By Jen Azevedo – Director of Tennis and Pickleball
Sometimes you have a great day on the court, and sometimes… not so great.
There are tons of factors as to why this happens, and some are completely beyond your control. Windy day, a phenomenal (sandbagger) opponent or the yips can appear when you least expect it to trash your tennis and pickleball. But what about the things that you CAN control? Here is a list of five ways you might be sabotaging your own success on the court.
Skipping the warm up.
We all do it, but it can really hinder your progress early in a match. Despite the idea that you’ll get warmed up as you go, taking a few moments to grab a dynamic stretch and run through your regular shot selection can have a lasting impact beyond the first game in the set. Not to mention, staving off injury!
Skipping the cooldown.
Again, one many of us are guilty of. The match is done, let’s go grab some lunch! Right? Sure, but taking the time to foam roll, stretch and allow your body to properly hydrate and rest can come back to haunt you later on. Cramping at night, anyone?
Skipping the pre match meal.
Nutrition is my Achilles heel. But fueling your body for the things you love to do only means you’ll get to focus on those things instead of listening to your tummy rumble. Why worry about faltering when you need to be strong when the Paseo Café has the best smoothies in town?
Not getting enough sleep.
This one obviously applies itself in a myriad of ways but truly, we all need sleep. Trying to win when you’re fatigued means you have an extra opponent to battle. Isn’t the opponent on the other side of the court enough for one match? Adults generally need 7-9 hours of sleep to perform well. When you’ve got a big match looming, try to let your body prepare for the battle. And, what better opportunity for some mental clarity to prepare your mind for the day ahead?
Neglecting the core.
The more we watch the sport progress, the more we see that cross training is essential to longevity in tennis and pickleball. And since both are sports for a lifetime, why not employ your strength for life? A strong core, decent flexibility and strong legs all help you find your best pickleball at 20, and they still keep helping your tennis at 70. There are amazing trainers out there who can help you help yourself on the court. Check them out! You’ll be glad you did.
There are plenty of other ways we can self-help our tennis and pickleball.
In the immortal words of Benjamin Franklin, “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” I’m not sure if he played any court sports, but the words hold true. See you out there!