One of the most frustrating things as a tennis coach is when your top players end up with chronic long-term injuries. The main reason it’s so frustrating, is because most chronic long-term injuries are very preventable.
The problem is that most young players don’t let you know when they are experiencing pain, until the problem is so bad that they can’t play through the pain. As they feel they cant afford the time off training to rest in the early phases of injuries. The result ends up being, what could have been fixed with a weeks rest and some corrective work on their technique, that has caused the problem, now is a chronic problem that can take months to overcome.
One of the main conditions that keeps young players off the court is Tendinitis, which is inflammation of the tendon, which is caused by chronic overloading of the tendon, which is generally caused by a sudden increase in the training load or a faulty technique that causes overloading of a specific tendon. The problem with Tendinitis is that in its early stages, though its painful in the early stages of an activity, the pain reduces as the tendon warms up with exercise, leading the player to think its ok, as they feel they can play through the initial pain and play the rest of the match pain free. The problem with this, is that this will cause the condition to get worse, until the player can no longer play through the pain and result in them having chronic tendonitis, which will take up to 6 mths to heal.
The following are my recommendations when you feel pain at tennis:
1) Tell your parents
2) Tell your coach, who can look at your technique to see if any changes can be made to alleviate the problem.
3) Ice the affected area after tennis
4) If the change in your technique doesn’t fix the problem, rest and seek advice from a Physio
In closing, remember a week off tennis will have next to no impact on your tennis career, but 6 mths will, so take pain serious and fix it before it become a major problem.
For my pupils I recommend:
John Pavia Physio
60 George St