This article is part of our Italian Week on Tennis Buzz.

When you think italian cuisine, you probably think pizza and pasta. The perfect food for a tennis player.

una vera pizza napoletana, napoli

Pasta

As a tennis player, your diet must help you:
– achieve high performance
– recover more efficiently
– have better health

The most important component of a tennis player’s diet are the Carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates (sugar, bread, potatoes, rice, pasta) fuel the muscles and avoid early fatigue.
You need to eat at least 6 grams of carbohydrate per kg of body weight per day (6 g/kg/day). When you are on the court several hours a day, you need to eat more carbohydrate: 7 to 10 grams per kg per day.
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This post was originally written by Scott Dunlop
The best way to play better tennis – part 1

Unlike most sports, which you simply cannot play as you age, you can keep playing tennis and improving throughout your active life.

I have been playing tennis most of my life. I do not play that often and occasionally miss months at a time but I keep it going. I also play with people at all levels. Previously, I played competitively, taught professionally and coached top ranked junior players. One thing proven to myself is that my tennis playing is improving as I age. I cannot say that my present game would be able to compete with my former competitive self or with today’s players at my former competitive level…but I am a much improved player. I know now much more about what kind of ball is being hit to me and what to do with it. My strokes are better and my ability to handle pressure, disppointment and success is way better. So overall I think I am a better player.

One reason for this is I was taught and learned good fundamentals. Good stroke fundamentals together with practice result in a more sure and accurate shot. So …certainly you can improve your stroke production as you age. But it is not essential to have the best strokes. Even with quirky strokes, if you keep playing and practicing, you will become a better player. The mantra for success at any endeavour is not talent or ability but to put in many hours of playing and dedicated practice.

Aging does limit your ability to move quickly. However, although you may not get to as many balls, when you do get there you can be in a better position, know what to do with the ball and strike the ball better to a better place. This means your tennis playing is better.

Juump: Meet Players, Find Courts, Play More Tennis

This post was originally written by Scott Dunlop

There are thousands of articles and books with tips on how to play better tennis. Most of these are written by pros who employ various techniques and drills to improve strokes and strategies.However the best way to get better is very rarely identified. It is simply to practice or play with more players.

Anyone who competes in tennis will tell you that although instruction and practice ground your strokes, you cannot tell if you improve until you play with or against other people. Other players test your skills. The more often you play with different players, the more you are tested and the faster you improve. The surest way to improve is in competition because your game is really on the line, but any play against different opponents is instructive because every player plays differently.

Most tennis players tend to play with the same players over and over because it’s comfortable and easy to arrange. However, if you really want to improve you need to get out of this comfort zone and actually play against a variety of different styles and skill sets. New players force you to develop new or better shots and strategies. You’ll also get the bonus of meeting people and making friends. You can find new players by asking a pro to set you up or using websites like Juump.

Juump: Meet Players, Find Courts, Play More Tennis

Interesting article by the Wall Street Journal about world number Rafael Nadal‘s training regimen and diet.

Rafa’s fitness team consists of 3 people: his doctor Angel Ruiz Cotorro, Manacor based gym teacher Joan Forcades, and his physio Rafael Maymo.

Dr. Cotorro describes Nadal as a “very special athlete”, who “mixes the explosive pace of a 200-meter runner with the resistance of a marathon runner”.
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First “I was there” story: Ludo at the Sanchez-Casal academy.

I went to the Sanchez Casal and stayed there for 2 years for different reasons.

The first one is because the academy is in Barcelona, Spain, which is not only a very sunny city which allows you to train outside during the whole year, but it is also a very nice and pleasant city for living.
Another reason that influenced my choice was because the academy had facilities such as hard courts, clay courts, synthetic grass courts, a gym and also a swimming-pool which I can assure you it’s perfect for relaxing after a long and tough day of practice under a blazing sun).

Sanchez-Casal tennis academy in Barcelona

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