Home > Cooper Updates > Serving Up Summertime Tennis Tips

Serving Up Summertime Tennis Tips

Tennis is a year-round sport, but the difference between indoor and outdoor play can affect your performance in a big way.

“A lot of people go into hibernation mode in the winter and then come out in the summer and realize they’re not as prepared as they thought,” says Cooper Fitness Center Tennis Pro Corey Noel.

Whether for recreation or competitive, Noel offers tips to help ensure you’re prepared when it comes to playing during the dog days of summer.


During the summer months, almost every tennis league holds matches outdoors. To get 78479731_tennisacclimated to the heat, Noel says training outside is essential.

“If you’re not practicing outdoors and doing drills outdoors, you’re not going to be ready,” says Noel. Noel suggests practicing outside during the same time of day you’ll be competing. For example, if your tennis match is at noon, try practicing outside during that time.

“It’s going to be hot, but challenge yourself to stay out longer each time,” says Noel. “The first day, try playing an hour during the heat of the day and an hour and a half the second day. Eventually, you will notice your endurance increase.”

Remember, you can’t quit during a tennis match just because you’re too hot. Most importantly, be consistent with your play times. Noel recommends playing at least once a week in the summer to help acclimate your body to the heat as quickly as possible.

You Are What You Eat (And Drink)

When it comes to playing tennis in the heat of the day, what you eat and drink is important.

Noel recommends hydrating 18-24 hours prior to playing. As for food, try consuming a high-carb meal the night before. The day of play, eat something lighter, such as an energy or protein bar.

“I’ve seen people who are in great shape come out and play in the heat and they struggle because they didn’t prepare properly,” says Noel.

Noel suggests packing plenty of water, sports drinks and energizing snacks, as you will have breaks in between your time on the court.

“A tennis match is no finite amount of time, so if you’re only prepared for an hour match and it goes three hours, that can really have an impact on your performance,” says Noel.

Noel’s pre-match routine is to drink a combination of water and a sports drink, such as Gatorade, about 12-18 hours before he plays.


Take Advantage of Breaks

Tennis is a sport, like football, where players have designated breaks. Noel say it’s important to utilize that time to not only hydrate, but seek shade when you can, especially as you switch sides.

“You want to be out in the sun as little as possible,” says Noel. “Keep in mind, the surface of the court is 25-30 degrees hotter than the actual air temperature.”

That means on a 90 degree day, it can be as hot as 120 degrees on the court. Keep these tips in mind to help keep you at peak performance while on the court.

  • Get plenty of sleep the night before
  • Wear light-colored clothing
  • Wear sunscreen that’s SPF 30 or higher
  • Wear a hat to help shade your face and protect your scalp from the sun

For more information about tennis programs at Cooper Fitness Center or to register for tennis lessons, visit cooperfitnesscenter.com.

Categories: Cooper Updates
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