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Roddick85
10-30-2011, 03:25 PM
Hi guys

I'm in a crisis right now. just returned to my indoor league that I hadn't been to since last May and came back disappointed. After 16 years of recreational play in club leagues and friends, i'm thinking about retiring at age 26.

In late June, I had pain on my tibia that kept me from running properly without any pain. After seeing the doctor and having an X-ray done, he confirmed that I had hairline stress fracture on my tibia bone, but suggested that I take a month off this fall, he said I could keep going as he didn't want to stop my tennis season.

I ended up playing 40 matches from June to September, with my game being rather shaky, sometimes good, sometimes bad depending on how well the legs were feeling. I was competing in an outdoor leagues with opponents that were sometime below my skill level so I thought it was OK to continue as those games weren't too hard and I was building up my ranking.

Come October, I decided to slow everything down, only playing once every 2 weeks for about an hour maximum, just to try to maintain my game, not running too much as the pain was worst than before.

After a month off, I felt my injured leg was maybe 85% OK with the pain almost gone, so I decided to go back to the indoor league today, competing there for the first time since May.

First thing I notice, indoor carpet is faster than outdoor hard courts, I have trouble keeping up at that speed. First hour goes OK, but first player I was beating easily last May 6-2, he now beats me 7-6. Second opponent is some junior ranked in Canada, yeah I won't beat him but I could keep up with him last May as far as rallying, today, I can barely touch the ball, only winning my serve, but half-way through the game, I sprinted to do a backhand and landed wrong, ouch new pain in my tibia on the same leg. I then move on to my 3rd match, with a friend I beat easily before and I got crushed 6-1, barely making a point and not able to run properly.

I feel so down right now, going back to the doctor this week but I don't expect good news. But it's not only that, mentally I have no faith in my game anymore, all the players I used to beat are beating me easily now, they all improved and I regressed, getting beaten by players you used to own is a very hard pill to swallow, injured or not. I'm not sure how i'll recover from this mentally, all I can think about right now is how badly i've played and how stupid it was to have kept playing injured as it seem to have destroyed my game. But even if I make it back from this injury, all the time off is just more time for them to progress even more, when i'll come back, i'm afraid I won't be able to keep up again ?

Magic of tennis
10-30-2011, 03:54 PM
I can totally relate to your situation. I have wrist injury years ago and I couldn't play for several months. My friend who used to be poor player became stronger while I was playing very bad after came back from injury. YOu have to accept the fact that you will regress and the others will progress somewhat. Most important thing is you can catch them again. But first you need to get healed your injured leg completely. You have to rest -many weeks or even months- according to what doctors said. After your leg healed, you need to have weight bearing excercise, lifting, squat etc. to get your strength back. You will get stronger and better than ever.

Maui19
10-30-2011, 03:56 PM
So you're just going to give up? Sheesh. Wait until you get old.

Get healthy--100%--then come back to the game. THEN see how you feel about it.

Or just give up. You decide.

Mick
10-30-2011, 07:03 PM
YOu have to accept the fact that you will regress and the others will progress somewhat. Most important thing is you can catch them again...

imo, we aren't pros, so it's alright. so what if some people you know can beat you? there are a whole lot of people who you don't know who can beat you :)

dozu
10-30-2011, 08:03 PM
I can relate with the following -

wrist injury - outage 2 years
heel injury - outage 2 years
knee injury - 50% mobility 2 years.
ankle injury - 50% mobility 1 year.

OP, yours is just a taste of what's coming.

Injury is what turns a boy into a man.

Roddick85
10-31-2011, 04:47 AM
Well I've been working out and doing martial arts for the last 7 years, so I've been injured quite often, from minor injuries to more serious ones such as back injuries. It's just that this is the first year that I was really pushing myself to get better and i'm stuck with the damn shin splints. Tennis is one of the only true joy in my life, so just thinking of not being able to play for an extended period of time is depressing for me.

fuzz nation
10-31-2011, 06:40 AM
Tricky business we're onto here. I'm not sitting across a table from you or anything like that, so I can't get a read on things. Hard to get a feel for what's actually bugging you and what's not... Seems like you might not be sure yourself.

Being banged up and less than 100% is no fun, especially when we're in our warrior years, living like rock stars and surviving on 2 or 3 hours of sleep along the way. So you've got a cracked tibia and you want to keep pounding on it? Well, it's your skeleton, but honestly, what do you expect?...

