With winter approaching, the focus shifts to how to stay warm in the cold. Warming up your body on the court is important, but so is warming up your tennis gear. Certainly, appropriate dress is crucial to maintaining warmth and mobility on court. Here are some other less vital methods to enjoy winter tennis:
Treat Your Racquet as You Would Your Dog
Don’t leave it in the car for an extended length of time in any season, even in winter. Cold string, especially cold poly string, is especially harsh on your arm, so keep your gear bag indoors.
Restring For Winter
Restring for winter by reducing the tension a few pounds. Avoid a full-poly setup--if you must use poly, then do a hybrid with synthetic gut or a multi filament in the crosses.
While you may not be as thirsty when playing in the winter, your body still needs water to stay strong, fast, and healthy. Instead of water, we recommend filling your insulated water bottle with hot tea.
Adjust Your Play Style
During play, make small and continuous movements. In singles play, commit to making split steps throughout the rally. In dubs, split step when your partner is serving and you’re at the net (when the serve bounces in front of the receiver), as well as when your partner is receiving serve. During the rally, move with the ball, even and especially when the next ball is not likely to be played to you. If your body is active, your mind will be, too, and you’ll stay warm and play better tennis.
Keep The Tennis Balls in Your Pocket
Whenever possible, keep the balls in your pocket, instead of lying on the court, where they will get cold fast. Cold tennis balls don’t bounce properly and become hard, increasing the stress on your wrist, arm, and shoulder.
Tennis may be played safely during the winter months if you are honest with yourself about your physical limitations and gear. Because the cold can be hard on the body, make sure to follow these tips and you'll be well on your way to enhancing your game over the winter.