You feel tired. You feel the strain in your hamstring. What do you do? Sadly, most of us “Macho Men” will continue playing and really injure ourselves. What should you do?
Heat Exhaustion Lesson
In the first January tournament, my doubles partner and I ended up playing two matches one day for three hours in the Florida heat and then two more for another five hours the next day.
Granted I didn’t PREPARE my body correctly for the ordeal; but I also didn’t stop when all the warning signs were flashing. So, at the end of the match I couldn’t even run for short balls and had a case of severe heat exhaustion (just short of Heat Stroke).
Heart Attack Lesson
As reported earlier, Naples friend Paul Veltman was playing doubles with us and asked for an aspirin on a changeover, because he “was feeling tightness in his chest.” Instead of getting an aspirin (which was nowhere to be found), he was convinced to go to the hospital and found he had a blockage and a minor heart attack.
Winder Bill writes, “some of us are so competitive that we keep playing when we clearly should stop. In the middle of 1st set of singles, my friend tore an ACL; but not only limped through losing in 3rd set tiebreaker but also played (and won with me) a 3-set doubles match right afterwards.
When we were scheduled to play again the next day and he said he planned on playing, I told him I would forfeit if he did not go see the emergency room duty Orthopedic Doc to get analysis. The Orthopedic Doc told him he was crazy and he had already done damage to his Tibia by playing. Of course, we forfeited.
He is obviously too competitive to make the right decision to retire when injured (and he is a cardiologist). Should the referee have the authority to overrule a player’s decision to continue after an injury and does that authority clearly exist already?”
I do not believe the referee has the authority to force a player to “make a mature decision” and stop playing; but doubles partners and friends watching should feel an opportunity/need/obligation to voice their opinions.
Sadly, many players will not do it on their own; and end up off the courts for weeks, months, or forever!
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