Super 10s is an exciting competition for boys and girls who are born between 2006 to 2008.
Tennis NT, along with local coaches select up to 4 boys and 4 girls to represent Northern Territory at the Talent 10’s National Event in Melbourne (January 2018) where they will be split into teams with other players around Australia.
There are two seasons within the NT, both running over a 4 day periods. Tennis NT put together 4 different teams, consisting of 5 players per team for both seasons. From this event, 16 eligible players are selected for a talent 10’s camp over two days where players will compete for their place in the National Team.
A very exciting opportunity for all players involved.
As an athlete, it is important to recognize food as your body’s fuel. ‘Exercise cannot neutralize the effect of unhealthy foods in the body- although they look fit, their bodies would be that much more efficient with the correct fuel’. The article below shows examples of the best foods for performance before, during and after competition.
How Tennis Players Should Eat: By Samir Becic
Before a Tennis Match:
A healthy breakfast on competition days is one that includes complex carbohydrates such as whole wheat, oatmeal, and low calorie fruits. These complex carbs will keep a steady energy store to power through the matches later on in the day. A small amount of protein in the form of milk, an egg white or greek yogurt is a good complement to the meal, although protein will be more necessary after the match than before.
Players should avoid high sugar breakfasts and fruits or they risk feeling an energy crash in the middle of their matches due to the initial insulin release from the pancreas in order to keep blood sugar levels down.
Breakfast should be eaten at least two hours before the start of the match to avoid intestinal cramping.
During a tennis match:
During the match, tennis players use so much energy resulting to glycogen deposit depletion. The tennis diet during the match should be able to replenish the used-up glycogen. A perfect snack during a match is a banana, which will keep blood sugar levels steady and provide a quick energy boost mid-match.
Players should also not wait to be thirsty in order to drink water. Often, athletes do not feel thirst when the adrenaline is pumping through their bodies- so it is important to drink water every 15 minutes to replenish the water and electrolytes lost through sweating. A good alternative to sugar filled sports drinks is coconut water which is loaded with electrolytes and potassium.
Tennis Diet after the tennis match:
A lot of energy gets expended during a match, so it is important for athletes to refuel their bodies with a healthy balance of nutrition within 2 hours. For muscle recovery, a high amount of lean protein such as chicken or fish should be eaten as a balanced meal with some complex carbohydrates and vegetables. Whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, fitness bread (whole wheat 100% grain) with chicken breast or buffalo meat make for a great post-match recovery meal. Couple a full meal with a natural sodium source like low-fat, high protein cheese like mozzarella.
The Tennis Diet Foods to Include Daily:
A balance diet for tennis players should include: carbohydrates, proteins, healthy fats, minerals and vitamins, and water or fluids. It is also ideal to eat fresh food rather than the ready made and processed food.
Carrots: Promote healthy eyesight, which is important during a match.
Foods with Zinc: Studies have shown that 20 mg of zinc a day can improve hand-eye coordination. Food that contain zinc include oysters, pumpkin seeds, whole grains, sunflower seeds, animal proteins, beans, nuts and almonds.
Vitamin C:Found in high amounts in peppers and citrus fruits to aid muscle repair.
Choline: Tomatoes, egg yolks and potatoes are all high in choline, a member of the vitamin B family. It feeds your brain’s neurotransmitters and has been proven to improve reaction times.
Vitamin A: because it helps to make new white blood cells. Your body is going to need these to fight off infection and recover from the intense workouts. Vitamin A helps in fixing any micro tears in your muscles.
DMAE: Feed your brain something named dimethylaminoethanol, which is found in certain fish. This brain food is a neurotransmitter, which helps messages move across your nerves and brain. DMAE deals with the process required for remembering tactics, techniques and course sequences. Good natural sources of DMAE are salmon, sardines, and anchovies.
Foods to Avoid Right before a Match:
Protein shake. Try to avoid protein powders and large amounts of protein before a competition to lower the risk of digestive upset. Consume the protein shakes for post-competition when muscle recovery is key.
Caffeinated drinks. Skip the sugary sodas and coffee before a match. Caffeine is both hard on the stomach and dehydrating.
