1. How to warm up without a tennis court
Often junior tennis players arrive at a tournament and there are no practice courts to warm up on. Even if you have been able to get on court at another venue the player will still need to do another physical warm up before they go on the court. The aim of a warm up is to physically and mentally prepare for the match, and a proper warm-up is a key to maximizing performance and minimizing the risk of injury on the court.
The ideas are endless, but here are a few options;
- Shadow Swings
- Movement Patterns (tennis specific)
- Reflex Volleys
- Agility Ladders
- Cone movement drills
- Dynamic Stretching
- Jogging, Lunge, High Knees, Side Steps, Cross over Steps
- Tennis Ball Catching with movement
- Thera bands
So junior players, at your next tournament, remember it is your responsibility to make sure you enter the court ready to give yourself the best opportunity to play well and enjoy your match. You shouldn’t need to be reminded by your parents, friends, family or coach to get ready for your match.
2. Adequate sleep and rest
Adolescent athletes who slept eight or more hours each night were 68 percent less likely to be injured than athletes who regularly slept less, according to an abstract presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans.
Many people know that a lack of sleep can have an affect on the cognitive function but now this proves another point.
Sleepy and allowing your body to rest is just as important as training hard. Without enough sleep both your brain and body will not be functioning at their optimal levels.
3. How parents can support their kids
As a parent, a key fact to remember is that you can either make or break your child’s sporting experience. Whilst there are many exceptional examples of parents doing the best by their children in their sport, there are numerous examples of parents being the reason why children drop out of sport.
1.Understand why, the real reasons, you want your children to participate in sport
2. Be strategic by planning what “life lessons” you would like your children to learn.
3. Be there for your children and reward effort (not results).
4. Allow them to be independent
5. Control yourself
To read more about how parents can support their children click here
4. Self confidence
Self-confidence comes from your expectation of success or failure. It is your belief that you can successfully play well or not. When you are confident you’re positive, you’re relaxed, you think you can win, you simply feel good. When your confidence is low that’s just the opposite. You’re tight, tense. You make mistake because you’re emotional.
Think about your confidence as you play tennis. How confident are you? Maybe you have a good sense of self-confidence. Or maybe you experience some ups and downs in terms of your confidence level and need to find ways to develop your confidence more consistently.
5. Why you should cool-down?
The cool down should last between 20-40 minutes and be comprised of:
- Dynamic stretching like those used in a warm up
- Static stretching to target areas of concern or stressed during session
- Refueling and hydrating with a high carbohydrate diet and water
- Resting and relaxing through breathing exercises to get into a stable mental state
Stretching during the post-exercise period has been shown to:
- improve ROM without compromising performance
- reduces delayed onset of muscle soreness
- may increase the rate of recovery
One of the most important method of recovery is nutrition and hydration. By consuming protein immediately after exercise it enhances muscle uptake and retention of amino acids, and promotes a more positive protein balance.