The tennis season has barely started, the first Grand Slam is about to begin and I thought it would be appropriate to talk about the little things that can be important to be successful in a major tournament.
The scenario I am going to develop is for competitors with a chance to win a Grand Slam. The location is Melbourne, Australia, Australian Open. You can extrapolate this to any major tournament with identical conditions.
Many players, either out of sheer anxiety or because they don’t think they are well prepared for a major event, tend to over-train and participate in a series of events that are ultimately counterproductive for the tournament where they really want to do well.
EXAMPLES OF DON’T:
– Extend yourself into extremely long practice matches or tournament matches the week before a major event.
– Take part in 2 or 3 tournaments in a row before a Grand Slam or a major tennis tournament.
-Sign up for a professional ATP / WTA tournament the week before a Grand Slam or a major tennis tournament. That’s a NO NO for a title contender … especially if you see yourself as such. Take the example of Roger Federer.
– Overtrain or train too hard the week before a Grand Slam or major tennis tournament thinking you need extra hours of practice to feel confident Instead, it’s time to shrink.
– Go to the gym and “pump iron” the week before a Grand Slam or a major tennis tournament.
– Do long races the week before a Grand Slam or a major tennis event.
EXAMPLES OF WHAT MAKE:
– Start working 6 weeks before the Grand Slam or a major tennis event 5-6 hours a day, tennis, mental, physical and regeneration training. By narrowing down at the end of 2 weeks of training, play the first tournament ideally the 3rd week. (Yes, in periodization training this is called a Microcycle)
– Take part in an official ATP / WTA tournament three weeks before the Major or Grand Slam, play hard and try to win it.
– The next 2 weeks should be focused on maintaining your reflexes, reaction time, overall strength, speed and stamina, with a reduction in court time and fitness time to 2.30 / 3 hours. Use a wide variety of workloads and intensity across all training areas.
– In the week leading up to a Grand Slam or a major tennis tournament or any other tournament, forget about drills and repetitive work and just focus on matchplay, pointplay and variety.
– Take part in an exhibition or play some friendly matches the week before the Grand Slam or a major tennis event.
It’s the best way to get match play without the stress of ATP / WTA points or leaderboards … and it allows you to try out whatever you’ve been practicing or want to keep practicing.
– Do short starts and sprints to boost your reaction time and speed.
– Keep training sessions off the court short, varied, interesting and lively.
– Smile a lot, enjoy what you are doing, have a good time doing it.
– Take advantage of your practice partners to make them your friends and admirers.
WHY NOT participate in a professional ATP / WTA tournament the week before a Grand Slam or a major tennis tournament?
– As we all know, there is no amount of training that can retrograde the natural cycle of regeneration of our cellular system which takes place in high and low cycles of approximately 21 days.
– Playing a winning tournament the week before the Australian Open is a NO NO. Playing 7 days at a high cost in both physical and mental resources can drain you much needed energy for the Grand Slam tournament.
– Also, given that the Australian Open lasts another 15 days, which is a total of 22 days before the final, it means you can save the first five days of the Australian Open. But, physically, you are practically doomed to lose in the next 10 days, because after 12-15 days your red blood cells start to die and the natural low red blood cell count kicks in. This reduces your physical performance by 30% or more. more, resulting in mental and physical fatigue and sloppy performance, which leads to crucial mental failures in close matches. As we saw during the final of the US Open 2007, where Novak Djokovic was the victim of the sun, long matches, a terrible schedule and the failure of his regenerative system. – say about his red blood cells or lack of.
– Some people try to cheat with EPO and other ways to make up for the lack of red blood cells, but scientists and science labs know Superman doesn’t exist! … and even if the athlete does not get caught for EPO, the consequences can be terrible: EPO for example, thickens the blood to the point where the risk of heart attack increases by 90%!
OTHER FACTORS TO BE TAKEN ATTENTION:
– Another factor to consider is the myth that practicing in the sun makes you more resilient! It is a complete fable. If you are well conditioned, the week before a Grand Slam like the Aussie and during the Aussie, if you are a contender try training very early in the morning or very late in the afternoon or in the evening after bed from the sun.
– Stay as far as possible from the sun. Save every ounce of energy for your matches, training in the Australian sun is suicide, you just don’t need it. (Sure, you’ll need some sun training, but keep it to a minimum)
– While you are participating in the tournament, there is a great temptation to go to a hotel pool or elsewhere. DO NOT MAKE! Swimming uses muscle groups that will slow you down and even lead to poor coordination.
– Use the Jacuzzi for a short time (max. 5 minutes) for short regenerative and relaxing proposals. Hurry, don’t stay too long, it can turn you into a fluffy swamp for the next day.
– Do NOT go out in the sun to get a total tan, the sun will drain your energy!
– If you must play a one-day match, take the following precautions two or three days before and during tennis matches:
– Drink at least 5 to 8 liters of good clean water the day before. Yes, you will be going to the bathroom in abundance but you will need the fluid reserves.
– Eat the usual carbohydrates, jams, cheese, milk, müsseli, corn flakes, fruit an occasional beer or wine ice cream (if you are over 18) etc … and sleep, sleep a lot!
– In the field, do not eat bananas! This is the most ridiculous thing you can do! Bananas take 3-4 hours to digest and they will only drive the important and necessary blood through your digestive system that would otherwise be used in other parts of your body to generate or deliver energy specifically to your lungs and to your body. your muscles (oxygen and glycogen)!
– Take an already cut watermelon and eat it at every break in the first game.
– Take your power bars and electrolytes with you but, if you need a pump / kick, drink a few sips of Coca Cola just before the closing stages of each set and especially before the tiebreakers! Sure, you’ll have to deal with a possible low sugar level afterward, but you’ve won the set!
– DO NOT wait for a physical failure to occur. Take precautionary measures against sun and fatigue before it happens, once heatstroke or cramps start it’s too late !:
1-Use a hat covering the back of your head / neck if possible (from the first game!).
2- Refresh your head with water or a towel filled with ice from the first change!
3- Use a towel filled with ice cubes on the back of your neck and leave it there throughout each change of game !.
4- Use another towel filled with ice cubes at each change and carefully rub your legs (quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and arms too!)
5- At all changes Drink water, clean and cool water (do not drink too much cold water and drink in small sips)
6- As I said before, eat watermelon, lots of watermelon.
There are a lot more, but some things are really private, like the amount of kissing you do with your girlfriend! Let me tell you this didn’t seem to have affected negatively Bjorn Borg tennis performance, on the contrary, he was doing very well! In the seventies, when I was playing Turo Under-18 and qualifying for the Barcelona Open, I saw Björn almost every night glued to his girlfriend’s lips on the stairs of our hotel! Boy that heck was a Kisser world champion! But you should be more serious than Björn and consult your coach or training team before taking any of these steps. (smile)
All the best in your tournament!