The US Open swings into action today. And, for the next two weeks, tennis superstars from all over the world compete right here in my town of New York City! YAY!
I have to admit this is my favorite sporting event of the year! There’s nothing like a sweaty showdown between hot guys like Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, or Andy Roddick. As for the females, such as Kim Clijsters, Maria Sharapova, or Jelena Jankovic, they are fit, ferocious, and simply fun to watch. I am ready for action!
Yet, before any of the players hit the court – numerous hours are spent fine-tuning their game and prepping themselves mentally and physically to dominate! Russian stunner, Maria Sharapova shares with Healthy Hollywood how she prepares for game day – ‘life strategies’ we can all use in our daily lives.
Maria’s Personal Game Plan:
Start your day off on the right foot. There’s no better way to start your day than by eating a good breakfast. Whether you’re preparing for a big match or planning a day of relaxation, it’s the most important meal of the day. I eat all kinds of fruits and oatmeal with a little cinnamon. Make it your own!
Eat right…most of the time. When I am preparing for a tournament, I eat a lot of pasta and protein to get the energy I need to give my best. I try to cut out the sweets, but that is not easy! Not eating sweets only makes me crave them more!
Stay hydrated. Staying hydrated is important for all athletes. Not only does hydration encourage better performance, but also it’s great for your skin! I keep a bottle of water with me when I work out and when traveling, especially during the hot summer months.
Go outdoors. Don’t get stuck indoors all day. If the weather’s nice, plan to work out outside! I get great energy from being outside and enjoying running on the beach.
Look good to feel good. Working out day after day can become a boring routine. Add your own personal flair to your workout routines by spicing up your fitness wardrobe with a variety of colors and apparel options. You’ll be more enthusiastic about going to the gym just to show off in your new outfit!
Routines aren’t all bad. Having a pre-game routine allows you to stay organized in the midst of a chaotic schedule. I am a big fan of routine so I follow through with the same routine before every match. I stretch and warm up with my fitness coach by doing footwork drills to get my feet moving. Then I practice for 30-45 minutes with my coach to warm up all of my shots. After practice, we discuss the plan for the match.
Clear your mind. Clearing my mind is key to getting focused and mentally preparing for a match. Don’t let outside problems interfere with your performance. Before hitting the court, I try to find a quiet place away from everyone to get in the zone and listen to music.
Take time out for yourself. People can get so caught up in trying to please others that they often forget to do something for themselves. Take an hour or two each week to do things that you love to do! When I’m not playing tennis, I take time out to go to the spa to get pampered and relax on my own.
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Stress can take a toll on your mind and body. I recently partnered with Evian for ‘Live young’ Month to encourage people of all ages to seize the day and live life to the fullest. Check out facebook.evian.com to find out how others are living young!
Off-court, Evian water recently tapped the 23-year-old to be the face of their “Live Young” campaign. “The idea of youth as a state of mind caught my attention,” reveals Maria. For more tips on ‘living young’, jump to www.liveyoungtraining.evian.com.