As in any athletic endeavour, preparation is vital to being successful on the tennis court. Whether it is Oliver Malcor training his players for the grass season or an individual looking to alter their fitness or diet methodology, preparation is often the difference between success and failure. Athletes of all disciplines are constantly changing and adapting how they prepare for competition.

In this article, we will look at fitness and nutrition tips from athletes outside of tennis and how you can adopt their methods to your own preparation.

Make breakfast count – Anthony Joshua

Joshua's physique and elite fitness is testament to his healthy diet. While every one of his meals is important, getting his breakfast right sets him up for the day. Every morning this Olympic gold medalist and heavyweight boxer has a glass of water straight away, as reduction in body water reduces your ability to generate force. Then for his actual breakfast Joshua eats fruit and porridge. This loads him with vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and slow releasing carbohydrates. It ensures that Joshua has the right amount of energy to train hard in the morning and throughout the day. Tennis players should also ensure that they are fueling their bodies properly and not missing meals, as it will affect their energy levels when they come to play or train.

Set lofty goals – Rudy Gobert

French National Basketball Association star Rudy Gobert knows he has areas in his game to improve and that’s why he always puts in the work to make sure he progresses. He told the Salt Lake Tribune about his loafty goals in 2018, “I definitely want to be one of the best players in the history of the game” During the off-season Gobert worked on his offensive skills, which had been derided by pundits as a major weakness. Gobert’s play reflected his hard work the following season, as he registered career highs in points (15.9 per game), rebounds (12.9), and shooting percentage (67%). But Gobert isn’t resting on his laurels, and neither should you if you want to be great. You must set the bar high in terms of goals, then put in the work to achieve them. As tennis is mostly an individual sport, the best motivation will come from you.

"There is always something to be done that will improve your game." 

François D'Haene


Stay hydrated – Cristiano Ronaldo

Athletes must always be on top of their hydration levels. While talking to FourFourTwo about his training tips, Ronaldo explained that staying properly hydrated gives him the energy he needs to train and play. Given the physical demands of football, the five-time Ballon d'Or recipient relies heavily on sports drinks. These drinks, according to Ronaldo, have a “mix of carbohydrates that boosts endurance.” They also have lots of electrolytes that ensure hydration and vitamin B12 that reduces fatigue. Tennis players need to stay hydrated at all times, especially when playing a match. Sports drinks are a good addition to water, as they will ensure you stay sharp and focused while you play. It is also important to make sure you start training and playing hydrated, as this will also affect your performance.

Work on your reflexes – Lewis Hamilton

As Sportskeeda points out in a list of the fittest F1 drivers, Hamilton likes to keep his training sessions fun, but varied.

While he does lots of gym work to strengthen his core and muscle building activities, he also makes sure to sharpen his coordination skills. Ladbrokes published a feature titled 'Welcome to the World of Lewis Hamilton' and in it, they note how the five-time world champion uses reaction balls to improve his reflexes. With F1 drivers having some the fastest reaction times in sport, these drills have been crucial to his success. Like Hamilton, tennis players need to constantly work on improving their reflexes and agility. Reaction ball drills can help in that regard.

The ball’s six-knobed design presents an element of unpredictability that necessitates focus and quick reactions that replicate on-court conditions.

Adapt! – François D'Haene

D’Haene, a French ultra-distance runner, knows that life can get in the way of training. In D’Haene’s case he has a job to think about. So in order to be properly prepared for his races, he adapts and takes advantage of whatever free time he can get. If you want be a great tennis player you have to make sure you find the time to train. Unless you are a professional, outside commitments will often get in the way of your preparation. It is easy to slip into bad habits. If you don’t have time to get to a court, you could instead work on your fitness levels. There is always something to be done that will improve your game.

Words by Anikka Lynn

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