Tennis is a highly intellectual and intuitive sport. The foundation for competitive play starts from an early age, and it is necessary to develop mental abilities, tennis skills and, of course, passion. These are the qualities which form a successful tennis player.
Before each match a player should prepare accordingly. The right preparation will help the player to showcase their full potential and to play at their best level. I believe that preparation for an actual tennis match starts a couple days before the tournament. There are many key factors which should be taken into the consideration while preparing for a tennis match, here are several suggestions for successful tournament preparation.
1. Mental preparation
Besides warming up physically, we also have to remember that warming up mentally is just as important. Having a strong mental state will be very beneficial during the match. A couple days before the tournament, you should start using the positive affirmations and visualization to see yourself achieving your goals. Visualization technique will help the athlete to overcome performance anxiety and prepare the mind for the competition.
Taking care of your body is one of the key aspects of a tennis player. With the right nutrition your body can do so much more! You want to have enough fuel in order to maintain your energy for the entire match. On the evening before the match, eat a light dinner, and on match day avoid eating too much sugar. Make sure you have a good breakfast. Eat your last meal two hours prior to the match and stay hydrated.
3. Have your tennis bag ready
Prepare your equipment wisely: have your racquets, over grips, towel, match clothes, healthy snacks and drinks, all ready to go. These are the things that you will be using on court so make sure that you are ready and organized, so you can turn all your focus onto your opponent and the match.
4. Warm-up before the match
Everyone is different and due to that reason everyone has their own routine before the matches but I would suggest going to the courts early and doing your first physical warm up followed by the technical warm up on court for about 30-45 minutes. You want your body to be 100 percent ready from the beginning of the match.
5. Prepare your mind to compete
Find a quiet place and choose the tactics which you will be using during the match against your opponent. Have a game plan ready. Focus on your competitive goals, listen to music or read (no distractions). Start visualizing the match that you are getting ready to play.
Anna Tatishvili is the Associate Director of High Performance and Adult Programming at the Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning. Tatishvili is a former Top 50 ranked player in singles and doubles, and represented the Republic of Georgia at the Fed Cup on multiple occasions. During her career, she won 11 singles and eight doubles titles on the ITF tour, and won the doubles title at the WTA event in Linz, Austria. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.