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  • Writer's pictureBarbara J MacFarlane, MD

The Wellness of Tennis.

Singles tennis is played by yourself against one opponent at a time. Your fitness, your mental toughness, your strategy, your talent and skills against theirs. It is an equal playing field between the two of you in the same exact conditions.

Tennis as a microcosm of life.

After playing a lot of tennis you realize the game itself and the skills you need really mirror life itself. For both life and tennis you needs to be prepared, you need to have stamina, you need to be smart in the moment, you need to rely on your own mental toughness and you need to play by the rules with the goal of winning.

Being prepared in tennis.

There is a lot that goes into being prepared for tennis. Fitness that encompases endurance, flexibility and strength are all important. Having a repertoire of different strokes you can rely on is valuable.

Just as in life, the prep work that goes into being prepared is often undervalued or misunderstood.

Stamina in tennis.

Going the distance in life and in tennis is so important. Just as in life, he who lasts longer often wins the prize. With professional tennis matches often lasting 3 - 4 hours, players need to be fit as if ready to run a marathon. Interesting the player who definitely has staying power, Caroline Wozniacki has run a marathon and clocked 3:26 - no small feat! It is that stamina that helped her be number one for so long without having won a Grand Slam. With her improvement in her stokes and serve, she has become even more dangerous on the court. She got the reward of the Australian Open title.

Running either outdoors or on treadmill or cycling outside or on a stationary bike are definite components to build endurance stamina for tennis.

Being smart in the moment.

Acting on your feet on life is so important. It is extremely important in life as well. When you act smart in the moment, you can recognize and seize opportunity more effectively. A tennis player who is smart in the moment, can always find a way to win. We always enjoy seeing Roger Federer do just that. The 2018 Australian Open was a perfect example.

Tennis is really a game of mental toughness.

One on one sports are really about mental toughness. The calmness in your belief that you will win and that nothing will affect you is a developed skill that steads you well in tennis. Just as in life, unwavering belief in yourself goes a really long way and to be tough enough to not let that belief waver is the key to achievement. Assess each match how your mental toughness is doing. Keep focused on your goal and understand what can make miss your mark and adapt your strategy. A process so important in life as well in order to be spot on your targeted goal.

Playing by the rules.

What you realize in tennis is that there is a rule for everything. The rules are adhered to every match. The umpire is in charge of the rules but a player can question the call. It is rare that there is any heated exchange between the player and umpire becuase there is a rule for that as well. Players can be fined and even expelled from the game by the umpire. Racquet smashing can be fined and the racquet manufacturers are joining in with the fines.

Tennis is a game of doing everything well.

Right now we are in an interesting time in tennis with both Roger Federer and Serena Williams trying to push their achievement at age 36. Father time is making them each a little slower than their mid twenties but with tennis being a game of doing everything well, they are counting on their experience, their endurance on the court, their variety of shots, their skill at the serve and their unbeliveble mental toughness that comes so naturally to them. With their goals of being the oldest number ones and making many records for the ages, they certainly will test the resolve of the younger players. Serena is playing in the FedCup this weekend and Federer is competing in the ANB Amro World Tennis tournament. Serena has an amazing FedCup record. Federer has been champion in 2005 and 2012 in Rotterdam before. Both returning to number one soon?

We are up for a year of interesting tennis in both the men's and women's. Somehow I think we are going to have many fun surprises of athletic accomplishment. The wellness of tennis and tennis players will be on full display.

For your enjoyment:

WTA schedule:

ATP schedule:


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