Malaysia Open Day 1 – Practice Day

Happy to report that everyone slept well last night and Saina seems to be over the travel. As someone who has been on tour for 16 years, she’s seen plenty of travel at his stage and reports that she rarely has ill effects. India had the practice courts early this morning, so after a quick high protein breakfast we jumped on the bus for 45 minute journey to the Axiata Arena at Bukit Jalil. We shared the practice arena with the Danes, who seem to have a massive squad out for the tournament.

After practice we had a bit of recovery and treatment to manage one or two little niggles that krept up over the past few days while she wasn’t training – she’s generally feeling her best when she’s at it every day and doesn’t enjoy too much time away from the gym/court.

Lunch was a high protein affair at Nando’s (so dependable!) followed by some downtime before evening gym. Myself and @Physioshetty took the opportunity and went exploring KL – I haven’t been here since 2011, so was keen to get back out and about. All I remembered was great food and great people. Also, I remember it felt oddly familiar, almost like Durban, back in South Africa. This time back I’ve been impressed at how clean and well kept the city is, it’s got a great feel and friendly people too. Highly recommended!

The evening gym session went well – we’ve been working hard to get a few processes in place for Saina so that when she gets on court she is in a good rhythm, and this starts with her gym routine. During training weeks we have long term goals in mind, and work on weaknesses and pre-hab. During tournament weeks it’s all about the next day, so we focus on recovery, correct preparation and a lot of muscle and movement activation. There’s no point in trying to fatigue an athlete the day before competition. This time is for sharpening on-court movement and feel, and my job is to get her there safely and with as little fuss as possible. The more I work with athletes, the more I realise the simple approach is the best.

The first round schedule has just come out and we expect Saina to be on court around 2.45pm tomorrow. We’re still technically getting over the travel so still factoring in post-flight recovery (hydration, mobility, sleep). After a little re-assessment and mobility drill, it’s time to wind down and get ready for tomorrow.

Early start tomorrow so hoping for good sleep (for the whole team) again…

Until tomorrow.

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