Whole-wheat pasta. Whole-wheat pasta can be a great pre-competition meal the night before or even 4 hours prior to the match when your body needs slow-releasing carbohydrates for long-lasting energy. However, immediately before a match, your body relies on quick energy from easily digestible carbohydrates.
Nuts and seeds. Nuts and seeds are super healthy sources of fiber and fat. However, before a competition, it’s important to focus primarily on simple carbohydrates and to limit amounts of fiber and fat to avoid any digestive discomfort during exercise.
Salads. Leafy greens can be healthy complement to your balanced pre- or post-competition meal. However, it’s best for athletes to avoid greens right before a match since they’re high in fiber and not easily tolerated. They are a great addition to a healthy tennis diet.
It’s so hard for girls to be girls sometimes. The pressure to perform like boys is instilled by parents, coaches and boys. Fathers born with a girl often say, I was hoping for a boy who would play tennis. Coaches often compare girls ‘lack’ of skill to the skill they think a boy has. Boys say, you hit like a girl. These are only a few of the many message girls hear, see, and have to digest. These messages give the connotation and make girls feel like being a girl is not good enough. The problem is that parents, coaches, and boys don’t often understand the impact of what they are saying. So, what is the impact?
Impact on girls
Girls don’t often understand the impact of negative messages about them being a girl. Part of the reason why, is because they have been brought up to listen and respect their parents and coaches and not talk back. The other reason girls don’t clearly understand what’s happening is because they are socialized to take the information given by those ‘that know better than me’ and utilize it. What’s the impact? Girls ‘go along for the ride’. They don’t tend to advocate for themselves or ask a lot of questions. They try, in the best way they know how, to do exactly what they think everyone wants them to do. This sets them up for failure. Why? Because they don’t ask many questions, they are never sure what everyone else wants from them and when they don’t meet expectations, they feel like they’ve failed. They feel like they’ve let people down.
This is partially where the cycle of Type A or perfectionism comes from. ‘I need to do exactly what I am told, perfectly, or not do it at all’.
Impact on women
When you have girls, who listen and don’t ask questions, don’t advocate for themselves, don’t have their own expectations and think they should be or need to be perfect to ‘succeed’, that impacts them for a lifetime.
Girls grow up to be mothers who teach their girls to do the same. Mothers take jobs working for men who treat them similarly to their parents, coaches and boys of younger years. Because they’ve been robbed of their self-esteem they take jobs that have less responsibility and pay less money. As coaches, they tend to coach the way they were coached. And so, the cycle continues.
Girls don’t even know what’s happening
As if this isn’t scary enough, the even scarier thing is that as kids, girls aren’t conscious of what’s happening. They get swept up in it. They just think it’s the way it should be. It’s considered ‘normal’ behavior to be put down and compared to boys & men.
Fortunately, not all girls have this experience. It is a small percentage but they are out there. Some can find their way out of the cycle while others are stuck for a lifetime, perpetuating the cycle.
What should be happening?
Girls are NOT boys nor should they try to be. It’s time to figure out how to appreciate girls for who they are and what they have to offer. It’s important to give girls the skills we give boys: how to ask questions, how to advocate for themselves, how to set their own expectations (and meet them), and that it’s OK not only to be a girl but you don’t have to be perfect. And actually, it is healthy not to be perfect.
It’s also important to recognize the language used with girls. You may not think the language you use is a big deal but it makes a lifetime impact. For many, it creates a lifetime of confusion, frustration, and misunderstanding their true identity. Girls are girls and need to be respected for that, not marginalized because of it.
Girls possess a lot of great qualities: drive, passion, tenacity, resiliency, emotion, strength, athleticism, etc. Both boys and girls have these qualities, but girls apply them on more on a methodical level and with a different intensity.
Together with Tennis NT and Tennis Australia, Gardens Tennis invited club players to attend our Talent Day Camp on Sunday 28th of August and Sunday 4th of September. The sessions saw players and coaches from the Gardens coaching program work with Tennis NT’s Coach and Talent Development Manager Pat Coburn.
The theme of the day was “Developing Habits that lead to Improvement”.
Aims of the session included:
To conduct a collective, intensive training environment for promising junior players and to monitor their development and the development of the player development program within Gardens Tennis.
To provide players and parents with the opportunity to understand the workload and technical requirements for players to accelerate their progression on the player development pathway.
It was a very rewarding experience for those involved.