Wounded animals

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by jc4.0, May 7, 2012.

  1. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    We're at the end of our main league season here, and a number of our roster players have injuries, minor to major. I played partners with someone today on her first match returning after knee surgery. I felt it every time she stopped short, sliding hard into the ball, or jumped high to make an overhead (these things clearly hurt). I insisted she stop after two sets, regardless that we split. She is a fantastic player, and she played so great that I wanted her to be encouraged, but not over-do!

    Meanwhile... when someone is coming off an injury, or maybe is just getting a bit older and not able to move too well... do you have pity on them, giving them easy (or easier) shots, so they don't feel too lame on court?

    It goes against the "killer instinct" but afterwards, feels better - even if you lose because you gave them too many easy balls.
     
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  2. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    I think its humane to shoot them and put them out of their misery.

    Otherwise, drops shots and lobs.
     
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  3. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Why would recreational players get injuries? They don't play hard.
     
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  4. Swissv2

    Swissv2 Hall of Fame

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    If you play em hard enough, then it will teach them to realize they should be recovering instead of hobbling around the court trying to win.
     
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  5. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    Ouch! You talk like you've never been injured. Maybe you don't play hard enough!!!
     
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  6. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I had tennis elbow in the early days when my technique was wrong. Then, I pulled my hamstring because I would not stretch properly, so I made it a point to do that. Since then, I play at least 3 times a week (singles or doubles or both), and have never had any injuries.

    What kind of injuries are we talking about? I can understand accidents - that can happen to anyone, that is why they are called accidents. But what other kinds? I don't count aches and pains after a 3 hour session as injuries - they are more the "pleasant tiredness" sensation.
     
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  7. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Depends. In friendly play, if I know someone is injured or is coming back from an injury, I will take that into consideration.

    But in a match that counts for something (any match where the score is going to be recorded), then if they are well enough to play, then they are well enough to be made to suffer :)
     
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  8. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Lucky you.

    I've battled tennis elbow. I've had Achilles tendon problems. I have ongoing shoulder issues. And I'm nursing a strained groin muscle at the moment.

    Often teammates and friends I play with will be nursing various leg injuries (sore knee, ankle sprain, and calf strain being most common) or back injury (sprain).

    If you are over 40 and you haven't had any injuries, then I think you are the exception rather than the rule.
     
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  9. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Seriously?

    Tennis is very hard on the body. Injuries happen.

    In a social match, I would go easy on an injured or ailing person. In a league or tournament match, I would test the injury.

    If my partner is a capable adult, I would not insist that they retire. If they want to keep going, I would support them assuming the condition is not dangerous (heat illness). I would want my partner to show me the respect I would show them if the tables were turned.
     
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  10. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I am just 3 years younger than Cindy.

    Sore knee: now if that is due to internal wear and tear, it is a different matter. But keeping your weight down can delay the inevitable. But just soreness which goes away with ibuprofen? A good night's sleep will take care of it.

    Ankle sprain: wear good tight shoes and practice rolling your ankles (as if it was the injury case) prior to play during stretching. That will get them flexible.

    Calf strain: Stretching again

    Back injury: Have a relaxed service motion and don't do too much of the Federer's arch. Remember he has back problems too.

    I use a 12.5 oz frame to absorb the shock and don't play beyond my level (not referring to NTRP but my capabilities). That includes all aspects of the game. I won't run crazily or swing crazily or jump crazily for an overhead. I ran alley to alley once to cover a lob because my partner stood like a dummy, got the ball back, and then she messed up a simple shot. She was older than me and expected me to "carry her." I sprained my back. Since then, my attitude towards doubles partners is that I ain't gonna do your work, however old/sad you may be.

    Key is to be smooth. Nothing abrupt, including strokes and running. Do not test your limits is my philosophy - not worth the injury time or the knee/hip operations, which are inevitable later in life. And give one day's rest between each session.
     
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  11. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Mmm, yeah.

    I guess you are doing everything right and the rest of us are doing everything wrong.

    Anyone who gets injured playing tennis just doesn't know how to play smoothly.

    OK. Whatever.
     
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  12. Rjtennis

    Rjtennis Hall of Fame

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    Tennis at a decently high level is not that easy on the body...especially on the serving shoulder.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2012
    #12
  13. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

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    Man you were reading my mind on this one.
     
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  14. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I dunno. Maybe Sureshs is onto something. I will test his ideas about injury-free tennis.

    Henceforth, I will walk about on the tennis court -- stroll, really, because we are trying to be smooth here. No running or, heaven help us, sprinting.

