Tips for playing in 100F+ heat

Today I tried to play in really hot weather.

Even though I was using soft teaching balls, topspin bounces up above your head due to the temp.

It was easier to slice because of the big bounces on the red clay.

Even though we started at sunset, my body started shutting down after an hour. My heart rate goes up more than usual, and I start to feel ill.

I drank lots of water and poured water over my head at changeovers, but it was not enough.

Any secrets I should know? It’s not going to get any cooler down here now that springtime has arrived, so I need to get used to the new normal.
 

djkahn86

Rookie
That’s known as heat exhaustion.
Wear Light clothing
Drink pedialyte.
Eat Water loaded / hydrating Foods during the day. Water melon grapes, etc

If you have to be out in it that’s about all you can do considering your already at sunset. Plenty of rest during the daytime to make up for hitting that will happen later in day.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
I play in 100F+ weather all the time. By all the time I mean from about mid-May until about last week. Granted our high heat is a dry heat but 108 and over is still darn hot. Add humidity and it is much more difficult, and more dangerous.

First, you will in fact acclimate. Every year the first few times playing at 100F is really tough, then becomes much less of an issue. Anything over 110 I believe becomes a bit too dangerous.

As you get used to it, consider shortening your sessions ... start out with an 45 minutes to an hour max then increase your time as you start handling it better.

Feeling ill or having elevated heart rate indicates you were over doing it .... by a lot.

My protocol:
All day every day drink double what you think you need. Not kidding.
I agree with the other poster about "eating" your water. Melons, grapes, other high water fruits are a great way to add additional water into your system

Ice towels. You see them used by the pros at tournaments. Do it for yourself as well. A quick ice towel on your neck is pretty amazing at cooling you down .

Know your limits .... don't push it when you are starting to feel decidedly overheated.

Be prepared to play either in the morning or in the evening after the sun goes down. Avoid afternoons
 
Stick an ice cube under your hat, if you can keep your brain cool it helps. The Ozies would stick a cabbage leaf under their floppy tennis hats--not quite sure how that worked.
 

DJ-

Hall of Fame
Electrolyte type drinks before and during match, no black / dark clothing, watermelon snacks, light socks/shoes, more shade, and take your time like Nadal....
 

ChaelAZ

Legend
Well...this is normal for AZ so we don’t feel the effects as much. But my go to things are simple.

Mix a little Gatorade powder in your water. Don’t drink straight sports drinks as they can weigh heavy in your stomach. Same with food you might use for energy, have the smallest portions more often. When we did sectionals here in AZ I got the team hooked on small frozen pieces of fruit. Just nothing super acidic.

I also use a second large water jug with ice, a bit of water, and towels soaked in it. You can added cucumber and mango in to give them a very refreshing smell. Sound weird but works.

Wear a hat. If I start feeling too overheated I soak it and wear it during the match. Just make sure you wring it out before playing least it drips everywhere.

Conserve energy when you can. If you are normally a neutral ball grinder, consider more offensive shots to end points quicker. Focus on trying to serve tighter spots as well. Just end points quicker if possible.

Best of luck.
 
I am finding that we have 2 different kinds of 100F+ heat here in Paraguay.

The first type is associated with high winds. You don’t notice the heat as much and the sweat evaporates faster. But you dehydrate really, really fast, which can be dangerous. I learned the hard way a few weeks ago.

The other type of heat here is when it’s 100F+ and still moderately humid without wind. This is what we have right now. I don’t think there is any place in the US that has this extreme type of weather, at least not so frequently. Because of the humidity, sweat doesn’t really evaporate much and your body temperature just keep going up. This heat feels even more dangerous, as my organs feel like they are on the verge of shutting down from overheating.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
I agree that the high heat with humidity is much more difficult to deal with than a dry desert heat. No doubt about it.

During the USOpen '18 a lot of people started saying the pros were "weak" "unfit" "whining" when they were playing in near 100 with high humidity. It is no joke, can absolutely mess with you.

The thunderstorms coming in tomorrow looks like it will cool things down for you for the rest of the week.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
SImple dude. I bet 95% of the posters here I can out last in the heat. Wear a hoodie ALWAYS.... One can always take off layers but if you get used to not being in layers good luck.

Salt salt and salt is the key with lots of water.

Ask @ChaelAZ what I was wearing in the 100+ heat...
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
I am finding that we have 2 different kinds of 100F+ heat here in Paraguay.

The first type is associated with high winds. You don’t notice the heat as much and the sweat evaporates faster. But you dehydrate really, really fast, which can be dangerous. I learned the hard way a few weeks ago.

