View Full Version : Cross training for tennis: basketball?

08-17-2004, 10:35 PM
I am a 23 yr old male who for years enjoyed playing tennis and basketball at a fairly high competitive level. In the past 3-4 years I've been dealing with chronically sprained ankles...all occuring while playing basketball...quite severe i may add. Throughout this time, I never wore ankle braces.

As a result of my last ankle sprain, I finally decided to give in...and I began wearing the ASO ankle braces. However, I gave up basketball and focused exclusively on tennis...being that all my sprains occured in the act of jumping while playing basketball. Now that my ankle is feeling much better...I'm starting to get the ich to play basketball again. However, I really enjoy playing tennis...and I hate the prospect of perhaps being on the shelf for 3-4months.

My question to you guys is: do you think wearing the ankle braces while playing basketball could perhaps solve my ankle sprain issues? Or should I just stay away from playing basketball? I'm getting fairly serious about tennis...and basketball seems like such a great cross training workout for tennis. Tennis involves a lot of quick and explosive movements. however, basketball requires so much more runniing and jumping. I'm thinking my tennis would really benefit from basketball. Your thoughts and opinions?

joe sch
08-18-2004, 07:16 AM
bball is great for conditioning and thus a excellent cross training sport for 10s but unfortunately as you have pointed, the most common side effect is sprained ankles. I dont think this can be prevented even if you get a trainer to tape your ankles. I played until about 30 and then gave up the bball like most serious 10s players since I just could not afford any more ankle sprains :cry:

08-18-2004, 07:38 AM
I was also a basketball man until I discovered the joys of tennis. I stopped playing ball altogether, focusing on tennis instead. Do what you feel is best for you, but my preference right now is tennis. I still like basketball, but I absolutely love tennis!

08-18-2004, 10:18 PM
Hey guys, thanks for your input. Obviously you can get hurt at any time playing sports. But I think we'd all agree that basketball is much more of a high risk for ankle sprains than a sport such as tennis.

08-23-2004, 10:52 PM
I'm 26 and have been around basketball since I was a couple days old. Bball will always be my sport. But yes I do think it is a great exercise/cross training program for tennis. I think due to basketball I can stop quicker and change direction faster, as well as be able to jump when I need to. I also think it helps with anticipation and helps you keep your stamina up. I never get tired during a match unless it's a 5 set 4.5 hour marathon. But even a couple hours later I'm ready to go. I couldn't tell you much about ankle sprains as I've only done that once a long time ago. Braces might help, but I'm no expert there. Good luck.

09-02-2004, 12:48 PM
I gave up bball when my vertical disappeared after having a desk job for too many years and picked up tennis which I have continued to improve at without a vertical. A buddy of mine still plays both but he had knee surgery this summer due to basketball injuries. Tennis doesn't help with all the starting and stopping but basketball seems more damaging with age.

09-02-2004, 01:14 PM
as with everyone here, bball is a great way to stay in shape. and like everyone else, i've dealt with my fair share of sprained ankles playing bball. the one thing that i worry about when i ball is when i go up for a rebound and i land on someone's foot and twist my ankle right after that. nowadays i'm a bit more cautious when i go up for a rebound.

as far as wearing ankle braces, i'm all for them for basketball. however my other bball friends tell me to not wear them as i'd get used to them and actually weaken my ankles. i'm not sure about this and if anyone else has any insight on this ideology i'm all ears.

09-03-2004, 05:47 AM
This one got me thinking. Used to play bball 4-5 times a week, well into my early 40's. Finally gave it up due to a bad back. Agree it is a great cross-training exercise for tennis. Then I reviewed my injury situation over the last 30 years and realized that with the exception of one injury, every catastrophic injury I suffered during that time, including broken bones, twisted ankles and knees, cuts that required stitches, and a concussion had all occured on a basketball court. Nothing from 10 years of football, nothing from 30+ years of tennis and weight lifting, nothing from baseball, track or softball. All bball. Checked injury stats and guess what sport is the top cause of emergency room visits among over 20 males?

So, while its a great cross-training sport, it does carry significant risk, expecially as you age.