Physical fitness is one of the great essentials of match play. Keenness can only be acquired if the physical, mental, and nervous systems are in tune. Consistent and systematic training is essential to a tournament player.
Regular hours of sleep, and regular, hearty food at regular hours are necessary to keep the body at its highest efficiency. Food is particularly important. Eat well, but do not over-eat, particularly immediately before playing. I believe in a large hearty breakfast on the day of a big match. This should be taken by nine-thirty. A moderate lunch at about one o’clock if playing at three. Do not eat very rich food at luncheon as it tends to slow you up on the court. Do not run the risk of indigestion, which is the worst enemy to dear eyesight. Rich, heavy food immediately before retiring is bad, as it is apt to make you “loggy” on the court the next day.
It is certain injury to touch alcoholic drink in any form during tournament play. Alcohol is a poison that affects the eye, the mind, and the wind three essentials in tennis. Tobacco in moderation does little harm, although it, too, hits eye and wind. A man who is facing a long season of tournament play should refrain from either alcohol or tobacco in any form. Excesses of any kind are bad for physical condition, and should not be chanced.
“Staleness” is the great enemy of players who play long seasons. It is a case of too much tennis. Staleness is seldom physical weariness. A player can always recover his strength by rest. Staleness is a mental fatigue due often to worry or too close attention to tennis, and not enough variety of thought. Its symptoms are a dislike for the tennis game and its surroundings, and a lack of interest in the match when you are on the court. I advocate a break in training at such a time. Go to the theatre or a concert, and get your mind completely off tennis. Do your worrying about tennis while you are playing it, and forget the unpleasantness of bad play once you are off the court. Always have some outside interest you can turn to for relaxation during a tournament; but never allow it to interfere with your tennis when you should be intent on your game. A nice balance is hard to achieve, but, once attained is a great aid to a tournament player.
The laws of training should be closely followed before and after a match. Do not get chilled before a match, as it makes you stiff and slow. Above all else do not stand around without a wrap after a match when you are hot or you will catch cold.
Many a player has acquired a touch of rheumatism from wasting time at the close of his match instead of getting his shower while still warm. That slight stiffness the next day may mean defeat. A serious chill may mean severe illness. Do not take chances.
Change your wet clothes to dry ones between matches if you are to play twice in a day. It will make you feel better, and also avoid the risk of cold.
Tournament players must sacrifice some pleasures for the sake of success. Training will win many a match for a man if he sticks to it. Spasmodic training is useless, and should never be attempted.
The condition a player is, in is apt to decide his mental viewpoint, and aid him in accustoming himself to the external conditions of play.
All match players should know a little about the phenomenon of crowd-psychology since, as in the case of the Church-Murray match I related some time back, the crowd may play an important part in the result.
It seldom pays to get a crowd down on you. It always pays to win its sympathy. I do not mean play to the gallery, for that will have the opposite effect than the one desired.
The gallery is always for the weaker player. It is a case of helping the “under-dog.” If you are a consistent winner you must accustom yourself to having the gallery show partiality for your opponent. It is no personal dislike of you. It is merely a natural reaction in favour of the loser. Sometimes a bad decision to one play will win the crowd’s sympathy for him. Galleries are eminently just in their desires, even though at times their emotions run away with them.
Quite aside from the effect on the gallery, I wish to state here that when you are the favoured one in a decision that you know is wrong, strive to equalize it if possible by unostentatiously losing the next point. Do not hit the ball over the back stop or into the bottom of the net with a jaunty air of “Here you are.” Just hit it slightly out or in the net, and go on about your business in the regular way. Your opponent always knows when you extend him this justice, and he appreciates it, even though he does not expect it. Never do it for effect. It is extremely bad taste. Only do it when your sense of justice tells you you should.
The crowd objects, and justly so, to a display of real temper on the court. A player who loses his head must expect a poor reception from the gallery. Questioned decisions by a player only put him in a bad light with the crowd and cannot alter the point. You may know the call was wrong, but grin at it, and the crowd will join you. These things are the essence of good sportsmanship, and good sportsmanship will win any gallery. The most unattractive player in the world will win the respect and admiration of a crowd by a display of real sportsmanship at the time of test.
Any player who really enjoys a match for the game’s sake will always be a fine sportsman, for there is no amusement to a match that does not give your opponent his every right. A player who plays for the joy of the game wins the crowd the first time he steps on the court. All the world loves an optimist.
