Success in tennis = Preparation

Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. This famous quote has to be in mind of all tennis players. Tennis is an individual sport where one or two points can decide about the final result of the match. That is why players have to do everything they can to make sure that they are the ones who will win these important points. To make sure you play your best tennis you have to take care of preparation.


When we watch tennis matches we see only the actions that happen on the court. We can see players warming up for the match hitting all the shots and then they start the match that can have many momentum changes. It is always great to see beautiful winners hit by Federer or extreme sliding actions used by Djokovic but all pro players spend significant time before the match to be able to show their best skills when it really matters.


Tennis preparation is connected with practice sessions. It is not surprising that players who have consistent quality of practice sessions improve their skills and get own performance to the higher level. It is important to understand why good practice sessions happen and what players can do to increase own chances for great training and visible results week after week. Many players train the same amount of hours what others but they don’t improve as much as them. It can be related to poor quality of the sessions and quality is strictly related to preparation.


Preparation for the practice session and tennis match has to include many factors. Running around the court, doing some jumps on the jump rope and performing few dynamic stretching exercises are not enough to play injury free and present your best level from the first hit on the court. Players have to use much more time to make sure that all aspects needed for successful performance are under control. Creating own individual preparation routine is a good choice to have organized list of actions that player can and should perform every time he prepares for an activity.


Many players ask coaches how much time they should use to effectively prepare for the practice or tennis match. There is no one answer to this question. It depends on your possibilities as also actions you need to be ready for the activity. When you go to school and have practice 20 minutes after the school you won’t be able to do as much as person who doesn’t go to school and can prepare for the session using different methods. It is all about finding what works best for you but it has to include aspects from different categories.


  • Physical preparation

This is the one that most of the players do but only small percentage of all tennis players do it right. Every time you want to perform physical warm up make sure you use exercises that take care of all body parts and motions that are used in tennis. We all know that players sprint and stop many times as also they use a lot of turns during the match. How many times do you include these moves during your preparation? Do you lay down on the ground and focus on your hips and shoulders’ mobility? If not make sure you do perfect warm up – not just the one that is only acceptable.


  • Mental preparation

We all are aware how important mental aspects are in tennis but not too many players take time to properly prepare own mental side before training or competing. It is crucial to get motivation, focus on the incoming practice and deal with any negative thoughts and emotions that can happen in regular life. Players can use music, visualization techniques or breathing methods to effectively prepare own mind for quality work. Just few minutes of specific activity can be enough to get on the court and feel that everything is going to work well.


  • Set goals

Practicing without goals puts players at risk of not improving at fastest possible pace. Players have to always strive to be better than they were yesterday and to achieve this task they need performance goals. Players should get on the court with clear goals that they want to achieve even during the on-court warm up. By using this approach players never play any drill without a purpose so even when they are tired they still know what they are playing for.


  • Deliver energy

Even the best player in the world won’t be able to play well for long time when he doesn’t have enough energy. Players have to understand what elements are needed for good performance so proper nutrition and hydration can’t be omitted. By eating healthy products before the practice and taking care of consistent fluid and energy intakes during the exercise player can be sure that his physical and mental performance won’t decrease over the course of the practice or match.


Hard work during the session is important to improve but without proper preparation it is not possible to maintain quality over the week. Tennis is a complex sport that requires good amount of effort both physically and mentally so understanding these demands is a first step to be able to implement proper actions into own routines. Players who take care of own preparation have definitely bigger chances to play well and achieve great results during the tournaments.