    I will not accelerate the racket for any stroke. Instead, I will keep a sensible, safe speed at all times.

    I will not change direction on court. Once I pick a direction, I will stick with it regardless of where the ball or my partner goes.

    And of course, I will serve underhand.

    In this way, I will be able to play tennis until I am 100 years old. Indeed, I will already be playing like I am 100 years old.
     
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  15. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Dodo Cheney is doing well in the 90s around here.

    You think I am being frivolous, but what I am saying is play like Fed does (but don't arch your back that much on the serve). Fed uses a heavier racket than Nadal, and his strokes are smoother than the violent topspin strokes of Nadal, and he cannot run like Nadal does. That is why he has a losing H2H against Nadal, but on the other hand, he is richer and doesn't have knee problems.

    Seriously, I cannot understand how you can get injured if you play for an hour and a half 3 times a week on an average, singles or doubles. Especially doubles. You mostly play doubles isn't it? How often do you serve in doubles? 1 out of 4 times??? How much do you really run? I can play doubles for 3 hours straight in the blazing sun and not feel a thing except hunger. Doubles is like nothing at all.

    In singles, accept your limitations. Say you have a FH or BH stroke which is not good enough to beat your opponent, and he/she takes it and dispatches it to a corner every time. Accept it, and don't chase after it as if your life depends on it. The getting one more stroke back is highly overrated and I suspect statistically invalid. The problem starts when you then try to muscle the next serve in, hoping to end the point quickly. It tenses up your body, which then becomes prone to injury in an unrelated stroke. Don't force the matter. If you cannot hit an ace during practice, you are not going to hit one on demand in a match.

    You cannot become faster than your opponent by deciding that during a match. Every week I play against a guy my age who is the fastest runner I have seen in club play. He can move from one corner to another, then still have time to cheat around his BH, and hit a FH (his BH is just a jab and very weak). Over the years, I have increased my speed gradually, and can chase down his shots, though not as good as he can chase down mine. That is how it is and I accept it. He is a very gifted person for his age. My goal is to improve my speed, not to run as fast as him.

    Other practical tips: Change your shoes often if you can afford it. Run around the court once before play starts if there is time. Don't serve with a reverse slice grip and damage your shoulder. Don't serve with the forehand grip. During hitting, it is OK to play back balls which are a little long, but don't go heroic and try to get to all wayward balls. Don't play with flat balls, and don't waste time hitting with people who cannot rally back. You will injure yourself out of frustration in chasing down their balls.

    A recent change I have made is to switch to Wilson Shockshield. The most comfortable string I have used, and I have used Prince Premier LT, Bab Excel, and Wilson Hollow Core Pro. I am thinking of replacing my leather grip with a synthetic one like Shockshield, like Sampras did later on in his career.
     
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  16. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    ^^^^^

    I just wanted to add, shockshield is probably the most comfortable grip out there and I would recommend it to anyone who doesn't mind losing a tidbit of touch. It really does help the arm.

    -Fuji
     
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  17. jaybear1909

    jaybear1909 Rookie

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    Long story short you're a lazy tennis player.

    I can understand not overdoing it, but I can't understand lack of a competitive nature. Potential for injuries is endless in tennis. You have to remember Federer and the like receive THE BEST possible treatment - and they still get injured.
     
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  18. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    What's wrong with the lack of a competitive nature? Everyone plays tennis for different reasons, not everyone is out there to "set the world on fire" and destroy everyone in their path. Some do it for the leisurely exercise. :)

    -Fuji
     
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  19. jaybear1909

    jaybear1909 Rookie

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    I think the tennis you're describing is "social tennis" :). I don't expect competition in social tennis; but in competitive tennis, I would hope to play someone competitive. Otherwise it's just carelessness.
     
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  20. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Um, ok, I'll give it a try next time I'm on the court. How hard can it be, really?

    P.S. Fed is an extremely well-conditioned professional athlete, and gifted with natural fluidity. And it helps that he is still only 30. Alas, I'm older, fatter, and lacking in ability and coordination (relatively speaking).
     
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  21. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    It sounds like you are playing Potted Plant Doubles. Two net players standing stock still in the service box. Two baseliners looping the ball back and forth, neither daring to take the net.

    I'd rather risk injury actually trying to win some points.
     
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  22. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Hey give me some info. I weighed a Wilson leather grip and the Shockshield grip and they weigh the same. So I am ready to switch. However, I am concerned that the grip size may increase because the Shockshield seems to be thicker due to the gel. Did you notice any problems?
     
