Playing in a tennis tournament not only puts your skills to the test, it can bring your game to the next level. That is, if you've properly prepared and are able to push those negative thoughts and nervousness to the side.
Don't worry, there are simple ways—from how you eat and warm up to how you spend the last 70 minutes before you're first match—to prevent a meltdown. Follow these three steps to ensure you will perform your best at your next tennis tournament.
Leading Up to the Tournament
One week before the tournament, schedule matches with players who you are favored to win. The goal is to win as many sets as possible.
Two days before the event you should be your last day of competition or any other serious training to give your body proper time to recover. Remember, you want fresh legs for the tournament, an event that often lasts hours.
The day before the tournament it's okay to complete a light workout. Be sure to limit activity to one hour. Take at least a half day off tennis and try to rest your mind. Go to a movie or read a book. Try to limit your screen time—like the Internet—though.
You also want to drink water throughout the day and the night before your match. Don't skip any meals and when you do eat, be sure to stay clear of greasy foods.
Try to get at least one hitting session in at the site of the tournament if you're unfamiliar with the location. Two to three hitting sessions at the tournament is ideal, but one will work if you have limited time.
Day of Match
Wake up three hours before your match. However, if your match is scheduled at 8 a.m., get up at 5:30 a.m. and go for a short run or jump rope to loosen up.
Two hours before match time eat a simple, well-rounded meal. Sugar cereal isn't going to provide the fuel you need to play a long morning match. Don't overload on the grease either.