Here are guidelines and fundamental reminders of how to prepare for your tournament matches.
Week Before – Win a lot of sets vs. players that you are favored to beat.
Two Days prior to event – Finish toughest part of training and competition.
Day before– Light workout (two hour) – sharpen tools only. Take ½ day off of tennis and rest your mind. (movie, reading etc…Limit internet etc.)Eat right, sleep right , get equipment right. Hydrate night before match. No eating seafood.
Day of match
At new site – Get one hitting session in day before to become familiar with courts and surroundings. Optimal to get two or three before you play.
At familiar site – get one to two hitting sessions at site.
Early Morning Match
Wake up 3 hours before match time. (If it is an 8 am match however, get up at 6.00 and take a short run or jump rope to loosen up or to break a sweat – you must have your body ready to go)
Eat 2 hours before match time. Make sure that you eat a good well rounded breakfast. No grease etc. but eggs/cereal and toast. Eat fruit and some other complex carbohydrate on the side. If you don’t know what to eat or if you are in a rush, a good old peanut butter and jelly sandwich on wheat bread will suffice. Water is very important but don’t overload on milk/OJ.
Arrive at court for your first match of the day 60 minutes before match time. If it is the second match of the day, arrive at least 30 minutes before.
How to Use the 60 minutes before your 1st match of the day
30 – 40 minutes – Physical preparation
Dynamic Flexibility warmup exercises then use your Bands/medicine balls to warmup your lower and upper body.
Do your loading and unloading drills for your strokes, LEGS and FEET.
For court or on the Wall, work a short time on all of the drills that you normally do for warmup. Hit only enough to feel sharp and then move on to the next stroke and drill. Do not try to get everything that you hit perfect and do not over-practice. Warm it up, then move on with confidence. Practice each stroke. Get a rhythm !!!
If you are particularly nervous or if the legs feel heavy, do a few wind sprints or jump rope to break the tension and to release some of the nervous energy.
5-7 minutes – Mental Preparation
Give yourself 3 process goals (never more) for your match. Pick things you have control over and that help you to have your best chance for success. (example: aggressive feet, follow my directional guidelines for shot selection, body language, between point rituals and routines, quiet mind.)
Emphasis should be on doing those things that make you confident and not how opponent is going to play. Be proactive always and not reactive to opponent.
10 Minutes – Emotional Preparation
Have your quiet personal time away from Parents, Coaches, Friends
Get yourself into a Plus-Neutral state of mind. (Good things a Plus and Bad will be a Neutral. No Inner-man conflicts) You want a good battle!!!
Last……… Butterflies are the indicator that you are Ready-to-Go!!!….. Now, Get them to Fly in Formation and Take the Court.
Hobson Performance Tennis