Tennis is physically demanding and takes you to your limits. How can you handle the moments when your body says 'no more'? Get some practical tips that work.
Coach: Kendall Brooks, head tennis coach
Bio: Former head women’s tennis coach for the St. Edward’s in Austin, Texas for six straight seasons. In 2018, brought Hilltoppers to their highest national ranking in school history at #17 and was named the Wilson ITA South Central Coach of the year. They would finish their 22-6 record-breaking season as Heartland Conference runner-up, earning their 3rd NCAA Tournament berth, and close the year ranked 22nd in the country. Four-year letter winner for Texas Tech Red Raiders, with career singles record of 61-58 and 41-17 in doubles. Bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sports Science.
Length: 2 min 8 sec
There is no doubt that tennis is a very physically demanding sport. There's no clock, no limit to the amount of time you can play, and often requires playing outdoors in the elements or sometimes multiple times a day. That paired with the aerobic exertion and strain on the body can often lead to physical exhaustion. So how do you handle these moments where your body is saying no more?
Besides sheer will and heart, I have a few tips on how best to stay focused during these times. Use your time wisely. This starts with your in between the point routine. As soon as the point is over, go back to your towel. Take the time to breathe and bring your heart rate back down. This also gives you time to recover physically, but also mentally from a tough or long point. You get 20 seconds in between points. Don't step up to the baseline until you are ready and refocused. This also helps you to stay in the moment and take it one point at a time. You're not thinking about how tired you are or maybe the score, but instead, you are getting yourself into a routine and taking it point by point.
The next step is managing your changeovers. You have 90 seconds in between every other game. Use all of this time. Sit down, hydrate. Again, use the time to rest and recover and breathe. Some people may even use this time to stretch if you feel like you might be cramping or place a cold towel around your neck to bring your body temperature down and cool off. Using this time to focus on a match card, if you have one, will also help you distract your mind from feeling fatigue. As soon as the 90 seconds is up, jog out to the court. This gets your heart rate back up to a good level and prepares the body to start moving again. Any type of positive display or self-talk during these strenuous moments are also huge. patting your leg or pumping yourself up. While bouncing are great ways to send the message to your opponent that you aren't tired and you just may trick yourself too.