Proper preparation for anything in life is the key to success, and this is no different when it comes to your tennis. Not being prepared for your tennis matches can lead to poor play, a loss, and injury. Wouldn’t you like to avoid all these? Taking 10-20 minutes before playing your tennis matches will not only help you avoid losing, playing poorly, but most importantly avoiding an injury that could put you out or months, if not end your tennis career.
The first step to insuring that you get the proper time needed to warm up starts with time management. Don’t neglect to figure in how much time it is going to take to pick out your clothing, get dressed, put together your gear, and carry it out to the car. Next, consider where you are going, how long it will take, will there be traffic, how much time will it take to find parking? Thinking about these things, and planning accordingly will make sure that you don’t get behind schedule before you even get started. Not putting enough time aside to ensure getting to the destination is what usually causes people to run behind, and then forces them to have to cut out their warm up & preparation prior to a match.
Try to arrive 20-30 minutes early at a minimum to your match destination, this will ensure you have the proper minimum 10-20 minutes for a proper warm up. To warm up you should incorporate dynamic stretches and not static stretches before your tennis match. In a nutshell static stretching is where you are standing still, and stretching. Research has shown that static stretching can be detrimental to performance, and doesn’t necessarily lead to decreased injury. However, many of the best strength coaches support the use of dynamic stretching before activity. Dynamic stretching consists of functional based exercises which use sport specific movements to stretch the muscles & tendons, and prepare the body for movement. I recommend you do more research into the differences of dynamic vs. static stretching.
I like to perform a variety of dynamic stretches on the court before my match which include: running forward, backward & sideways (both directions), jumping rope, lunges, and jumping jacks. You can research different dynamic stretches, and tailor a routine to fit your personality; these just happen to be my favorites. If there is a treadmill, bike, or elliptical trainer available I also like to get on it for 5-10 minutes as well. These variety of exercises helps to properly prepare me for my match; physically and mentally.
In conclusion: time management, will lead to proper preparation, which will lead to you playing your best tennis, winning your matches, and avoiding injury. Good luck, now go win some more matches!