Tips from Coco Vandeweghe on ‘How to warm down’:
Figure out a routine that works for you and then do it every single time, after every match, whether you’ve won or lost. “Some players, when they lose a match, just want to get the heck out of there. They just think, ‘forget it’. But I think that if you stick to that same routine, it’s going to help calm yourself down if you’re elated after a win. Or if you’re disappointed after a defeat, you can use that routine as an opportunity to collect yourself if you’re not as stable as you want to be. By doing the routine, you’re going to be ready to face all the things you need to face after a match. It’s mental as well as physical. It would be a mistake to do nothing, to skip a warm down. The warm down is as important as the warm up, especially when you are still in the tournament.”
Start your routine as soon as you come off court – don’t do anything else until you have warmed-down properly. “I start with 10 minutes on an exercise bike, at a low-level intensity, to flush through the legs. Then I do an ice-bath. Then, if I have a day off before I play my next round, I have a massage. But if I’m playing the next day, I don’t have a massage as I feel heavy-legged the day after a massage. I do a good stretch in the evening, 30 minutes minimum.
If you’ve had a tough match, you might want to have some food straight away. “I like a simple carbohydrate as my stomach won’t be quite ready for anything else. After dinner, I’ll drink my protein drink – which also contains carbohydrates – before I go to bed.”