Preparing for a tennis match can really make or break the type of success a player has. Some people are going to spend a lot of time preparing as much as possible, while others have to learn the hard way that preparation can play such a major role.
Where are the best ways to prepare for a tennis match? When there is a big one looming, use these tips to be ready.
1. Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated throughout a match starts way before a person first gets tired and starts sweating. The key is to start drinking a lot of water early on so that the body is ready to go. Again, just like with food, do not overdo it too much, but some steady drinking throughout the night before and in the morning should be good.
Of course, staying hydrated goes beyond just preparing for a tennis match itself. People need to stay hydrated throughout the match, and drinking fluids during every changeover is a pretty big step. Most people will have no trouble doing this as part of a routine, even if they are not currently in the best habits.
2. Get Enough Sleep
It is extremely important to always get enough sleep when preparing for a tennis match. Going in with a lack of sleep can really affect how a person plays, and that could make the difference in a win or a loss.
It is very easy to feel excited and have trouble sleeping, but a person tries to do whatever possible to make it work. Try setting up a sleeping routine that a person can stick to, and it should work as planned.
3. Prepare The Bag
Having a bag that is prepared and ready to go before hitting the court is always going to help a person relax. There is nothing worse than trying to scramble and put everything together right before walking out.
It can be a very frustrating experience, as people might end up going into a panic, which takes their minds off of the bigger picture. It might not need much preparation, but taking care of it the night before or even well before the match in the morning is a great option.
4. Prepare The Outfit
Preparing the outfit early is one of the most overlooked things to do before a tennis match. Just like preparing the bag, preparing an outfit for the match sooner rather than later will cut down on the overload of choices.
There are so many people out there who get dressed at the last minute, but why scramble when there is no need?
Way too many people get nervous before a big sporting event, and they do not eat as they should. While a person does not want to eat anything too heavy right before they take the court, they also do not want to go out there with an empty stomach.
Make sure that there is at least something in the body, and a person will feel a lot more nourished and ready to go. Looking for something fairly light and easy to consume? A banana could be one option worth exploring. A lot of pros will rely on these before and during a match.
Once a person finds food that they like to eat before a match, it can easily become a good luck charm. Every person has a slightly different body that reacts differently, so do not think that there is a significant limit on what to consume. You can read more about what tennis players eat before matches in this post.
Most people are going to stretch adequately before they start a tennis match. Before doing a lot of stretching, make sure to get the body going and even break a little bit of a sweat. This is going to loosen up the muscles so that they are going to respond to the stretching just a little bit better.
Stretching after a match is also crucial, and it is one of the best ways to start preparing for the following match. Players can allow their muscles to recover much faster when stretching routinely, which allows people to feel confident in how their body bounces back.
When people are playing in a tournament, they are often playing on back-to-back days, and sometimes in the middle of playing several days in a row.
7. Think Positively
The mental aspect of tennis is a very tough one for certain people to get down. It is very easy for players to get frustrated and not be pleased with how they are performing. To combat this, try to start thinking positively before a tennis match and focus on the good instead of the bad.
One way to think positively is to focus on the strengths instead of weaknesses. There are way too many people who get down on themselves, but positive thinking will remove a lot of doubt that that person might have.
8. Clear The Mind
Another mental tip is to try to clear the mind as much as possible before going into a match. This ties into thinking positively in some ways, as players should remove any negative thoughts. Maybe a person does not have the best practice the day before a match, but thinking about that will only make things worse.
Try to clear the mind the night before to help as much as possible. The day of the match, a person should also focus on clearing the mind and go into a match with a lot of positivity overall.
The final mental part of preparing for a match is to visualize as much as possible. Think about hitting great shots, executing a game plan, and more. Many people do not visualize positive results with tennis, and it can negatively impact how they play.
Visualization does not seem like it would work for every type of person out there, but it actually does a great job overall. People always feel confident that they are seeing things the way they should go.
10. Slow Down
Tennis is very easy for a person to get sped up and out of the comfort zone. One of the best ways to focus on a new match is to slow things down as much as possible and take a deep breath.
It is very easy for people to get anxious, which will not help any player’s game. It is better to slow things down and approach a match the way it should be. Once a game slows down, people can execute a game plan much better.
The focus is on hitting clean shots and not letting the opponent dictate the match. The more a player dictates how the match is going, the better off they will be.
Most tennis players are going to have a couple of warm-ups on the day of a match. There is that initial hit around during the first part of the day, and that is where people can really start to focus on what they need to do to get ready for that day’s match.
This warm-up is usually done with either a friend or a coach. This is where players can cover game planning and exclusion, and other tips might be beneficial. This is more about focusing on individual play, rather than only looking at the opponent.
There might be some scouting here and there, but it is best for players to focus on what they do best instead.
12. Take Notes During On-Court Warm Up
On-court warm-ups for tennis are always awkward, as players focus on themselves and pick up any cues from their opponents. In certain scenarios, players might pick up some tendencies just during the warm-up that could lead to some success in the mass.
Pay attention to how players hit their forehands and backhands, and whether they are strong at the net or not. It is also a good time to read their serves and figure out how they handle everything.
13. Have Recovery Squared Away
The recovery process after a tennis match is essential to staying healthy and having the body ready to go for additional matches in the upcoming days. Instead of worrying about the recovery process after a match, try to take care of it before setting everything up.
Think about food, exercises, and more during the recovery process. Having everything packed and ready to go will mean one less thing to worry about when the body is trying to bounce back.
14. Trust The Process
This might be an all-encompassing way to prepare for a tennis match, but trust the process once the steps are handled properly. There are so many people out there who try to bounce around and do different things to prepare for a tennis match. Once a person finds something that actually works them, they should stick with it and go from there.
Building up a routine makes a huge difference, and allows people to be more efficient with their time overall. A lot goes into preparing for a tennis match, and bouncing around from routine to routine can build up anxiety.
Those people who play tennis on a professional level have been sticking to the same routine for several years now, and they have been able to have some level of success doing just that.