We have gotten a lot of inbound questions around playing and training for tennis when there is so little time between work, happy hour, and sleeping... So instead of taking this in an AMA we wanted to dedicate an entire post on how to squeeze tennis into a hectic schedule, especially as some of you try to play more this New Year!
Question: My question pertains to getting back into tennis. About 5 years ago I was playing in college on my college team every other day and was lifting and training for it but when I moved to New York around 5 years ago, I stopped.
I had a new job, responsibilities, my friends, my dating life, and sleep so my tennis went to the wayside and I am now tired of just going to the gym because I am just not as fit as I used to be and I ma pretty depressed about it... I work out occassionally at my gym which is always a hassle, and when I tried to join a league I wasn't really into the team I was on, the schedule, and the commute... My question is: how do I get back into tennis with my long days and busy lifestyle. Thanks for any info you can provide.
-- Anonymous Player
Answer: It takes motivation and discipline to return to a regular tennis regimen, but it sounds like you have the desire and the history to play! Your busy schedule and long hours are challenging but not totally incompatible to achieving a healthy and balanced life.
Start with small goals – beginning with just starting to rally with a friend or through one of our events this New Year that we are putting on! By starting I think you will realize that you haven't lost your groove as much as you think you have. Luckily tennis is a lot of muscle memory and also by getting back into it by just rallying or playing in a lightly competitive environment as a one off you will likely fall back in love with how fun it is to play and that in itself will motivate you to start developing the discipline to play more. Many former high school and collegiate players find that putting a schedule in writing and keeping a log helps them stick to a plan. Once you have a base under your belt, you can start training more for tennis season this summer by even incorporating fitness around tennis to help you get back to the shape that you used to be in but this time with a north star of getting better in time for tennis season so that maybe you can sign up for a tournament, join a league with confidence, or be able to play 1-2x per week instead of perhaps just once or twice a month.
One great motivator when you’re training is having a friend to play with to practice and having another or the same friend to train off the court with you. If you don't already have a friend to play with, we recommend joining a clinic or one of our New Year events to meet people to buddy up with. We’re a lot more likely to get out there and do it if someone is waiting for us. You could also choose to sign up for a summer tournament and use that as your pure motivator for training . Training for a specific event is another great way to stay motivated. Remember that your goal at first will simply be participating.
Keep in mind that it is very important to eat well and get plenty of rest as you increase your level of activity. This may mean going to bed earlier or cutting back a bit on those happy hours and maybe even lumping those dates and hangouts with tennis right after playing! Good luck on your return to tennis and feeling like the boss you are!