Q. Should I eat and drink during a tennis match? If so, what?
A. Yes, it is important to eat the right things before, during, and after competition and training so that you maximise your energy stores and meet the energy demands throughout the playing duration.
Recommended food & drinks on court:
- Cold fluids on each change over to replace lost fluids and cool the body temperature.
- Sports drinks are helpful to replace lost minerals (eg: salt) and provide energy.
- Moderate to high GI foods, such as high carbohydrate energy bars or non-caffeinated energy gels that are low in fat and protein digest rapidly and are a good source of quick energy.
Have a look at the Nutrition section for some more information on what you should eat and drink when playing or training.
Q. I get really nervous during tennis matches. Is this normal?
A. Most competitive tennis players have felt feelings of nervousness or anxiety at some point, and many have left the court feeling they “choked” or “bottled it”.
Even the top players in the world admit to being anxious at times when the pressure is great, but they usually have developed coping strategies to deal with their anxiety.
The key point is not to eliminate feelings of anxiety since some anxiety can benefit performance. Instead, it is crucial to control and manage feelings of anxiety more effectively.
Reducing muscle tension is particularly important, because muscle tension not only impairs coordination and timing, it also uses your energy because your muscles are working overtime.
Have a look at the Psychology section for some relaxation tips that have been developed to help players cope more effectively with excess anxiety and nervousness.