Hi guys! Welcome to another edition of Naa Shika’s Courtside Moments. Last week, we talked about why tennis is your safest bet for playing sport during COVID.
This week, we’ll look at how we can actually play tennis the safest way while having ourselves a good game.
COVID19 is making vast changes to the human way of life because for the first time in a long time, it has become very risky to have physical contact with fellow humans.
This means we need to adapt and find new ways of doing things. Some of these changes may be temporary. Some of the changes will revolutionise the way we do things.
It is for this reason we must discuss what changes we can make to our game to make it even safer for us when playing.
There are three basic aspects we need to cover in terms of safety when talking about tennis i.e. preparing for the game, playing the game, and packing off after the game.
All three stages have minimal risk of physical contact with other players, but the tips below will ensure that there is no human contact at all.
PREPARING FOR THE GAME
⦁ As much as possible, for now, only play with people you’re in regular contact with such as friends and family. It reduces your risk of contracting the virus from a stranger. Do not play with anyone who is coughing, sneezing, or having a runny nose. Also, do not go on the court to play if you are showing any of these symptoms.
⦁ Mark your equipment especially your balls to ensure that balls do not mix up and exchange hands. This reduces the possibility of spread.
⦁ Wash your hands properly for at least twenty seconds or longer with soap under running water. In the event you don’t have soap or running water, use a sanitiser to fully sanitise your hands and equipment.
⦁ To further reduce risk, arrive just in time for your game so do not have to wait in public areas. Avoid touching public spots such as fences, doorknobs, and benches. If you have to touch these areas, do so wearing gloves and wash your hands immediately after removing the gloves.
PLAYING THE GAME
⦁ Avoid physical contact of all forms such as high fives, fist bumps and chest bumps.
[TIP: If you want to high-five, you can do using your racket. Wink!]
⦁ Maintain a distance of six metres between you and other players at all times. This means one must avoid playing doubles which would put players side by side in a small space. Doubles also increase the chance of unintentional high-fives, fist bumps, chest bumps and whispering to one another.
⦁ Do not allow anyone to touch your personal equipment such as rackets, grips, hats, wristbands, water bottle and towel.
⦁ Avoid touching your face, nose and eyes while playing. If you have to touch your face, please wash your hands with soap under running water before doing so.
⦁ Never pick up the ball with your hand. Always use your racket to pick up the ball or use your feet to kick the ball to your opponent. This also means you cannot serve. But you can always enjoy a good rally with your opponent.
AFTER THE GAME
⦁ Do not use the locker/shower room to avoid contact with other people. Wash your hands and your equipment thoroughly and leave the court without spending any more time than necessary.
As a general safety measure, club members should consider contributing to purchase a thermal gun that can be used to check the temperatures of all persons who come to court. A temperature above 37.8°C is a red flag and player must be asked to return home.
I hope these tips help you keep safe and I hope you enjoy a good game of tennis while adopting these tips. If you want further clarification about any of these tips, send me a message via [email protected] and I will respond promptly.
In my next post, I’ll discuss how tennis can help you reduce stress and improve your mental health. Until then, stay safe, stay healthy, and go get a racket!
Credit: Naa Shika Adu
Founder, Ace Tennis Academy