Play less tennis and concentrate on getting fit! I’m former college player in my mid-40s who quit playing regularly for about eight years. Two years ago I decided to get back into playing. At first I could only play doubles (thanks to gaining 50 lbs. from my college playing weight due to a sedentary job and lack of exercise and frankly filling my pie hole way too much). My once explosive 4.5 serve and volley game had devolved to an ugly and inconsistent 3.5 baseline slog. So my strokes finally starting coming back to me by last winter, so I was able to do well in some tournaments, but if I had a hard grindy match I was done for the next round – too sore and worn out to play deep into a tournament. So this winter I decided to actually play less tennis and in turn hit the gym more often and it’s paid off. I just won a tournament this weekend and played seven matches along the way (including two in doubles). Even after three days of intense playing I feel pretty good. This time last year I might get through a round or two, but if I made it to a third round I was limping around so bad that I would fall, even sometimes to a players I should have easily beaten. Here’s what I changed: Last year’s weekly routine – Two half-hour hitting sessions with a pro (Mon. & Wed. afternoons) Two league singles matches (Mon. & Thurs.eves.) Two one hour hitting sessions with league teammate (Tues. & Thurs, early mornings) One league doubles match (On Saturday’s when not playing a tournament) One WTT match – two one-set doubles and a set of single (On Sunday) Gym (whenever I could fit it in) As you can see I was playing A LOT of tennis. Too much really for a man in his 40s. It resulted in nagging injuries and I felt tired a lot when playing matches. During tournaments I would just run out of gas. This year’s routine – A single one hour hitting sessions with a pro (Wed. afternoons) A single one hour drill session with fellow league player (Mon. at lunch) One league singles matches (Mon or Thurs. eves.) One league doubles match (On Saturday’s when not playing a tournament) Gym – Three or four times a week from about 45 to 90 minutes, very regularly. Includes light weight training, aerobic machinery, plyometrics (no more than once a week at my age) and core exercise routines. The results are amazing. A lot less time on the court and more in the gym and more rest. I’ve dropped 15 lbs. (still 25 to go) and have much fewer injuries and I feel much stronger through a tournament weekend. I guess the bottom line is you still have to put time in on the court to maintain and improve your game, but overall fitness is a major piece to the puzzle of game improvement.