The beautiful Summertime sunshine can pack a punch when it comes to heating up the tennis court. On average, tennis courts can be about 15 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than the actual air temperature outside and cloud coverage. It is important that tennis players make sure they are taking the correct measures to stay cool. Below are some tips on how to safely manage the heat while still winning points on the court:
Drink before, during, and after your play time. You should be hydrating at regular intervals, even before you feel thirsty. It is also best to avoid drinks with caffeine or a lot of sugar. Water is your friend! So drink up!
Choose the Right Clothing
This is one of the most effective ways to stay cool is to choose the right clothing to help keep you cool. Wearing lighter colors and wicking fabric will allow your skin to breathe and cool down. Look for shirts and shorts with mesh panels that allow air to flow through them and give your skin the ability to breathe. By wearing breathable fabric it will help you to not overheat.
When you first begin to play in the heat, it can be a real shock to your system. Build your Summertime endurance by starting slow and becoming acclimated to the heat and court temperatures.
If you are on a sundrenched court it is advisable to wear a head covering to keep the sun off your face and help keep you cool. Wearing a hat or visor can help keep the direct sun off of your head and out of your eyes. If possible, look for shade in between games. Even just a minute or two can be helpful.
There are lots of different ways to help your body cool down after playing. Ice packs are great to use on your body to help get cool faster by placing the ice pack on the back of your neck to bring down your body temperature. If an ice pack is unavailable and you have a bandana or are wearing wrist bands soak them in cold water then place them on your neck or wrists to bring down the sweat you built up.
Stay cool on the court this Summer and stay in tune with your body. Pay attention to how well your body is adapting to the heat while you play. Competing in the heat can be done safely while still crushing your game!