| By Carl Barnett
Credit: David De Lossy

It’s early summer morning and you’re about to take the kids to tennis camp. They may not be hungry now, but it’s time to eat. Half a bagel or a bowl of cereal will do it if they are picky eaters. Just don’t let them go to work on an empty tank.

It’s also time to hydrate. A small cup of juice and a six-ounce water will really come in handy around 10:00 a.m. If the wait until they are thirsty or around the time of the first break, it is too late. They will fall behind on hydration all day long.

I like the combination of two waters for every sports drink. Give them a cooler and do not freeze their drinks in plastic. A sip of a sports drink and two sips of water every 15 min. will do the trick.

Pack a snack for mid-morning and mid-afternoon. I like a banana at those times. If they don’t like bananas, then pack some coconut water. This will give them the potassium they are missing from the bananas. If they are listless at lunch, they should increase the water as they may be dehydrated. If all they drink is a high fructose sports drink, it will only make them thirstier. Stay with the 2:1 water to fruit drink ratio.

Pizza is easy, but it is not the best lunch if they order themselves. A sandwich with meat and cheese, lettuce and tomato would serve them better. They do not need to eat all the bread if they don’t want it. Salads with a little meat and cheese will serve them best.

Remember, hydration and fuel for the next day begins after camp at home. Too much late night junk may keep them from eating in the morning.

Lastly, a good night sleep is essential. Not just for concentration, but for energy. They will more often suffer from a lack of sleep on the second day after a poor night’s sleep. Kids often do not connect the dots between a lack of sleep and poor performance.

Going to tennis camp is a real commitment on the part of both the parent and the child. Both parties need to follow these guidelines in order to succeed.

Carl Barnett

<p>Carl Barnett started the Early Hit Training Programs at Glen Head Racquet Club six years ago. He may be reached by phone at (516) 455-1225 or e-mail <a href="mailto:earlyhit@optonline.net?subject=Tips%20From%20the%20Tennis%20Pro%2...@optonline.net</a>.</p>