Preparing for a Tournament

Preparing for a Tournament
The great thing about tennis is that it can be social or competitive or both, and either way, it’s great exercise and a lot of fun. Some who play tennis will never enter a tournament, never want to, and never miss it. Other players live for tournament competition every weekend, practicing daily to ensure their best chances of advancing through the draw.

Most of us aren’t ever going to play at Wimbledon, so tennis is mostly for fun, but fun can be either social or competitive, and generally not both. Some folks have the most tennis fun when they make a complete social event out of their regular weekly game. For other, more serious players, the fun is all about competition, and challenging yourself to do well in tournaments.

Tennis tournaments are a great way to improve your game, meet new players, and visit different clubs or parks that are hosting the events. Tournaments offer competition in just about every tennis level possible, from kids to adults, beginners to advanced, and competitions based on points. There’s really something for everyone who wants to try.

The thing about tournament tennis is that it’s serious business for many who play and is very official for those running the event. That mean’s you will be penalized for showing up late, the referee will keep you to a 5 minute warmup, and those desperate to win might not play by the rules if they can get away with a free point.

You may want to consider the following before entering any tennis tournament.
  • Weather
    Are you conditioned to play up to 4 matches a day, and 2 or 3 days in a row? What if it’s 100 degrees on the court? Be sure you are mentally and physically prepared for a grueling few days.

  • Schedule
    Again with the weather, if the courts are outdoors and you’re playing during winter months, delays are going to happen and you need to be prepared. Consider how far away you live from the tournament site, and how long it will take to travel, especially if weather delays are imminent. Tournament directors are famous for asking you to wait around for courts to dry even if there is no chance.

  • Games
    Are you tournament tough? Can you block out the opponent giving you a bad call or their friends cheering against you for no reason? Many tournament players compete to win at all costs, and unfortunately that does include cheating and gamesmanship.

Review the tips above a couple times before taking the court for your first tournament. You will enjoy the experience most if you’re physically and mentally prepared.

Good luck on the courts and in your next tournament.

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