As most people readily realize, everything you do in life is directly determined in success by how you approach it. This means if you are willing to approach a situation with an open mind and a bit of self-confidence in yourself, you are going to be much more likely to succeed than someone who approaches with a grudge, attitude or just lack of self-confidence. At the same time if you are trying to learn a new skill you are not going to set out with self-confidence so you need to learn some things to help you readily adjust to the things that you encounter.
These same principals apply to tennis as well. What may seem overly complicated with a bit of patience and self-confidence can become readily manageable. However, if you do not approach the game with some self-confidence you are likely to fail. This is true of anything that you do, even if it is something other than tennis. The final result of your performance is altered based upon your own personal approach and there are several things that you can do to improve your overall approach and ensure that you are having the best experience possible.
Approach the sport with an active mind and embrace it. If you just half attempt the sport then you will increase the chances of getting hurt, decrease your chances of success and wish you had never picked up a tennis racquet. If you approach with a positive mindset, you are going to put yourself in a much better position to be successful, regardless of how long you have been playing. A player who approaches the court in a good mood and with a positive mindset is going to be much more likely to have a good game than someone who is in a bad mood.
Accept that mistakes will happen. Even those players who are professionals make mistakes, which is part of life in general. Accept this fact and take your mistakes as a chance to learn a lesson. If you discover that you are making a mistake in your timing for swinging the racquet, take that as a chance to improve your timing. If you take everything that you do wrong as an opportunity to improve, rather than as a failure you will be able to really improve your overall outlook. To make you feel better, remember that even the best players are going to have days when they play horribly, make mistakes and just do not want to be on the court.
For those who have been playing a lot it is also important to avoid burn out. This can strike any sport, hobby, job, career or activity. If you do nothing but play tennis every waking moment that you are awake, you are going to be running straight into a burn out in no time at all. Rather than do this to yourself ensure that you take a break at times to go shopping, hang out with friends and even just sit – these breaks also give the body a chance to recuperate and reduce and/or eliminate injuries.
If you have ever heard anyone talk about tennis elbow then you surely know that it is not a pleasant situation. It can be rather painful and it is quite possible to do a lot of work to help prevent the injury. However, if you do not treat your body nicely you are putting yourself at a much greater risk for the injury as well as others. This is something that you should work hard to avoid, after all tennis elbow can cause serious pain that is not just whisked away with a heating pad.
You are first going to want to focus on prevention and in this spirit; it means that you need to ensure that you are getting the rest you need between playing. This means there is no reason that you should go out and play a 4-hour tournament then turn around and practice for another 2 hours. No matter what you think, this is not a wise idea. Rather a better idea would be taking the day off after you have finished the tournament so that you can give your arm the rest that it needs.
Take some time to get into good physical shape. This includes ensuring that you strengthen your arms and back. If you ensure that your arms and back are in good physical condition you will have the muscle strength built up that will help you to prevent the injury. However, failing to make sure you are in good physical condition can make you exceptionally vulnerable to problems. If you have problems with getting into good muscular shape, you should talk to your instructor or coach if you have one. If you do not then turn to the internet to help you develop a good exercise routine that will effectively allow you to strengthen these essential muscles.
For those who do not play tennis for hours a day it is important to pace yourself. This means no playing for four weeks does not give you the right to run out and play for 4 hours straight suddenly. You should play for much shorter periods after you have had a long period of time away from the court. Your arm is abused in the process of playing tennis and suddenly jumping in with both feet will put you at risk of wearing it out badly. Instead, play much easier on your body and work to get back to the game that you prefer to play. Remember, pushing yourself to achieve the results that you want may seem like a great idea, but pushing too hard will leave you with an injury.
Always stretch before you start playing a game or even practice. In addition, you should stretch after you are done playing as well. This will allow you to keep the muscles surrounding the tendon as supple as possible. Often tense muscles can help factor into a tendon injury and will have you in pain quite quickly if you forget to stretch one day. A few minutes of stretching can go a very long way towards keeping you in good shape and injury free.
The last major consideration that you should take into account is you need to avoid continuously repetitive movements that drag on forever. If you are practicing a swing or a serve then that is wonderful but at the same time, you need to ensure that you stop on occasion to take a break. This will be quite helpful in working with you to avoid injury. If you are overworking your muscles without a break, you are putting yourself heavily at risk of an injury and you are not likely to enjoy the results. Taking care of your body is the primary thing that you need to be concerned with, not trying to stress over practicing your serve for another two hours straight. The time you spend on the court will be much more effective with a few small breaks sprinkled into the day.
