Tips for Staying Cool on the Court

Playing tennis on hot days can be a challenging yet rewarding experience, especially when you're on vacation in beautiful destinations like Cala Millor, Mallorca. Whether you're a seasoned player or a tourist eager to enjoy some time on the court, staying cool is essential for both performance and health. At the RA Tennis Academy and Club, we understand the importance of keeping our players comfortable and safe in the heat. For example, starting next week we will changing our Academy schedule and starting at 18:00 rather than our usual time at 16:00.

That being said, here are some practical tips and advice to help you stay cool while playing tennis on hot days.

Understanding the Heat

Before diving into specific tips, it's crucial to understand why playing tennis in hot weather can be particularly taxing. Especially when on vacation, high temperatures can lead to heat exhaustion, dehydration, and sunburn, all of which can negatively impact your game and health. This is fairly straight forward, nonetheless many of us, while on vacation don't take this into account. In sports, the combination of physical exertion and exposure to the sun can quickly deplete your energy levels and lead to overheating if precautions are not taken.

So here are a few thoughts in regards to playing in the heat.

Dress for Success

Lightweight and Breathable Clothing

Choosing the right clothing is your first line of defense against the heat. Opt for lightweight, breathable fabrics like polyester or nylon, which wick away sweat and allow for better air circulation. Avoid cotton, as it tends to retain moisture, making you feel heavier and hotter. At the RA Tennis Academy, all our alumni receive a lightweight breathable fabric from Joma as a small thank you. Either way, we recommend gear from reputable sports brands that specialize in moisture-wicking technology.

Wear Light Colors

Light-colored clothing reflects, rather than absorbs, the sun’s rays. Whites, pastels, and light grays are excellent choices for staying cool. Dark colors, on the other hand, absorb more heat and can make you feel warmer.

Protective Accessories

  • Hats and Visors: A wide-brimmed hat or visor can provide shade and keep the sun off your face.
  • Sunglasses: Invest in a good pair of sunglasses with UV protection to shield your eyes from the sun's glare.
  • UV-Protective Clothing: Consider wearing clothes with built-in UV protection. Many sports brands offer these to help prevent sunburns.

Hydration: The Key to Performance

Start Hydrating Early

Begin hydrating well before you step onto the court. Drink plenty of water in the hours leading up to your match. This will ensure that your body is well-hydrated from the start. This doesnt mean drinking a liter of water right before practice. This does mean start sipping on water in bit sized sips ca. 30 - 45min before practice starts.

Hydrate During the Game/Practice

Bring a large water bottle and sip regularly, even if you don't feel thirsty. In hot conditions, you can lose a significant amount of fluids through sweat. Drinking small amounts frequently is better than consuming large quantities infrequently.

Electrolyte Drinks

In addition to water, consider having an electrolyte drink to replenish the salts and minerals lost through sweat. Drinks containing sodium, potassium, and magnesium can help maintain your energy levels and prevent cramps.

Timing is Everything

Play Early or Late

If possible, schedule your matches for early morning or late evening when temperatures are cooler. Midday sun is the hottest and can make playing conditions uncomfortable, especially when it is all sunny.

Take Frequent Breaks

During your game, take regular breaks to rest and cool down. This is especially important if you're playing during the hotter parts of the day. Use the breaks to hydrate and find some shade. Our courts have umbrellas. Please use them and close them afterwards.

Cooling Techniques

Ice Towels

Bringing along a cooler with ice towels can be a game-changer. Place a towel on your neck or forehead during breaks to help lower your body temperature. Alternatively, who carries an ice towel around, utilize a small wet towel. Head to our bathrooms or showers, make it wet and place around your neck.

Cooling Vests

Cooling vests are another great option. These vests are designed to keep your core body temperature down and are especially useful in extreme heat. While they might not be a common part of your tennis gear, they can make a significant difference in maintaining your performance and comfort.

Portable Fans

Small, portable fans can provide a refreshing breeze during breaks. Battery-operated fans or those that can be attached to a water bottle for misting are excellent choices.

Adapt Your Game

Adjust Your Playing Style

In hot weather, it's essential to adapt your playing style to conserve energy. Focus on shorter rallies and try to end points quickly. Playing long, drawn-out rallies can lead to quicker exhaustion and overheating.

Take Advantage of the Shade

Whenever possible, position yourself in shaded areas of the court during breaks and changeovers. This small adjustment can help you cool down and recover faster. Our windbreakers, depending on the time of day, at times throw a shade on parts of the court. Utilize those aside from the umbrellas.

Slow Down the Pace

It's okay to play at a slower pace in extreme heat. Take your time between points and don't rush your serves. This will help you conserve energy and maintain a steady performance throughout the match.

Sunscreen

Choose the Right Sunscreen

Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Broad-spectrum sunscreens protect against both UVA and UVB rays, which are responsible for skin damage and sunburn.

Apply Generously and Frequently

Apply sunscreen generously at least 30 minutes before stepping out into the sun. Reapply every two hours, or more often if you're sweating heavily. Don't forget areas like the back of your neck, ears, and the tops of your feet if you're wearing sandals.

Nutrition for Hot Weather

Eat Light Meals

Heavy meals can make you feel sluggish, especially in the heat. Opt for lighter meals rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. Foods with high water content, such as watermelon, cucumbers, and oranges, can help keep you hydrated.

Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol

Both caffeine and alcohol can contribute to dehydration. Stick to water, electrolyte drinks, and natural juices to keep your hydration levels up.

Be Prepared: What to Bring

Essentials for Tourists

If you're a tourist visiting Cala Millor and don't have your gear, don't worry. Our Academy has you covered with rental equipment and on-site purchases. However, there are a few essentials you should consider bringing:

  • Reusable Water Bottle: Having your water bottle allows you to stay hydrated throughout your session. Otherwise, we have ice cold water on site.
  • Sunscreen: Pack your preferred brand and use it.
  • Comfortable Clothing: Pack lightweight and breathable athletic wear suitable for hot weather.

Rent or Buy Equipment

We have equipment on site including balls and rackets as well as apparel - shorts, shirts, wristbands, caps and more. You can find everything you need to enjoy your game without compromising on comfort or performance.

After the Game: Recovery Tips

Cool Down Properly

A proper cool-down routine is crucial after playing in the heat. Spend a few minutes walking or doing gentle stretches to gradually lower your heart rate.

Rehydrate

Continue drinking water and electrolyte drinks after your game. This will help replenish any fluids lost during play.

Take a Cool Shower

A cool shower can help lower your body temperature and refresh you after a hot match. It also helps remove sweat and sunscreen residues from your skin. We have showers on site in both our male and female changing rooms.

Rest and Relax

Give your body time to recover. Avoid strenuous activities and relax in a cool, shaded area. This will help prevent heat-related illnesses and ensure you're ready for your next game.

Enjoying Your Tennis Experience in Cala Millor

Playing tennis in Cala Millor, Mallorca, at the RA Tennis Academy can be an unforgettable experience, especially when you know how to manage the heat. By following these tips, you can stay cool, hydrated, and safe while enjoying your time on the court. Whether you're a local or a tourist, our facilities are equipped to provide you with the best possible tennis experience, even on the hottest days.

Remember, preparation is key. Dress appropriately, stay hydrated, and listen to your body. With the right precautions, playing tennis in hot weather can be both enjoyable and rewarding. Visit RA Tennis Academy and Club in Cala Millor to make the most of your tennis adventures in Mallorca!