Tennis is a year-round sport with tournaments played globally and often in hot conditions. Travelling on tour can be brutal for players, as there are many different factors that need to be considered along with a focus on tennis fitness. They range from changing time zones, managing jet lag, coping with new cuisine to cultural and language barriers. To ensure health and fitness are not compromised, it's important to be prepared and keep going on with your tennis fitness schedule.
Adopting these simple but effective measures can help improve a travel experience...
Make the Internet your best friend before travelling. Do well research prior to arriving at destinations to learn the location of grocery shops, health food stores, restaurants, gymnasiums, and pools. Organize a schedule, which includes training and meal plans, before departing to ensure your routine is maintained on the road. It is still important to be flexible and not to expect anything when you travel, however being prepared can eliminate some stress and save valuable time.
Flying between different conditions and time zones can impact your health. Illness affects performance and can be the difference between winning and losing, which is why preventative measures such as the following are important – Be consistent with vitamins and supplements. – Use a salt water nose spray every few hours when flying. – Take warm clothes you can layer on the plane as temperature often fluctuates. – Use a hand sanitizer when needed each day. – Avoid using air conditioning in the room at night when sleeping. – Avoid eating convenient or junk food as it stresses the immune system.
Being on the road is no excuse for not training. Often tournaments have training facilities, but if they don’t, it is important to be prepared. Travel with training equipment and set up a portable gymnasium from a hotel room or even a local park or beach.
Resistance Bands are the perfect travel companion – not only are they light and compact, but they are a versatile piece of equipment.
If your trainer is not travelling with you, get them to design a program to follow. Players often work hard during training blocks, but make the mistake of not doing the same during tournaments or when travelling.
Maintaining strength and conditioning is important for any player, so it is vital to always dedicate time to it. Communication is key too, so keep in regular contact with your trainer and share insights into how your body is feeling in case adjustments need to be made to the program.