Most of us in Florida play almost exclusively on soft courts, while our friends out West play mostly on hard courts. So when the time for us to play on the hard stuff, we all too frequently get injured. Veteran tournament player Winder Bill asks what can be done to help avoid injuries.
“For the 70’s, unless something changes next year, the indoors is in mid-March in Houston and the hardcourt is in Orange, CA in June. If I have recovered my game sufficiently (rotator surgery end of December), playing those two hard court events would be highly desirable except for the East Coast clay court players dread of hard courts. Rather than come to Florida for the winter circuit, I should go to Palm Springs for their January tournaments. Practicing on indoor hard courts here in Virginia Beach in February, early March would give me maximum chance to have a good indoor tournament in Houston UNLESS I got hurt. We clay court players have almost a phobia about hard courts yet most of the tennis players west of the Mississippi play almost exclusively on hard courts without whining about it. What are the secrets to playing senior tennis regularly on hard courts and staying healthy (fictional topic?).”
Winder, I can think of three suggestions (for when I go to Newk’s hard court camp every October).
- Shoes – Roy Emerson said that, when they moved from grass/clay to the hard courts, they all used their oldest – most worn down – shoes. So, the advice would be to use the smoothest bottomed shoes you have.
- Socks – I normally wear two pairs of socks, regardless of the surface; but it is especially helpful to add cushioning going onto the hard courts. I do not know or have any experience with jell inserts.
- Meds – I have weaned myself off of taking Aleve/Ibuprofen on a regular basis; but do take it as a preventative when playing the hard courts.
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