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  23. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Not really. It is pretty competitive. Most of the players also play in USTA leagues.

    What I am saying is that I will not exert myself too much trying to reach to impossible balls in order to compensate for lack of skills. I believe that no one should do in that any field of life. Your best work should emerge naturally.
     
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  24. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    You can work on becoming thinner. But being older and not as good as Fed does not mean you should get injured, because you don't play at his level either. You can be injury free at any level (other than those due to accidents or more fundamental medical issues).
     
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  25. NoQuarter

    NoQuarter Rookie

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    I can see what sureshs is saying....do the things to take care of your body better. And you can...but the bottom line is that tennis is a violent sport on your body. Eventually, it will catch up to you. I am doing all the things he is talking about....plus more. I have a freezer full of ice packs for my joints after every match. Do a hot tub every morning. Stretch before and after matchs. Even with all that, I have to take off 3 months in the winter to recover from 9 months of tennis.
     
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  26. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    Really?!

    Good one, Cindy! Also agree with taking a look at the PROS - they are constantly injured, and they have the best of everything - trainers, coaches, PTs, physicians, equipment and of course TECHNIQUE.

    Even if you play a perfect game, you can get injuries like tendonitis (a la Rafa) from "over-use". I once stepped backwards onto a ball and twisted my ankle (like Tommy Haas). Tennis, played at any level, is rough on the body and extremely injury-prone.

    I play 4-5 times a week, year-round and have only had a few minor injuries - and do believe in stretching, warmups and cross training. I think it's good to do circuit weight-training (not body-building style weights), to make your muscles stronger; this has saved my knees, back and shoulders over time, not to mention making my core more solid. You can also work to "balance" the body, making your weaker side as strong as the dominant side (i.e., most players have a larger right arm, if they're right-handed). This all helps to prevent injury.

    BUT - if you play this sport full-on, it's not a matter of IF, but WHEN you'll get injured.

    The friend I referenced is one of the fittest ladies I know, and at least ten years younger than me! She popped a tendon or ligament in her knee, and that's not uncommon at all. I know couple of people who had knees or hips replaced before they were 50!

    When my knees finally go, I plan to take up golf... hopefully when I'm north of 80.
     
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  27. NoQuarter

    NoQuarter Rookie

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    I think you hit on it right there.....most of us I think are playing this game as a sport, not an exercise.
     
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  28. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Pros are injured because they practice every day at high intensity.

    Just take a day off between sessions. Then you will not be overusing anything. Playing for 5 days and then taking 2 days off is probably not the same thing, because the injuries have been building up.

    Balls on the court - good one. There are those who pride themselves about not being bothered by them, and they will not warn you either when a ball is behind you. So look out for yourself.

    I would have to say that most players I come across are NOT injured and have not been injured ever since I knew them. It might be a cold weather thing, I don't know.

    Why do I get the feeling from this thread that it is women who seem to be more affected?
     
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  29. NoQuarter

    NoQuarter Rookie

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    I guess I need to go buy a skirt...:)
     
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  30. zcarzach

    zcarzach Professional

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    Anybody who plays competitive tennis for long enough will suffer some level of injury at some point. I'm young, fit and try like hell for every ball in match play(even the ones I think I have no real chance to get because I'm wrong sometimes). My knees pop, my ankles get tender and my shoulder can cause me a minor level of discomfort. These are all happening now as we close in on the end of the spring USTA season. Will it stop me from playing and trying to help my team make the playoffs? Not a chance.

    Am I a pro who makes money playing, no of course not, but I'm still going to fight for every point because that's what I enjoy doing. If you enjoy social tennis where you don't have to try hard so you don't get injured, more power to you. Certainly everyone can't move like Federer, in fact I rolled my ankle severely trying to stop and redirect back into the court like he does on his forehand.
     
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  31. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Right. The less you play, the fewer overuse injuries you will have. Got it.

    I'm sorry, but I think the combination of age, lack of resources (for massage, therapy, ice baths and the like), and limited time is quite the toxic cocktail -- even without issues of overuse.

    I currently am dealing with a hamstring strain (just re-injured it on Saturday, ouch). Was it overuse? Nope, I have cut way back on my playing. The initial injury happened when I moved a few steps forward as my partner was hitting. It really was just one of those things.

    Was it preventable? Yes, if I were younger, had more time for yoga and stretching, and had a physio on staff.
     
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  32. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    You have more time for yoga/stretching. For example, you could be doing that by cutting down posting here (same applies for me, so it is not meant as a rude remark).

