WHY TENNIS PLAYERS SHOULD DO YOGA
For the longest time yoga has been seen as something you do to ‘zen out’ but that time has gone. It is now considered as an important addition to all types of athletes training programs – including tennis players.
Here are some reasons to include yoga into your training program if you are playing a lot (or even just some) tennis:
Improves Your Range Of Movement & Mobility
A lot of us our desk bound 9-5 or even longer some days, so it’s no denying as we age we suffer from injuries due to poor range of motion, stiffness and imbalances.
By practicing yoga on a regular basis, you can improve your flexibility & overall mobility. Some poses also require you using your own body weight which is important for building strength, endurance and balance. Which are key to keeping your tennis game strong and improving.
Tennis is a highly mental sport, and often if you’re having a bad day prior to being on the court – it will show in your play unless you are strong enough mentally to let it disappear from your mind as you focus on point by point. In lots of ways stepping onto the court is very similar to stepping onto your mat. When you step onto your mat you are faced with everything that is going on in your life as you work to calm the mind and focus on linking your breath with the movement. And a similar thing happens on the tennis court where you are required to stay relaxed and focused on each point and not allow your mind to take over. This makes yoga excellent for tennis players, because it helps learn how to train the mind away from the constant mental chatter and instead focus on the task in hand. Often shots are thrown away in tennis because you are thinking about what might or has happened off the court. (An argument with your S/O or a business deal that’s come up…normally anything other than the shot you are playing). Regular practice of yoga will improve the minds ability to wander while you are on the court. However, it is something that will always a require a level of discipline - but worth trying!
There are hundreds of physical benefits yoga offers every athlete. Yoga helps you improve balance, flexibility, mobility and mental endurance, which are key to tennis players because of the variety of movement and pace the sport endures. Like we said above tennis is also a highly mental sport, which makes yoga an incredible tool to help focus your mind on the mat and on the court!
Yoga didn’t get the reputation of making you feel ‘zenned out’ for nothing. It is a great tool to use to reduce stress. When one is living in a state of stress it is often hard to accomplish anything at your optimum. Especially tennis – a sport that requires you stay relaxed as you make each shot. Taking a breath and breathing with the motion of your swing is how good shots are made. When practicing yoga regularly you will find the breathing exercises help handle anxiety more efficiently and enhance self-awareness. Therefore, Yoga is a good tool to help you show up to the court relaxed & in a strong mindset. In time it will also help you remain in that mindset & relaxed state throughout your game – even when you might be down a couple of points, or shots not going your way. Proving Yoga can aid your tennis game quite substantially.