How CA’s Tennis Pros Warm Up For A Match
Before a tennis match, priming your mind and body for victory is equally important.
While the pros are famous for their pre-game rituals — and you may even have a ritual of your own — there are a few elements that are universal to playing your best. Chief among them is giving yourself enough time to “get in the zone” on game day.
To prepare for your next match like a champ, check out some tips from CA’s tennis professionals!
Get your mind right
According to CA Racquets Professional Jonathan Vissering, you can’t win a match before you start — but you can lose it! Yup, we’re talking about self-sabotage here.
Often, amateur players will focus much more on the physical element of the warmup. However, your thoughts and emotions also play a huge role in your performance. It’s crucial to find what works for you as far as releasing stress and feeling focused from the get-go.
Here’s some thoughts from Vissering on how to flip the script and adopt a winning mindset before stepping foot on the court…
Do a dynamic warmup
Arash Hanif, CA Racquets Professional, shared that dynamic warmups are “non-negotiable” for playing your best. Dynamic stretching is more, well, dynamic, than static stretching (which involves holding stretches in place, and should done after the match).
“Dynamic stretching is all about replicating the movements that you’ll be doing in your workout to prep your body for those motions,” says Hanif. “You can think of it as an active stretch, or stretching with movement.”
It also raises the temperature of your muscles and stimulates the nervous system, so that your nerves are more ready for the specific action that you’ll perform. Ultimately, this improves your range of motion and reduces your chance of injury. Aim for a dynamic warmup of 10-15 minutes, in addition to a 30-minute technical warmup. Then, you’ll want to give yourself enough time to rest and hone your mental energy.
Check out a few of Hanif’s favorite moves below!
Looking for more dynamic stretches to try? Consider these recommendations from the USTA:
- Jogging with Progressive Arm Circles (jog or backpedal)
- Carioca (shoulders square, rotate from hips down)
- Knee-to Chest Tuck (maintain proper posture)
- Lunge with reach back (focus on balance)
- Side shuffle (Push off inside leg, swing arms across body)
- High step with trunk rotation (same side)
- Three-way jumping jacks (x 10)
- Inverted hamstring (flat back, hips square)
- Lateral lunge (push hips back)
- Walking spiderman with rotation (eyes follow hand)
- Leg swings (F/B/S – 10 times each)
- High knees (Knees up, toes up)
- Butt kicks (knees down, slight forward lean)
- Inchworms (hips up, knees straight)
- A-skips (aggressive march w/ rhythm)
- Reverse skip with hip rotation (knee up and out)
- Sprint 50/75/100% (proper running form)
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Fuel & hydrate
Tennis is a fast-paced game that can go for hours, so you need the proper fuel to play your best. It’s a wise idea to eat a meal that’s high in carbs with a moderate amount of protein three to four hours before your match. Then, eat a high-carb snack at least 90 minutes before you step foot on the court. Make sure this snack is low in fiber and fat so that it’s easily digested. Bananas are one simple and classic choice.
As an article from SpoonUniversity.com explains…
“Your body uses complex carbohydrates to store as glycogen. Glycogen is the main energy source for anaerobic movements, which make up a majority of the sport of tennis. Maintaining a high carbohydrate-fueled diet is key to squashing the competition.”
It’s also just as important to stay well-hydrated (even if you don’t think you’re thirsty). It’s actually harder to rehydrate when you’re already dehydrated, so make sure you’re drinking fluids throughout the day.
Check out some more tips below from CA Adult Tennis Director Anna Pomyatinskaya!
Keep crushing it with CA
Ready to continue improving your game? CA has tennis programs to help players of all ages and experience levels elevate their skills.
There are programs for adult beginners, group tennis training, junior programs, and even USTA Team Tennis Leagues. Both CA members and non-members can choose from CA’s five state-of-the-art tennis clubs. Learn more on our website!