Five routines to prepare for a tennis match

In tennis, it is difficult to play every match at your best. There are some factors that can limit your maximum potential which should be taken into account:

–       Internal factors: At a physical level (lack of mobility, muscular pain due to a match played the day before…) But also at a mental level (emotional state, thoughts, competition stress, lack of motivation…).

–       External factors: Weather conditions (temperature, wind, sun…), the playing surface, the opponent’s game, the quality of the balls, the personal equipment, the public agitated at the edge of the field.

Although there are several factors that should be taken into account, if you practice good habits, you can get close to your best level. Therefore, it is important to create a routine to avoid these factors from keeping us from playing at our best level. We are going to see through a concrete case, five routines that will help you prepare for a tennis match the best you can. It is not about doing a simple warm-up before a match, there are several techniques to learn and repeat regularly in order to prepare.


Mental training + positive mental conditioning

We often talk about warming up physically, but warming up mentally is just as important. Since it is our brain, the pilot of our body, the one that will help us reproduce a movement, it is of course a main factor in order to perform any sport. Positive mental conditioning will increase your chances of succeeding. Positive thinking gives us great chances to do the right actions, and get the results we want. For that, you just have to repeat positive, motivating words to yourself on a regular basis in order to train your brain positively. The more you repeat positive words to yourself, the more you will convince your brain that you can do it. It is up to each one of you to find the words that motivate you.


Mental visualization

Many athletes are increasingly using this strategy of creative visualization to improve their performances in tournaments. In fact, the more the body and the mind are in harmony, the stronger our physiological and biomechanical skills are. This consists of creating a scenario in your head, in which you can see yourself reaching your goal, winning and shaking hands with your opponent.

All these positive images can help you:

–       Correct a technique

–       Overcome a mental block that cannot be overcome physically

–       Relax

–       Boost your energy

–       Improve your concentration

–       Develop a winning attitude

These first two routines are a great combination to focus on your goal of the day: to do your level best in a competition. Once your brain is warmed up, it is time to gently wake up your body.


Joint mobility exercises

The body is put to the test during a match. It is therefore important to make sure that its mechanics are working properly in order to prepare yourself. A progressive startup will allow the body to find the mobility and the range of motion that will be necessary during a match. It is important to do flexibility exercises before doing an effort to prevent a joint injury that could hinder a movement (serve, forehand). These exercises could be done starting for example with : Head circles (10 to the left, 10 to the right, 10 circles to the left, 10 to the right)… …going down to stretching the ankles.


Breakfast and preparing your bag

Eating good before a match is also a very important part of your routine. Because without fuel, the body will not have enough energy to hold an entire performance. For example, eating a dairy product, oatmeal, a fruit and a hot drink, will be enough to go to the court with a full tank. Be careful, not to eat too much sugar before a match to avoid raising your glycemic index and then quickly running out of energy. Once the batteries have been recharged, prepare your bag carefully by putting all the essential accessories (towel, raquets, overgrips, drinks…. ) in your bag. These are the weapons that you will use, so prepare them wisely. Don’t forget to leave for the tournament in advance, so that you arrive 30 minutes before to be able to warm up gradually and actively.



Warming up before the match

It is up to you to find the right warm up routine for you. One that will gradually increase your heart rate and your body temperature. So that you will arrive at the court, ready to accelerate to 100% from the beginning. Listening to music that you like will help you stay focused. It will also help you relax if you need to, or to boost your energy. Choose the right music according to your emotional or physical state that day. While you are warming up before the match, it is also a good idea to use positive creative visualization to boost yourself up and enter the court ready to fight. The combination of physical warm up + music + visualization is ideal before starting a match. It is the search for perfect harmony of body and mind.

Conclusion: You should learn how to practice good habits in the long term, habits that will allow you to enter the court physically and mentally ready.

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