As you can imagine, tennis is a very strenuous sport that requires a lot of energy as well as a really good physical condition in order to play successfully. This does not mean that you need to be a professional athlete to play well though. Of course the professionals have a physical trainer to help them, but you can achieve some of the same benefits by simply ensuring that you are doing exercises that will help you improve your game. How long you devote to exercise depends entirely on you, but you will be very glad you invested the time.
Running is one of the best things you can do. Whether you run at a full run or you choose to just jog does not matter as much. However the fact that you are running is phenomenal. If you stop and think a lot of tennis involves running back and forth across the court. If you have the energy to do this and do it without running out of breath then you are well onto the right track to ensure that you are in good physical shape. Running from one end of the court to the other and losing your breath in between will make it much harder for you to successfully play.
You are also going to need to work on strengthening your abdominal muscles. Having a good strong core with toned abs will help you achieve a powerful swing. While you do not need washboard abs you do need to ensure that you can control your abdominal muscles while you are playing. This means you are going to have to resort to some sit-ups and crunches to ensure that your stomach muscles are toned.
The muscles in your back cannot be ignored either. Using various workout equipment you can generally tone these in just a few minutes a day or however often you work out. Taking some small weights and focusing heavily upon repetitions rather than the actual weight amount is quite helpful in order to improve your overall back strength. Remember, many of the racquets that are used are quite heavy, so having the strength to lift them is important.
The arms and legs need to be toned as well. To do this some leg curls, arm curls and a bit of lifting weights can help. Once again you need to focus on repetitions since this is going to help you greatly while you are playing. The pure muscle mass is not as important as the ability to maintain your energy and strength during a match. You should strive to work towards higher numbers of reps regardless of which workout method you chose rather than pushing to bench press 300 pounds.
The final thing you need to work at is stretching. If you are doing proper stretches before any workout and before actually playing you are going to ensure that your muscles are in top shape. This will allow you to be a little bit looser in your playing without always being injured if you step slightly wrong. If your muscles are able to bend, flex and stretch without tearing or pulling immediately you will be able to avoid a lot of injuries. Make sure that you are always stretching as part of any exercise routine that you engage in to make sure your muscles are in top condition.
There are several things that you need to be well aware of as you consider how you are playing tennis. The body is susceptible to so many different potential injuries in the process of playing tennis that it is very important to be careful about how you play so that you can avoid as many injuries as possible. Yet even the most careful player will likely have an injury at some point in time. Learning to avoid most injuries and also learning which are most common will give you the advantage in a fast treatment, which will ultimately lead to a quick healing process.
Of course true to the name tennis elbow tends to be a very common injury. This is an injury that occurs to the upper arm on the inside close to the elbow itself. This tends to create problems with the way that you use your arm overall and if you are not careful you can badly injure your arm even further. The best for of prevention for tennis elbow is some rest as well as ensure that you are stretching thoroughly both before and after any time that you play. Even if you are only playing for a short period of time while you practice a good stretch is still useful to avoid injury.
Another highly common problem is tendinitis. There are several different types that tend to strike at tennis players and they include shoulder tendinitis, rotator cuff tendinitis, Achilles tendinitis and even wrist tendinitis. Tendinitis itself is defined as inflammation of the tendons. This means that for each area where tendinitis can occur for a tennis player that the tendons have become inflamed, irritated or even swollen. The exact amount of time it takes for tendinitis to heal generally varies greatly but it can be anywhere from a couple of days to several weeks.
Another highly common problem is osteoarthritis that occurs in the knee. Because of the huge amount of impact that occurs to the knees it is very important to ensure that they are as strong as possible as well as the shoes that you wearing are very strong. If you wear shoes without proper cushioning and do not take good care of your knees then you are at a much higher risk for osteoarthritis.
The biggest thing that you need to always keep in mind is that most tennis injuries are either acute or cumulative. This means that either they occur over time due to being over used or they occur suddenly due to trauma. Regardless of the exact type of injury taking the precautions necessary to ensure that you are wearing the appropriate safety equipment will go a very long way to ensure that you avoid as many injuries as possible.
It is also a wise idea to look into finding a good sports medicine doctor that you can work with in the event that you get an acute injury such as a torn rotator cuff, shoulder separation or even an Achilles tendon rupture. Taking proper care of injuries quickly is very important so knowing exactly who you will see if an injury occurs is a very wise decision to have worked out that will help you ensure that you stay as safe and healthy as possible no matter how long you play tennis.
This website features information on the treatment of tennis elbow.
I’ll be posting more useful information very soon about tennis elbow treatment.
Make sure you check back again.