Hot Summer Tennis
You’ll 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, it’s 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, it’s hard to decide between them, but really plain water is best. It’s true even when the temperatures are “normal”, 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.
It’s 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 can’t go on for one more point, don’t give it away, and don’t 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 it’s 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 it’s most important to take care of your body. It won’t 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 it’s hot outside.
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