age of 16 and when we are over 40 years old. That is why it is important to take care of your body by performing specific recovery techniques that will allow you to play tennis for many more years.
Below you can find areas that you should focus on to stay healthy and be able to play tennis for decades.
Implement off-court physical training
If you don’t already have physical training in your weekly schedule, it is time to include it. To be able to constantly train hard and develop skills, you have to make sure that you can push your body to the limits. You can achieve it only by doing some off-court sessions focused on physical factors like endurance, speed and strength. You will quickly notice how much your tennis (and your body) improve when you do more than just on-court activities.
Use foam roller consistently
Your muscles work tremendously to get your game to the highest level, so you should give something back to your body. Massage is really helpful, but it can be costly, so I recommend investing in a foam roller. Spend 10-20 minutes a day with a foam roller and you will see great benefits of faster recovery (here are the Top 5 foam roller exercises you can do). Now you can have massage anytime you want. Again, injuries happen mostly because of lack of proper recovery. It is in your hands how much time you spend to help your body.
Never play hungry
You need energy to play your best tennis and to stay injury free. When you have enough fuel in your body, you can make right decisions, perform exercises with higher intensity and maintain sharp focus for a long time. Additionally, your body will be prepared for demands of practice sessions, so you don’t have to worry about pain and injuries. Remember to eat a proper meal before activity and take some banana/energy gel with you to constantly maintain a high level of energy.
Get professional service
From time to time everyone deserves something extra. After a hard week or an intense tournament, make sure you recover by signing up for a personal massage, going to Jacuzzi or having cryotherapy to get back in the proper state. It is all about your well-being – money spent on recovery is money spent really well.
Lose unnecessary weight
Athletes should be examples of athleticism and healthy lifestyle, but it isn’t always the case. Some tennis players eat poorly and carry unnecessary weight. This extra load is not only unhealthy, but it also damages your tennis. When you run on the court with a few more kilos, you get tired faster and your body has to deal with more load. It simply means that you can’t play up to your potential and you risk chronic injuries. Take care of your diet and be the walking example of a professional tennis player.
Let’s make 2019 your year. Focus on these small areas related to recovery and you will see that dramatic improvements are not that hard to achieve.
Marcin Bieniek is a professional tennis coach, currently working with a Top 60 ITF player, and founder of instructional website TennisIsland.us. Marcin is the author of Enjoy Tennis Blog and a frequent contributor to TennisPro and TenisKlub magazines. Moreover, Marcin was a speaker at International Coaching Tennis Symposium 2016 at Hilton Head Island, USA.
MORE ARTICLES BY TENNIS COACH MARCIN BIENIEK:
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- Does one need private tennis lessons?
- How to maximize quality of tennis training sessions
- Post-practice routine for best tennis results
- How to play tennis in the summer heat without getting exhausted
- 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