Can Tennis be a Winter sport?
I think we can all agree that waking up on a cold winter’s morning and seeing frost on the ground is one of the least inspiring things to see before you go out and play tennis especially if you’ve booked a court outside! But we need to keep active.
The mince pies, Christmas dinner and the chocolate consumed over the winter period can also have a big effect on going out and staying active, I mean who doesn’t love a mince pie!
For a lot of people tennis is not considered a winter sport, especially if, like many, you don’t have access to indoor courts. However, there are lots of ways to keep playing tennis and stay active even when the weather is miserable.
- Keeping a routine through winter
I’m a big believer in routines and sticking to them, many of us have routines we stick to all year round, this could be as simple as going to bed at the same time and waking up at the same time every day or even planning out your weeks. For me personally I have a routine (not always followed) all year round that I try to stick to. My routine (Monday – Saturday) goes like this: wake up at 7:30am every day, at 7:45am I go for a 3-mile run to start the day off. 7:45 I have my breakfast and then at 8:30 I start my work for the day – just a simple morning schedule/routine like that will start your day off more focussed and lead on to the rest of the day being more productive I’ve found.
However, unlike summer when I wake up with sun shining through my window, winter is a lot gloomier and darker. This means a lot of the time when it gets to late autumn and winter I struggle to stick to my routine and I feel this is the same for a lot of people.
One way to try and stick to this routine is to have a partner/sibling/friend follow the same routine as yourself. This allows you both to push each other and help each other to get up and at it even when you’re not feeling up to it. Having someone else with the same routine also makes it more enjoyable, for example if you were to go for a walk every morning it might be easier/enjoyable with a friend.
- Ways to get yourself out the house and active
Being ‘Active” doesn’t necessarily mean being exhausted by the end of the activity you do; it can even mean a 15-minute walk or a bit of gardening. This is important to remember as many people often think they do too little.
There are certain days when playing tennis is just not a viable option. This may be due to rain, snow or even just the temperature. This may limit how you stay active – however there are things you can do wether this means doing yoga in your living room or going for a walk with the family.
A good way of keeping your eye in the game when it’s not suitable to play tennis at your club is to practise in the garden either against a wall or with a partner or even on your own just trying to keep the ball up. The wall is my favourite hitting partner – however you will never beat it! A wall is so good to practise volleys, groundstrokes and you can even practise shots such as lobs and drop-shots on them, depending on the service.
Other ways in which you can keep active when the weather outside is against you is to follow online training programs. We saw a lot of these come around during covid however if you are looking for a great, fun programme I would recommend Joe Wicks
Throughout the year Active Away run a lot of Tennis Clinics up and down the country. This is a great way of keeping active during winter as all our Clinics are held at centres with indoor facilities and, as we always play indoors the weather cannot be a factor. All our Clinic destinations are held at places where you can come before and grab a coffee and a snack before as well as during lunch. These Clinic days not only allow you to play a lot of tennis during the winter but also allow you to learn a lot and improve on your doubles game. If you are interested, make sure to take a look at our Indoor Tennis Clinic Venues.
- Things you can do before stepping out the house – prep
If you are planning on venturing out in cold or horrible weather there are some things that will help prevent injury, keep the activity fun, and enable you to be more active.
The first thing I recommend even before stepping out is to make yourself a warm drink. This not only allows you to warm up but also mentally prepares you let’s say for a run.
Music/podcasts can help make the activity more interesting and enjoyable – I like to make a playlist of songs I want to run to before I start and that also motivates me as well. A podcast is also a great thing to listen to whilst running if you don’t have a partner to run with. This somewhat allows you to not focus too much on the weather but instead allows your mind to focus on something else.
After choosing the podcast or music you are going to listen to, warming up is a necessary step before going on the run or doing a lot of activities. To complete a warmup, you need to start by raising your pulse and then doing light stretches. It’s also a good Idea when starting off the activity not to push yourself too hard especially if you’re not used to doing it – this can prevent injury from occurring.
- Different ways to make tennis interesting in the cold weather
Many people when they go out to play tennis often start by rallying and then may play a few points towards the end and that will be their tennis session complete. This is not necessarily a bad way of playing tennis but in cold weather when the ground is slippery it can lead to injury which isn’t fun for anyone.
A great way to start a tennis session is by volleying with your partner, seeing how far back on the court you can go without letting the ball bounce. This not only allows you to work on different aspects of your game but also makes the session more enjoyable.
Practising volleys and overheads are a great way to make the session more exciting and safer whilst playing out in the cold, it allows you to hit a lot of shots (both the player volleying and the player at the base line) and it doesn’t require a lot of movement around the court which makes for a safer and more risk-free time.
Cardio tennis is a great activity to try out especially when it’s cold, it allows you to stay warm whilst also getting a great workout. It allows you to hit a lot of balls and change it up and do some different exercise to just hitting balls. You don’t need a coach; all you need is a willing partner and some music preferably and off you go.
- Look forward to the spring/summer tennis
A big part of keeping active in the cold and miserable weather is knowing and looking forward to the better weather in the spring and the summer. Being able to look forward to something really helps keep you motivated and wanting to get out and get active.
Active Away also offer Tennis Holidays to many lovely places around the world including Mainland Greece and some Greek islands, Turkey, Croatia, Dubai and many more. The Tennis Holidays we provide are unlike any others! You not only get a great coaching team for the week but also a team who interacts and brings people on the week together, wether that is during the social afternoon we run or over a delicious meal in the local town. If this is something that interests you then check out our website for more incredible destinations and great offers on our Tennis Holidays.
There is nothing better than playing tennis on a nice, warm summer’s evening – so look forward to that and keep active even when the weather is not on your side.