By Seth Pamperin, Middle States Junior Competition Coordinator
Ever wonder if your warm-up routine is really doing its job? Great players add to their games because their warm-up sessions truly accomplish something. It’s not just about stretching your muscles and hitting a few balls — it’s about creating the right physical and mental approach to the upcoming match.
Next time you’re warming up, think about these tips to nailing your warm-up and setting the tone for your first set.
Find YOUR groove
Don’t worry about what the other player is doing. Focus on your own game and your own techniques instead of picking apart their shots. It’s important for you to feel comfortable with your forehand, not worry about theirs.
Get some air!
It’s natural to feel nervous before a match! You can turn those nerves into positive energy if you focus on your breathing. It’ll help you get in the zone and turn your nerves into excitement.
Get your heart rate up
Get sweaty! Remember that a warm body will be able to move and react better than a cold one. By warming up your body, you can be in match-mode by the first point of the first game, while your opponent is still getting comfortable.
Exaggerate your footwork
Everyone knows the first thing to go when players get nervous or tired is the footwork, so help counter that by moving your legs as much as possible. With each shot, think about what your feet are doing and continue to stress movement.
Commit to your game
Do a little self-talk and get yourself pumped up in whatever way you know best. Commit to your strategy and game.