Having dedicated so much time to learning and playing tennis, I’m fortunate to have attracted many tennis players through the doors of my practice. Providing treatment to tennis players is something I’ve enjoyed for many years now. These players range from social and tournament players, to current and ex-touring professionals on the ITF and ATP circuits. Most players are looking to improve their game, but my observations of their efforts to improve, leave a little more to be desired.
If you’re looking to improve, the first thing you might think of is getting out on court more. The more balls you hit, the more grooved your shots will be. In turn, consistency and wins will flow from there. This is an absolute sure-fire way of getting better. For the average Joe this is an adequate approach but for higher level club and tournament players, I would suggest more.
It’s not uncommon to hear of upcoming tennis players, junior and senior, hitting on court up to six times per week. These players undoubtedly start hitting the ball very clean. What the majority of them don’t realise however, is the metamorphosis their bodies undergo. They slowly turn themselves into an injury prone ticking time bomb. When it comes to practicing tennis, repetition is the mother of skill. You will practice cross-court forehands and backhands, serves and volleys for hours on end. These repetitive processes inevitably give rise to repetitive strain injuries. Take your pick: wrist; elbow; shoulder or ankle; knee and hip. Perhaps now we stat to see how important treatment for tennis players is.
Tennis is also an asymmetrical sport – one side of your body is always subject to stressors that your other side isn’t. Limiting your tennis improvement to hitting only will subject you to a perpetually imbalanced body, akin to driving a car that has never had a wheel alignment. You should get serviced regularly otherwise your wheels will undoubtedly wear sooner than they should.
Of all the players I’ve treated over the years, in addition to court time, very few of them incorporate a resistance, cardio and dietary program into their training regime. Whilst scheduling these components in the average working week may seem daunting or unachievable, remember that you can tailor these components to suit your time constraints, standard of play, and goals.
The basic suggestion here is that players can improve their game by working on their physical health. Reinforce your body with ‘muscular armour’ through weights training, quicken your feet with interval and sprint work, and nourish your body at the right times with clean and efficient fuel.
We’ve all said it before, “I wish I knew then, what I knew now!” If you think you’ve fallen into the trap of constant hitting, developing an injury and neglecting your health, speak to Tom from The Physicaltherapy Centre. As both a chiropractor and ex-semiprofessional tennis player, he is always eager to help aspiring players with their injuries and training regimes. You might also like to read his advice on how to score your first ATP point.
The Physicaltherapy Centre offers treatment for tennis players, specifically, a Tennis Injury & Performance Assessment. If you’d like to take advantage of this offer call 02 9922 6116 or email firstname.lastname@example.org . Health fund rebates are available on site.
A picture of me trying to save face in my somewhat convincing loss in the first round of qualifying at the 2012 Burundi (Africa) F1 Futures Tournament:) Oh how I love this game!!!
*DISCLAIMER: This discussion does not provide medical advice. The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained in this discussion are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this discussion is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this blog.