As we “age-up” in the senior tennis age groups, the number of players who think they are Superman sometimes shrink due to injuries; but why do some get injured and others usually do not? It is due, in my opinion, mostly to things we do – and some things we do not do.
Something You’re Born With
In the 1970s while working for Connecticut Mutual Life, I created a program called “Run For Life,” with Olympic Gold Medal marathoner Frank Shorter as the national spokesman. One day I had the challenge of “jogging” with him (the day after he completed the Boston Marathon – and was injured) and I asked him what it takes to run a marathon.
He said, “Your body has to be perfectly balanced. If it is not, the pounding will find its way to your knees, your hips, or your back.” So maybe some senior players have bodies (knees, hips, backs, elbows, shoulders) that are “in balance” – or conversely, there is an inherent weakness that will surface with continued playing.
Something You Did
More likely, it is something we did to cause our own injury. The one year I was forced to miss John Newcombe’s Fantasy Tennis camp, I had bicep tendonitis. This injury was caused by my switching strings to Luxilon Big Banger – and not realizing that the growing pain in my shoulder was due to these hard strings.
So, did you….
• String your racquet too tightly with hard strings?
• Play with an “unforgiving racquet”?
• Play too many days in a row?
• Continue playing a match when you felt something start to go?
• Play HS/College football or basketball?
Something You Didn’t Do
But other than avoiding those things above, many injuries are preventable by things we can do ourselves…
• Start a program of daily stretching and/or yoga
• Lift light weights in a program to strengthen the muscles around key tennis joints
• Regularly get a good night’s sleep, so you go on the court refreshed
• Eat the right foods and don’t carry too much extra weight around the middle
How about you… what caused your last injury or what do you do to try to prevent them from knocking you out of tennis?
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