The True Tennis Warm-up
If winning is your ultimate objective,
warming up for approximately 35 minutes within 50 minutes to an hour prior to your scheduled match time will enhance your
chances of success. This 35-minute session can be considered your true warm-up, because the 15-minute period prior to the
beginning of the match should be used to analyze your opponent and the court conditions.
Preparing Body & Mind for Tennis Match Play
The 35-minute warm-up
(which may be somewhat longer or shorter depending on your preference and physical condition) is used to loosen up your body
and hone your timing on all strokes. You want to begin the warm-up with approximately 10 minutes of stretching and light calisthenics.
This will prepare your body for the task at hand and decrease the potential for injury. As you get older, you may want to
lengthen the time you allow for stretching.
Before stretching, it is important to warm the muscles up a bit. If you are ending a match or a practice session, you
have already performed this step. However, if you are beginning a match or a practice session, you need to perform 3 to 5
minutes of light aerobic exercise such as: jogging, running in place, or jumping jacks. The idea is to slowly raise the heart
rate and to "get blood flowing to the muscles" (not that it isn’t always flowing to the muscles). Some of the pros on
the men’s tour carry a jump rope in their bags. They begin their workout or warm-up with a few minutes of jumping rope.
Frankly, I think this is too much of a shock to most of our bodies. The goal is to slowly warm-up so, do not push yourself
keep the pace slow.I like to begin stretching with the legs and work my way upward (it really doesn’t matter as long
as you stretch all the major muscle groups).
After stretching, begin the stroke warm-up with you and your warm-up partner about halfway between the net and service
line. Begin by hitting volleys, half volleys, and short groundstrokes, gradually working your way back to the baseline. This
should take about five minutes, will get the blood flowing quickly, and speed up the warm-up process. This first 15 minutes
is just to allow your body and mind to prepare for the task ahead. During this period, you should focus on reviewing your
fundamentals and using whatever relaxation techniques work for you. Remember, you are preparing both mind and body for your
match. Some people succeed because they are destined to, but most people succeed because they are determined to. - -Anonymous
Groundstroke and Volley Preparation for Winning Tennis
10 minutes of warm-up should include five minutes each of forehand and backhand groundstrokes, hitting all your shots with
a variety of spin, pace and depth. After grooving your groundstrokes, begin the final 10 minutes of your warm-up by moving
to a foot or two behind the service line for approximately eight minutes of forehand and backhand volleys and overheads. Conclude
the warm-up by serving to both deuce and ad courts for approximately two minutes.
Fit the True Warm-up to Your Game
It is important to understand that the
suggested time-frame for warming up each stroke is approximate and provided with an all-court game in mind. You should adjust
the time-frame to match your style of play. For example, if you never play at net, spending eight minutes at net during warm-up
would not benefit you. If you need more time to loosen up your shoulder for serving, take some time away from one of the other
components of your warm-up.
Fresh & Ready to Rumble
Once you have completed the true warm-up,
go to the locker room or restroom to wipe down with a cool towel to refresh yourself and change to a dry shirt. If you sweat
a lot, you may want to change socks as well. After warming up fully and refreshing yourself within 10 to 15 minutes of your
match, you should be as ready as you can be to play your best tennis and emerge victoriously.So remind yourself that your
attitude is one of your most potent secret weapons, not just your game. Your attitude can win you a ton of matches that you
never expected to win - yes, even against better players who are superior shotmakers. So keep your confidence strong, "the
will must be stronger than the skill."-- Muhammad Ali - refuse to let the doubts in, and watch the victories roll in!