You've got a stress fracture and you're having trouble dominating your competition... oh, and you don't like the way the ball is bouncing when you play on the indoor carpet, either. TIME OUT please. Take a break, get healthy, get your head straight, and if the game calls you back, so be it. Right now it sounds as though you're only running yourself straight into a buzzsaw of frustration, but expecting everything to turn out hunky-dory. I can guarantee you that if you think you've got everything you need to hang with anyone in your circle on any court on any given day, you don't. From the sounds of things though, I wonder if you wish that were the case.

You've only got about two decades or so of time ahead of you to keep learning, improving, and developing your fitness. I say that because I'm 45 and still headed in the right direction. The time off that your limbs are begging for will give you the window of introspection that you seem to need. You might even be smart to try writing down your expectations of yourself as a tennis player along with your goals. When you can review them in front of you on a piece of paper, it's easier to scrutinize them and decide just how realistic they are.

If you have a bike, go do some riding. Get in a pool and burn up some laps. Turn in some work on the weights just as long as you keep the stress off the legs - now is not the time. If nothing else, those things will improve your endurance, help you sleep, and yaddah-yaddah-yaddah... It might just be the case that you're arriving at a phase in your life where you need to more actively take the reins and put more toward your tennis than simply getting some regular match time, especially if you want to strive toward a higher level.

Instead of asking us to talk you into sticking with it, try to get a handle on what the game means to you, what it does for you, what you want (more yaddah-yaddah...). After all, it really doesn't matter what we think, does it?

Caesar
10-31-2011, 06:50 AM
You need to sack Uncle Toni and find a new coach.

Wait, what?

goober
10-31-2011, 07:33 AM
Well I've been working out and doing martial arts for the last 7 years, so I've been injured quite often, from minor injuries to more serious ones such as back injuries. It's just that this is the first year that I was really pushing myself to get better and i'm stuck with the damn shin splints. Tennis is one of the only true joy in my life, so just thinking of not being able to play for an extended period of time is depressing for me.

Lesson learned: don't keep playing through injury. You are not making a living off tennis, so it is more important to completely heal before you play again. As you get older the healing times are going to be longer.

If tennis is the only true joy in your life why would you quit it? Over shin splints and people beating you? That is pretty sillly. Shin splints are not an injury that is going force you out of tennis. It is a far better injury to have than a torn ACL or rotator cuff that requires surgery.

So what if other people are beating you. Does your joy of tennis come from only winning? Enjoy the game, the moment and the process of getting better. Winning will be a byproduct as you improve.

thug the bunny
10-31-2011, 08:01 AM
Do what the fuzz man says!

And, as Dozu points out, this is only a forshadowing of the future. Getting old is not for sissies!

fuzz nation
10-31-2011, 11:00 AM
You need to sack Uncle Toni and find a new coach.

Wait, what?

Winner-winner-chicken-dinner!!!

TennisCJC
11-03-2011, 12:51 PM
Do what the fuzz man says!

And, as Dozu points out, this is only a forshadowing of the future. Getting old is not for sissies!

Very True. L ankle has hurt since I turned 45 yo - now 54. R ankle has hurt for last year. Pain in the *** - oops, no pain in the ankles.

Man, take 2 months off - no tennis. 1st month nothing - no exercise - no stress on leg. Go see physio and get a rehab plan. If you cannot afford physio, start exercise in sane method. Walk for 2 weeks increasing from 1/4 m to 1 mile over 2 weeks. Then walk/run lightly for a week 1 mile. Then add light weight lifting for legs such as calf raises, lunges, squats. Then, slowly add tennis back in - like 15 minutes first time out, then add 5 minutes. Allow 2 days rest between each outing.

Too much detail but you get the gist: 1. NEVER GIVE UP, 2. TAKE TIME OFF, 3. Do fitness rehab slowly and gradully, and 4. restart tennis slowly and gradully.

I really do wish you the best of luck. It is a pain to not be able to play. Tennis keeps me relatively sane and it sucks to sit around the house.

Roddick85
11-03-2011, 01:47 PM
Just thought I should let everyone know that i've seen my doctor, he said to take 6 weeks off, no tennis. He was a bit suprised that it hadn't heal at all since I saw him at the beginning of July. I'm gonna follow his advice this time.

I'm also taking that time off to recharge my battery's mentally, lots of stressful event recently in my life have affected my mental game, so I think I should fix those too, that will certainly help my body heal and i'll come back more positive and better than every when i'm OK again.

I'm not going to remain totally tennis free thought, as I had 2 weeks of vacation left, I got myself tickets to 3 matches at the WTF and i'll visit London a bit aftewards, really looking forward to that.

Thanks for your advice guys, really appreciated.