How to stay fit like a tennis pro

How to stay fit like a tennis pro

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The expert-backed tips that will have you on top of your fitness game.

Most professional tennis players spend on average 6-8 hours per day, six days a week, training, playing, warming up, cooling down, massaging or refuelling the body with the right nutrition. 

And while us mere mortals are not going to be putting in those hours, there are some simple tweaks everyday athletes can learn from their favourite tennis stars to boost their personal wellbeing.  

Try these tips from world renowned tennis coach Marc Sophoulis: 

1. Balance and structure

Balance is a critical aspect of everyday life to ensure you are prepared for success. And while it can be a juggling act finding time to tick all the boxes is going to help you stay in form – think regular exercise, taking time out for mindfulness and eating a healthy, balanced diet.   

Use a diary or a periodisation planner to find time fit everything into your schedule and to make sure you’re not missing an important deadline or activity. 

Having a plan with some structure and a routine helps the brain process what needs to be done and how you will go about doing it

2. Diet

Tennis players need the essential fuel to ensure they are performing on their court to their optimal best, and this applies to you too: 
  • Eat a balanced diet that hits all of the five food groups
  • Hydration – Water, water, water! It’s important to ensure you are drinking a minimum of eight glasses of water per day
  • Fill any nutritional gaps that you are not receiving through diet with supplementation
  • Always have a stash of snacks such as energy bars, fruit etc as an easy to grab source of energy on the go and before or after training

3. Rest and recovery

When doing any type of physical activity, it’s important to allow the body to have plenty of rest and recovery time. 
  • Sleep 8-10 hours per night. Your body recovers while you’re asleep, so making sure you get enough sleep each night is crucial to feel your best
  • Make time with friends and family for mental recovery
  • Meditation helps to clear the mind and promote mindfulness
  • Stretching a couple of times per week is beneficial
  • Book in for massages from time to time

4. Physical training

It goes without saying that the fittest players are the hardest to beat. Professional players spend almost more time preparing their bodies in the gym than actually training on the court.

Take inspiration from the tennis pros and mix it up. Variety is the key to working all aspects of fitness and to keep your mind in the game. Try:
  • Long distance running
  • Short distance agility movement
  • Weight training for muscle strength/power
  • Yoga for flexibility
  • Pilates for core stabilisation

About Marc Sophoulis

Renowned Tennis coach, Marc Sophoulis – Marc has contributed to the careers of tennis players Anastasia and Arina Rodionova, Monique Adamczak, Romanian Victor Hanescu, Indian Davis Cup player Karan Rastogi and Chinese Davis Cup player Di Wu. 

His track record has seen him recognised as one of a handful of certified Talent Development Coaches by Tennis Australia as well as winning the "Under 30 Victorian Coach of the Year" in 2011. That makes him a first port of call for junior stars from Tennis Australia’s ranks.