Should I change playing style because of my Gilberts Syndrome?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by BirdWalkR, May 17, 2013.

  1. BirdWalkR

    BirdWalkR Rookie

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    About a year ago I found out I had Gilberts Syndrome. It cause my bilirubin levels to be increased and is found in about 5% in the population. My doctor said its relatively harmless and there isn't much known about it. Recently I found out that ATP Tour player Alexander Dopogolov also has Gilberts Syndrome.(LINK: http://www.nst.com.my/sports/other/tennis-gilbert-s-syndrome-fails-to-floor-dolgopolov-1.148908) After reading through it he claims that his Gilbert makes him extremley fatigued and tired when playing tennis. I'm 19 years old, 5 foot 11 and about 165 pounds and I've always been in pretty good shape but whenever I play tennis and there is a lot of movement and running I find myself tiring out extremley quickly. I breath extremley heavy and can't continue my pace. I'm just now starting to wonder if it's the Gilberts Syndrome that really impairs my endurance on the court. I can run a decent mile time (7.5 Min Mile) and do things fine where the pace is steady (although I do breath heavy) but tennis can really kill me sometimes. Lately I've been having my best success using a more grinding and counter punching style of tennis. But I find I drop off a lot as soon as theres a lot of running and I can't keep it up. Should I try to focus on shortening points a little more? I was thinking of focusing on a big serve and forehand (considering those are my best shots.) Or should I try to focus on my fitness a little more? Any advice tt?
     
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  2. 10isfreak

    10isfreak Semi-Pro

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    Depends on your level of play since being offensive is hard at different levels.

    Being offensive (or aggressive) is an approach to the game, which means it colors your choices and habits on the courts, but it doesn't literally translate into always being at the brink of failure to pressure your opponent -- which is the part people have problems with, usually. In other words, they can't tell when to attack and what is the right measure: you want to apply pressure, but you want to take as little risks as possible while doing it, which means you'll need to be selective in doing it.

    That brings us to the qualities you need to have (or gain, if you want to head down that alley). Mainly, you need a good lecture of the game and a decent level of play -- and, while people can sometimes get the second, they rarely have the first. The last detail is footwork: it has to be better than average if you want to be offensive because you need to be in optimal striking position to hurt your opponent.


    If you can manage this, it's a good idea. Being offensive is less demanding than grinding out points... If you ever have been able to strike heavy balls, you know how tiring it is to generate pace and spin shot after shot, especially when it gets longer than usual. Hitting flatter more often is less tiring, so it might better suit you.
     
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  3. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    OP, sorry to hear about the misfortune of the hand that you've been dealt. Much respect to you for facing it and figuring out how to live your life with it.

    If you are looking to shorten points, then it follows that you must adopt a style of play that lends itself to that goal.

    The only style of play that does this effectively (at recreational levels) is serve-and-volley/chip-and-charge. With this style of play, you generally end up with a goal of ending the point within three shots of approaching the net. A good serve and volley player can absolutely beat competition through 4.5.

    So obviously the two things to develop are the serve and then advanced volley skills. While you need a good first serve, you need an even better second serve. All of the best S&V players usually had a more wicked second serve than first serve.

    As far as volleying, you have to get comfortable with volleying from no-mans-land. Guys who return your first serve with interest are going to force you to volley or half-volley at the service line. This takes a lot of incredible touch and control.

    Good luck to you!
     
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  4. Bhagi Katbamna

    Bhagi Katbamna Hall of Fame

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    As far as I know, Gilbert's Syndrome is benign and does not have any negative consequences. When people fast, that is when bilirubin levels go up. But, in Gilbert's Syndrome they don't get high enough to cause problems.
     
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  5. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Many people with Gilbert's Syndrome suffer excessive fatigue (including me), though it seems to be a minority.
    You just need to be very aware of your body and energy levels. If you don't deplete your body's reserves, you should be fine. However, a day where you play 4 hours of tennis could affect you for a couple of weeks (instead of a day or two for a normal person). Make sure you are getting enough food and rest and try not to play tournaments where you have to play 3 matches in a day. If you listen to your body, you should be able to play any type of game you want. However, let me say that playing serve and volley is rewarding and fun.
     
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  6. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I suppose Brad Gilbert jokes about his excessive-talking syndrome will be frowned upon here, so I will not make them.
     
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  7. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    I know little about G S but I believe in being pragmatic.

    Try taking rest days and not playing consecutive or more than a couple of consecutive days. Also, you say you love to grind but if stamina isn't going to be your strong suit, I suggest working on an all court game. Work on attacking the net, and hitting volleys. It's fun to play all court tennis and it blows a lot of minds when you come in.

    Also, doubles is fun and no where near as taxing as singles. So, maybe play some doubles.

    I have a few chronic joint issues - soreness in ankles and knees - so I cannot play a lot of singles anymore and I try to work in a few rest days per week. I am in my mid-fifties and it still is a pain in the *****e. It must be really hard to have you body give you trouble at 19, but my thought is stick with it if you love the game.
     
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  8. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I must have it also. My breathe goes off the roof, my eyes turn red, my heart is pounding, my legs numb, I sweat like a pig... oh wait, I"m losing to a 4.0 ..:):)who says he's old at 48, and I'm 64.....
    Seriously, S/V is the hardest play style to shorten points. It takes the most aerobic and anerobic fitness, because you are running sideways, AND forwards and back, bending over, jumping to hit overheads, and stretching for volleys.
    Instead, if I had any brains, I'd adopt a more short angle shot, drop shot, and lob combo, first serve IN, and hitting the ball to the entire court of the opponent to make HIM run and tire out.... but I don't. :oops:
     
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  9. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Check your BP
     
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  10. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I assume you mean blood pressure?
    Last time it was checked, was third broken leg (pre surgery) in 1971.
    I can windsurf for two straight hours, never stumbling, doing lots of jumps, and completely relaxed.
    Snowboarding can be tough, riding with the sub 40 year olds, thru the trees, but it's 7,000 elevation, and I live at sea level.
    Since I haven't run since before 2007, and not jogged since well before that, maybe 30 years, I"m not in the best of shape for hard sports.
    Oh, I don't drink or take a break on the changeovers. Maybe I should.
     
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