The other type of heat here is when it’s 100F+ and still moderately humid without wind. This is what we have right now. I don’t think there is any place in the US that has this extreme type of weather, at least not so frequently. Because of the humidity, sweat doesn’t really evaporate much and your body temperature just keep going up. This heat feels even more dangerous, as my organs feel like they are on the verge of shutting down from overheating.
Hey dude is the sunblock messing you up with the evaporation? The day I met you you had on more sunblock than I have ever put on in my whole life!!1
 

Cage Rattler

New User
I played in an ITF tourney a couple of years ago in Paraguay .. even the local were conceding during the day as it was so hot. Final was played at 8pm and then it wasn't so bad .. you had to stay hydrated. And that was the only seniors tournament I've played where there was a ball boy .. a single guy running around like mad across the whole court .. the worst thing as you couldn't walk slowly to pick up a ball and had to be ready to play the next point almost immediately! Averaged around 35C .. and then the next week playing in Mendoza, Argentina where it was 5C ... crazy temperature drop! To sort out the heat issues .. make sure you are drinking liquid with enough sodium content .. all the regular off the shelf stuff does not work. Precision Hydration is your friend .. used by world-class triathletes, etc. No problems once I started using that stuff.
 

chatt_town

Hall of Fame
Today I tried to play in really hot weather.

Even though I was using soft teaching balls, topspin bounces up above your head due to the temp.

It was easier to slice because of the big bounces on the red clay.

Even though we started at sunset, my body started shutting down after an hour. My heart rate goes up more than usual, and I start to feel ill.

I drank lots of water and poured water over my head at changeovers, but it was not enough.

Any secrets I should know? It’s not going to get any cooler down here now that springtime has arrived, so I need to get used to the new normal.

drinking water is not enough. You need to drink Pedialyte or the off brand(What I drink) and I drink it straight. Anything over 90 I keep 2 to 3 bottles in my bag. I also eat as the match is going on. I remember once I ate 10 slices of pizza while I was playing a final after having won the semis the same day. I was about 37 or 38 then. I still eat while playing. The key is not to wait until something is going wrong and look to avoid problems before they occur. I also even keep pickle juice with me and I sip it through out the match. some prefer mustard.
 

chic

Rookie
I agree with everyone else on the pre-hydrating and electrolytes/salts.

But also, take time to sit on changeovers –before you're tired– you won't need it in the early games, but building the habit will pay off. Most people don't sit till too late playing recreationally
 

stapletonj

Professional
If I recall, the cabbage leaf under the hat trick was actually pretty ingenious. You see, the cabbage leaf was FROZEN. (or close to it) As it melted, it kept you cool, but since the water was within the cell structure of the leaf, the melted part did not run down your head, but stayed in the leaf (pretty much). Once it totally melted, take it off and put another one in if needed.
 

R1FF

Semi-Pro
I agree with everyone else on the pre-hydrating and electrolytes/salts.

But also, take time to sit on changeovers –before you're tired– you won't need it in the early games, but building the habit will pay off. Most people don't sit till too late playing recreationally
That’s good advice.

I’ve been thinking about how to provide some input on this thread without asking the person to make wholesale nutritional changes (which imo is the only answer to the OP’s question if maximum performance is the goal).

Hacks such as extended rest on changeovers is a great suggestion. Especially the part about not waiting until it is too late.

Salt & water are super important but made more difficult to manage when on a sugar burn imo. Because the body is not really in a water flushing mode. High sugar diets cause water retention. So even when you’re sweating, your body is sorta fighting itself.

Maybe a cooler with cold wet rags wouldnt be a bad idea during changeovers? Anything you can do to aid the body in cooling itself probably helps a lot.
 
If I recall, the cabbage leaf under the hat trick was actually pretty ingenious. You see, the cabbage leaf was FROZEN. (or close to it) As it melted, it kept you cool, but since the water was within the cell structure of the leaf, the melted part did not run down your head, but stayed in the leaf (pretty much). Once it totally melted, take it off and put another one in if needed.
This is the type of secret tip I was looking for. I think I can find some giant leaves down here that might work.
 

GeoffHYL

Rookie
If you get dizzy or throw up you should quit for the day. If you stop sweating you should quit as well. Make sure you have emergency numbers easily accessible for the opponent to find on your limp body or in your gear in case you completely pass out.

Seriously, you might want to change your shirt multiple times during the match. If this is the humid heat where your sweat doesn't evaporate, then changing shirts might help. The towels soaked in ice water on change overs sounds good, too.
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
My suggestion is to not play and go find air conditioning. I won't play tennis in any temp over 90F. The risks are not worth it IMO.

"Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun"
 

ptuanminh

Hall of Fame
I go play in my home country maybe once of twice a year. Low temperature during summer is around 95 with 80% humidity. Under this condition, you can play 1 serving game and feel like you are dead. But after a month, i can run around for 30 40 minutes no problem. I guess once you get used to with it, you will be fine.
 
I go play in my home country maybe once of twice a year. Low temperature during summer is around 95 with 80% humidity. Under this condition, you can play 1 serving game and feel like you are dead. But after a month, i can run around for 30 40 minutes no problem. I guess once you get used to with it, you will be fine.
Since forecast for Seattle is for drizzle this weekend, we will hit in climate controlled 72 degrees indoors.
 

n8dawg6

Legend
use electrolyte tablets (i.e. nuun) and preload your hydration starting when you wake up. stay out of direct sun when possible. take breaks. realize that even if you hydrate and take breaks, at some point the heat will be too much. know what your limit is

MOST of my tennis is in heat indices that exceed 100 F. it just makes everything more difficult
 

hoot56

New User
I take two sets of wrist bands and two head bands and a small towel. I carry a water cooler with ice in it. Add water to the cooler. Place l set of wrist bands, 1 head band, and the small towel in the cooler in the water. At change overs, swap out the wrist bands, head band, and wipe face and neck with the towel. Squeeze sweat from other items and place in the water for the next change over. i have tried the frog togs and shamois things and they just get hot on me quickly. you can take a medium sized towel, dip it in the water, and wrap it around your neck and tuck it into your shirt.
 

Bagumbawalla

Hall of Fame
Here in California, in the Central Valley, in Fresno, we can have over 100 dg. heat for weeks at a time. You just get used to it...

And then I went to visit someone in New Jersey. The temperature was only in the 90s, but the humidity was over 80 pct.. It was very unpleasant.

There are ways to deal with the heat, but humidity is difficult to overcome.
 

shadow01

New User
I got some free samples of cooling towels as swag at a conference. You basically get them wet, squeeze the water out, and whip them in the air quickly, and put it around your neck. The evaporating action really cools down the body. This past summer, I used it on the really hot and/or humid days and it did work well in addition to the hydration suggestions above. To keep the towel from flopping everywhere while running around the court, I tucked it into my shirt. After every few points, I would just whip it again.
 

zaskar1

Rookie
Today I tried to play in really hot weather.

Even though I was using soft teaching balls, topspin bounces up above your head due to the temp.

It was easier to slice because of the big bounces on the red clay.

Even though we started at sunset, my body started shutting down after an hour. My heart rate goes up more than usual, and I start to feel ill.

I drank lots of water and poured water over my head at changeovers, but it was not enough.

Any secrets I should know? It’s not going to get any cooler down here now that springtime has arrived, so I need to get used to the new normal.
traveler

there are no secrets, other than "dont play when its that hot" you should take some electrolytes or drink gatoraide
to slow down the dehydration.

we have had to drive my wife's team captain to the ER when she got dehydrated after a long match last summer, it was only
95 degrees, but the court temp was 10-15 degrees higher. they had a long match that lasted almost 3 hours

z
 

nickarnold2000

Hall of Fame
I’m currently living in southern Taiwan which in the summer has Miami like conditions; really hot and humid, sweat everywhere. Pickle juice works but it means you need to have bottles of it on hand which isn’t convenient. So what I do is add salt to my water and wear a wide brim hat. It also helps to be in shape and to sleep well the night before. If you’re caring around extra weight it just makes it harder. I’ve never had a problem with sunblock making me sweat more but you definitely need to use a sport variety.
 

MathGeek

Hall of Fame
Hotter weather has been harder for me the last few years, especially this year. I think it's mostly age related. This year, I just had to acclimate slowly with increasing levels of outdoor exercise in the heat. After enough mountain biking in the heat, I could handle a couple sets of tennis. But it never got to like when I was 20 and could play 5 sets in the Louisiana heat. Even in my forties, I considered real heat a serious advantage over most opponents. Not this year.
 

apjones01

New User
To reiterate what others have said - I'll further the suggestion of fruit, fruit and more fruit. Bananas are obviously popular amongst the pros, but for pure hydration - red grapes, pineapple, cantaloupe, watermelon, a plum, etc. These are all great both before and after playing.

P.S. many of those fruits are also wonderful after you wake up with a blistering hangover. (Though a bacon, egg n' cheese + Orangina is my go-to.)
 
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