ReFuel Summer 2019:20 - Page 12

THE UNPREDICTABILITY OF MATCH DAY TENNIS Be prepared! laying hard and performing at your best is all about preparation, and routine means you have one less thing to worry about on the big day. A professional athlete knows exactly what they need to do on match day. From the time they wake, to warm ups, to strategies to resist fatigue during competition and recovery post activity. Tennis is as unpredictable as winning the lottery with respect to knowing when to begin this process. This uncertainty makes it difficult to plan exactly what needs to be done leading into a match. In other sports, athletes know what time they step onto the field, track or court. Knowing what time you step onto court means that preparation can be structured and timed in a predictable fashion. In tennis this is not completely possible. P For this very reason ensuring recovery is achieved after every training session and every match is pivotal in maximizing endurance potential for the next session. To promote recovery, it is important to consume a snack or meal within the first 30-60 minutes of completing training or a match. Good choices can include fruit and yoghurt, crackers with toppings that contain protein such as tuna, chicken or cottage cheese, smoothies, dried fruit and nuts and sandwiches with protein fillings. Replacing lost fluid is also essential for recovery. An athlete should always replace the amount of fluid they lost while on court and some extra. If we look back at setting up the day to perform, it is important that players implement strategies to ensure they start matches well fuelled and hydrated. Food choices at this time need to fulfil certain criteria. They should contain carbohydrate and protein, with small amounts of fat. Ideally a meal before should be consumed 3-4 hours before the time set for the match. After this meal it is very important to continue to eat and drink small volumes of food and fluid regularly leading into the match. When consuming foods and fluids before a match, never try anything new. Always stick to something familiar and well trialled. Leave the testing to training times! Consuming food and fluid before you step onto the court will ensure the body is comfortable and available fuel is ready to go while playing. When a match is played for longer than 60 minutes it is important to provide the body with fuel during matches. The length of matches is unknown, therefore, making it difficult to plan an appropriate intake. Consuming 30-60g of carbohydrate each hour of play rather than waiting for fatigue to set in is a smart way to approach matches. Food and fluid choices can include sports drinks, sandwiches, pretzels, bananas and sports gels/bars.  JOANNA SHINEWELL BA/BSC(HON) MND Sports dietitian, food lover, dietitian and eating coach, Joanna is passionately devoted to holistic nourishment. Joanna provides nutritional support and specific eating plans to individuals as well as providing information to a diverse range of sporting organisations and athletes from Tennis Australia, AFL umpires and Racing Victoria. 12 ReFuel Magazine Summer 2019-20 SUBSCRIBE HERE