Don’t forget about the off season!
The first step to prepare yourself for the outdoor tennis season is to take responsibility of your health during the off season. It is paramount to stay active by either doing other sports or working out at a gym. Tennis players, whether professionals or amateurs, must stay strong, light and flexible to prevent injuries and perform on the court.
Most people tend to gain weight during the wintertime. Each kilogram added stresses your joints exponentially thus dramatically increasing your chances of getting injured when starting the tennis season. Therefore, we suggest you use the off season to do cardio exercises and maintain a healthy diet to manage your weight adequately.
If you want to take it a step further, think also about how you can improve your body during the off season. This will also make you a better tennis player.
Don’t forget about your gear!
Prior to starting your tennis season, make sure that your racquet is freshly strong! Since most people do not touch their racquet during the winter season which usually lasts around 6 months, their string has dried and is no longer useable.
Research shows that after 6 to 8 weeks, regardless of the playing frequency, the string in your racquet lost all its properties (shock absorption, elasticity, etc.) and negatively impacts your game. The same thing can be said for unused strings that have an on-shelf life expectancy of one year.
It is a good idea to have the string professionally assessed to make sure you don’t increase the odds of injuring yourself.
Many players start the summer tennis season all out. They schedule 3 to 4 hits a week, start at full blast and end up hurting themselves. After a long off-season, it is totally natural to be excited to start all out, but it is paramount to go at it progressively.
On your first week, start by scheduling 2 hits at a moderate intensity and listen to how your body responds. Gradually increase the intensity and the frequency of your sessions and make sure you recuperate properly between them. Maintain a healthy diet, do strengthening exercise and stretch your muscles.