Tennis players love summer time because it generally means outdoor tennis on dry courts in pleasant weather. Summer can also bring with it very hot temperatures that are even hotter on the court. Every tennis player needs to be cautious and listen to your body when playing in the heat.
Youíll often see the weather service issue a heat advisory when temperatures are expected to rise. They advise people to stay indoors and avoid going out during the hottest part of the day. While this may be very good advise, itís often impractical to tennis players in a tournament or other scheduled event.
The following are recommendations for a healthy summer on the tennis court.
Use sunscreen and wear a hat to avoid overexposure to the sun. Dark glasses will also protect your eyes. Take advantage of any shady spot on court and try to get out of the sun on every change of side.
Hydrate yourself before, during, and after tennis in the hot sun. With all the sports drinks on the market, itís hard to decide between them, but really plain water is best. Itís true even when the temperatures are ďnormalĒ, but you must take in fluids on every change over. Seriously.
On a very hot tennis day, consider your energy level, and that of your partner and opponent. You may want to adjust your strategy depending on those factors and expend energy only on important points.
Itís easy in the heat for your mind to wander and start thinking of the air conditioned clubhouse after the match is over. Better to fight and stay in the moment. Even if you feel like you canít go on for one more point, donít give it away, and donít give up. Your opponents are probably hot too.
If your body starts to get overheated, you may become dizzy or start cramping. Try using a cool towel around your neck and take in a few bites of an energy bar while resting in the shade on a change of side. Your body may or may not respond. Be sure to listen to what itís telling you.
Competitive tennis players like to win. Even social players want to beat their friends. If temperatures are hot on the court, and the above suggestions do not improve your sense of being, remember that itís most important to take care of your body. It wonít be the end of the world if you have to retire from a match rather than faint from heat exhaustion.
Have fun on the courts and be safe when itís hot outside.