Top Performance Boosters: Tennis Player Tips for Achieving Your Goal
When it comes to tips for success, it makes sense to go to someone who's not only seen it, but is also currently fighting to come back out on top. One of those people is Serbian beauty and tennis champ Ana Ivanovic, who was ranked the number one female tennis player in the world at 20 years old. Two years later, after losing her stride and falling to 40 in the rankings, she hopes to boost performance and make a comeback at this year's US Open. (Even at number 40, Ivanovic's still a 10: She appeared in this year's Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue). We got a chance to sit down with her at the Adidas Barricade 10th Anniversary Celebration in Manhattan. Looking gorgeous and confident in a loose sweater thrown over her casual gym pants, her long, silky hair pulled into a high ponytail, she gave us her food, mind, and workout tips for success. Here's her plan to boost performance to the next level, staying in top athletic condition, and looking absolutely stunning through it all.
To boost performance, let go and enjoy the moment.
There's a lot of pressure on Ana to prove herself again this season, but she doesn't let it get to her. "I'm very determined and I know I can achieve, so I don't let little setbacks put me down," she says. "This is what I love doing after all and you just have to accept it. For me, it was letting go of the past. Once you manage to do that you actually enjoy the moment."
Set yourself up for success.
Ana takes a positive, can-do attitude when motivating herself. "There are many times I don't feel like going to work out, but I know if I do I'll feel better," she says. "You have to have a nice environment as well-good music to stimulate you and get you motivated."
Switch things up.
"I work out a lot, but it changes day to day," says Ana. "I always start out with some cardio-either a jog, a bike ride, or footwork drills designed specifically for tennis movement. Then I do weights, but I switch the days: one day it's upper body, the next day it's lower body. Then I do stomach and back pretty much every day." Her favorite strength-building moves are squats for her legs and bench dips to keep her arms toned.
Stretch after, not before.
"It's not good to stretch when you're cold. Get your heart rate up and once you finish, take time to stretch and let your body calm down," says Ana. Embrace your nerves.
"Know you're going to be nervous and accept it. Be in the moment and deal with it as it comes, because fear of something happening is worse than the thing happening," she says. "There is no chance of not getting nervous, but that can be a good thing. You're more aware of things."
Treat yourself to a healthy day.
Being in top shape isn't just about working out. It's also eating right and making time for yourself and your friends. Ana's perfect healthy day? "Wake up early-ish, maybe 7 or 8, then go for a 40-minute jog, then have a nice shower, a cup of coffee and some fresh fruit. Then go catch up with friends or go shopping. For lunch, maybe a salad with chicken and mango, or something exotic. Then probably fish with rice and steamed veggies in the evening. My workouts are usually morning before breakfast, then tennis after breakfast, then another tennis session in the afternoon."
Look your best even after a sweaty workout.
Ana is constantly in the public eye, and will often be whisked off to a press conference or meet-and-greets directly after a performance. She recommends washing your face following a workout. "Use something soapy or just have a toner, because you sweat a lot." When she's on the go, she brings Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream for her lips. "It really keeps them moist and gives them a little bit of shine, because if you're constantly running and talking and meeting people, your lips get dry."