Welcome to my new blog post aimed at half/fully competing tennis players who may not have the bank roll to afford well trained individuals or an entourage of people to take good care of you during a competing period. Preparation is a fundamental part of a tennis players technical foundation and is a word which you would hear a lot in the tennis world. Preparation is also the steps you are taking before a competitive match to ensure you are in a peak state to perform to your full capabilities, as I like to say ill prepared, ill performed. In my own experience I can honestly say at times in many aspects of life I have been ill prepared and ultimately ill performed and this is not just in competitive tennis matches, you can use your imagination now. On the flip side I can honestly say when I have prepared correctly and avoided potential hazards I have rarely let myself down.
Losing is never a great feeling but it’s much easier to take when you know deep down you were prepared. So, what is an example of ill preparation? I think most of you will know of plenty of them, the obvious one and certainly one I had trouble with was partying/alcoholism the day or two before a match. Yes, yes, I know it’s very irresponsible and nor do I want any of your sympathy, I am glad I have tried to do both and learned the hard way its not possible. timing, cardiovascular health, mental state, the list goes on, please just don’t do it yourself. I have occasionally managed to sneak a few wins, but it was never pretty and not enjoyable. It’s true I do like a beer and I do like to spend time with my friends and I know I’m not the only one, I value the weekends and it’s a part of who I am. However, this is the sacrifice you must make if you want the results. Of course, there is always freaks of nature who can do both, and I call these 3%’s. Marcelo Rios was apparently able to burn the candle at both ends and still perform, quite something.
I now want you to think about these questions, in my opinion these are the things which will allow you to learn more about yourself and will give you the mental one up every player needs. I believe you must know.
- How much sleep do I need the night before?
- How much mid-week training/rest days do I need?
- My match is at 16.30 in the afternoon, how am I going to spend my day before the match and what activities can I be doing which will keep me in a positive head state?
- What am I going to eat and drink the day before and on the day of the match which gets me feeling fueled but not too full?
- What is my routine between matches on the same day? Am I stretching and refueling correctly?
- How do I feel on match day when I have intercourse/ejaculate the day before compared to when I don’t?
- Am I ready to give 110%?
- How do I feel? Am I feeling stressed? do I have too many other distractions taking up my head space? Are my thoughts positive?
I believe everybody has their own routines and things which work for them, so I won’t share all my own answers to these questions. Feel free to message me if you want to hear all my answers. I will say that on the day of competing, I like to watch tennis to get myself into a state of tennis thinking, patterns of play, good habits, to feel inspired and then I will start to use visualization techniques to envision how I want to play myself later in the day. Most the hard work would be done during the week, but if I have had a day or two without hitting a ball, I like to hit some balls on the morning of match day to get some feeling back into my shots and get the brain in gear. I wont document about dietary needs as I believe most players will know of what to eat and again I believe this is personal.
Tell me in the comments section your own experiences and what your preparation looks like as I would be interested to hear!