I’ll start with a bit about myself, my name is Dermot Bailey I am a wheelchair tennis player currently 4th in Britain and 44th in the world, I also actually work as an accountant for four days a week so fitting in training can be tough!
For those who don’t know wheelchair tennis and the able bodied equivalent are very similar, in fact the only difference is that wheelchair players get two bounces of the ball.
I am currently in the final stages of training for the Swedish open in Uppsala, this time last year I went out to the tournament and lost first round. This year I am going as the number 2 seed. The training I am doing for this is mainly based around points practice, for me this is the key area of my game, practicing routines and making sure I am comfortable in all areas of my game at any stage of the match, whether I am up on the scoreboard or down and under pressure. Yesterday I trained for 4 hours on court and did a gym session on top of this, so nutrition, refuelling and recovery is key for me.
There has been a lot made of tennis player’s diets in the past couple of years with Novak Djokovic attempting various different diets, including vegan, and finding that a gluten free diet was key in him not having a drop in physical or mental levels during matches. The results have clearly had an amazing effect on him personally. Another example is how Andy Murray apparently cut out pasta from pre-match meals as he felt that whilst it provided him with the energy but made him burp and distracted him.
For myself I have a simple diet which I have tailored over time to work out what is best for myself and what I need in terms of recovery. Below is an example of a standard days diet:
Bacon, eggs and wholemeal toast
Strong Black coffee
Pasta with chicken
I tend to have something simple like a chilli with brown rice or couscous, or meat with vegetables and sweet potatoes.
When training I would have take Beta Performance along with BCAA 2.1.1 to aid muscle recovery and before and during training I also have PowerUp Energy Charge as I find that this gives me a little boost during training and helps me push on for that extra set or extra ball on court.
And finally after training I would have Super Max Protein to aid muscle recovery and make sure I’m ready for the next day of training.