The US Open Pickleball Championships are only ONE week away!
If you’re going, are you ready?
So many things both mentally and physically to do to get ready for competition. One could probably write a book on what to do and not do when competing in the Naples, Florida weather. It will be humid. It will be warm. The days are long and your focus must remain razor sharp. So, instead of a lengthy reminder of some serious hydration requirements, safety from the sun and not forgetting to have fun, I decided to ask two professional pickleball friends their THREE TIPS to help YOU be prepared for competition and enjoy your US Open experience.
First up, Hilary Marold, whose long list of achievements includes GOLD at the 2018 US Open Pickleball Championships in Singles and Women’s Doubles age 65-69.
- Enjoy the process/soak in the specialness of an environment in which each of us is lucky enough to be a competitor.
- Come prepared both mentally and physically to compete in the high temperatures of Naples in late April, early May. Hydrate fully, days prior to the tournament. Remember the less (mental) stress you feel about playing in stifling heat the better execution (physical) of play. Hint: mental state impacts your ultimate result.
- Don’t underestimate the decompression time you need after each day of competition. When the event is done for the day, it’s done! Don’t obsess about what shoulda, woulda, coulda…unless you eeked out the win. LOL, then you can swim in your good fortune! Go out to dinner with friends.
Now we are full circle back to my #1: ENJOY the process. We are in beautiful Naples, getting good exercise, living happy lives. That is my bottom line. It should be yours too!
Thank you, Hilary, that’s some good stuff. Now for those of you that need a list of items to check off, here it is:
Left photo – FUN! (My mom, me, Kim and Gee Gee) Right photo – FOCUS!
Next up, Steve Cole who resides in Las Vegas (a hot location!) Steve also has a long list of medals including 2018 US Open Pickleball Championships GOLD in Men’s Senior Open and Bronze in Men’s Doubles age 50-54.
My 3 tips while playing in the heat during tournaments:
1. First and foremost, plan for a long day. Plenty of water with electrolytes. Healthy snacks and don’t forget the sunblock.
2. Stretch and get loose before you start. Keep doing light stretching and staying loose in between matches as well. It’s okay to rest in between matches, just avoid getting “tight”.
3. Stock in your bag some items to avoid cramping such as pickle juice, Mustard packets, and Hyland’s leg cramp pills. When not playing, stay in the shade.
Bonus Tip: on those high humidity days, bring extra socks and shirts to change as needed.
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