All tennis players know how important it is to warm up. Before we step on the court, we should do some physical and even mental exercises to prepare our body and mind for the upcoming challenge. Our monthly contributor, coach Marcin Bieniek, founder of instructional Enjoy Tennis Blog, will talk about how we should keep our warm-up flexible and make the most out of it in different circumstances.
Should the warm-up be the same all the time?
Tennis coaches always talk about routines. Players should have serving and returning routines to play automatically, control their body and mind, plus, make the most of the first shots in tennis. They should also perform a specific routine between the points, which is often based on the famous video of world-renowned psychologist Dr. Jim Loehr. But should players always prepare in the same manner no matter what? Is it effective for players to perform the same exercises with the same duration every day of the week?
The goal of the warm-up is to prepare body and mind for the activity, reduce possibility of injuries and increase chances of high performance. All these three tasks can be achieved only when the warm-up is customized to the particular player and situation. Players need different tools to warm up for the practice session at 6 a.m. and when the training is scheduled in the afternoon. The same happens with other factors — players should be aware of a current environment, adapt their general warm-up to suit the requirements and get all the benefits of pre-match activities.
Tennis is a weird individual sport. You play on different surfaces, in different weather conditions and, on top of that, many times you don’t even know the exact time your match starts. That is why applying general warm-up rules won’t give you maximum benefits.
Here are some factors that should have impact on your pre-match warm-up decisions:
Time of the practice/match
Time of your practice or match has crucial impact on the warm-up. When the match is scheduled in the early morning hours, you definitely need a little longer and more intensive warm-up to raise your heart rate and get yourself into optimal alertness. The same happens when you play tennis in the evening — after the whole day, your body and mind are tired, so you have to “wake them up” by doing your routine in a little different way.
Tennis is played around the world and there are countries where weather changes dramatically between winter and summer. Low temperature makes your body stiff, so it has negative impact on movement and it puts your body in danger of some sprains and strains. To avoid these negative experiences, players should perform specific exercises to be physically ready for the dynamic activity of tennis.
The level of tiredness
This individual feeling has to be taken into consideration while planning warm-up. Fresh players on Monday can perform their regular routine, but when Friday comes they should think of some less intensive exercises or some other techniques (e.g foam rolling) to be sure that they can still play solid tennis without risking injuries.
As you can see, general rules are good for general days, but athletes don’t have many general days. Make sure you adapt to every situation and prepare your body and mind to be able to perform at your maximum level. It is like with tactical choices — you have to be aware of what is going on and use your knowledge to increase your chances of good results.
MORE ARTICLES BY TENNIS COACH MARCIN BIENIEK:
- The priorities of successful passing shots
- How to make your return effective
- How to deal with a lost tennis match
- Tennis strategy to play well in hot environment
- How to improve footwork in tennis, 3 crucial moves to practice
- Transferring tennis practice performance to the tournament environment
- Hardcourt tennis tips, four skills you must work on
- Self-rate your practice session
- Recovery and healthcare techniques to improve your tennis
- How nutrition affects our mental readiness in tennis
- 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