    Moving a few steps forward should not cause hamstring strain. I tend to get severe muscular "cramps" along the upper body where the seat belt sits. I was in an auto accident and the belt saved my life, but caused internal haematoma under its contour. It happens at odd times like tying a shoelace. Couple of times I have pulled over because I was afraid I could not drive any more. But regular stretching and using a small medicine ball has made it better and I have never had any problem during tennis.
     
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  33. Swissv2

    Swissv2 Hall of Fame

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    Playing competitive tennis while one is significantly injured (hampered movement, etc) is just a sign that the person is thinking like a "dumb...butt". They should be resting, recovering, etc. instead of making it worse.

    On the non-injured side, I don't buy "patty-caking" the ball just to have the person stay in the game. Seriously; just finish the point and get the game over with. You are just making the game longer for that wounded "dumb...butt" anyways.
     
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  34. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Sureshs,

    You seem to assume that I post when I could be doing yoga.

    If I were to bust out with yoga from my current location, I might be placed in a straight jacket and carted off. In any event, I do what I think is an appropriate amount of flexibility work. If I am wrong, well . . . My lack of reources is evident in the fact that I don't have a posse of trainers to tell me that.

    No one wants to get injured. You can take precautions, but precautions are not the same as insurance.

    Anyway, if you turn up in the fitness forum asking about a torn meniscus or blown achilles, I will be careful not to suggest it was all your own fault.
     
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  35. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    What does that mean?
     
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  36. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Let me diagnose your problem: You are failing to play as Fed does.

    You can thank me later :)
     
    #36
  37. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I think it is predominantly a woman's thing. I don't think men are injured so easily. Knees are the only things they constantly complain about.

    Hormonal imbalances due to approach of menopause, the strains caused by childbearing in the past, osteoperosis tendencies, and I am sure a host of other issues for women make their needs unique. If so, I would consult a good woman's health specialist to see what is the best strategy to avoid tennis injuries. I think Martina has written a book about how to be fit later in life.
     
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  38. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    I think if you keep in mind that if you only play your B level game you automatically lower the risks. If you happen to play your A level game and against same level competitive opponent, that's when you run into risks of injury.
     
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  39. Swissv2

    Swissv2 Hall of Fame

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    More men at my tennis courts are injured than women. They just don't show it as much, or complain as much, and play through it if they can. If they are too injured, they just don't play at all; its not worth it destroy a lifetime of tennis by "going for the glory" then resting to play another day.
     
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  40. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    That's . . . interesting. I figure a women's health specialist would advise me to play like Federer.

    I would have guessed that the reason you see more injuries in women's league tennis is that the typical female player is older.

    But before you get there, you'd have to actually demonstrate that women suffer more injuries in league tennis. I'm not at all sure that is true.
     
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  41. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I dunno.

    Guys are way more likely to keep hitting those 6 foot kickers and 100 mph serves and destroy their shoulders. It seems that most of the posters in Health and Fitness who are having shoulder surgery are men.
     
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  42. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    My men's 4.5 team alone includes 4 artificial hips and 2 artificial shoulders. All on guys in the 40-55 age bracket.
     
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  43. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    this thread is surreal.

    I've been lucky, but that's all it is. Tennis is tough on the human body, especially on hard courts. Most people will pull a muscle or jar a knee or something along the way and that's just running around.
    Factor in all the arm/elbow/shoulder wear and tear and there's a pretty good chance most players will hurt something some time no matter how hard they train.

    Sureshs, what are you on, man? Seriously!
     
    #43
  44. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    So you have not been injured. Just come out and say it. Fed must also be "lucky" because he seems to have been less injured than Cindy. Now, how much is luck and how much is something else is a philosophical question which we cannot answer here.
     
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  45. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Yeah I can hardly return these serves from the club players I play against LOL.

    But then they are usually 130 mph and kick up 9 feet, and turn so much they land in the next court after the bounce. Must be very damaging to the shoulder to do this serve after serve.
     
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  46. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    That is a good point. It explains the perennial whining from men than no good looking young women play tennis (with them, that is).

    Hey Fuji, I am still waiting to hear if the Shockshield grip is too fat.
     
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  47. Staidhup

    Staidhup New User

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    Fact remains if your not physically up to it, don't play unless you can take the pain. I used to play with a guy that wore a knee brace, iced his knee and back after every match, was visibly stoved after each match, played injured, never had any excuses. He loved the game, to be out on the court was all he cared about.
     
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  48. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Here is a tip. Which is the first part of your body which is nearest the ball? The fingers, then the wrist.

    Simply press your palm flat down on a hard surface, and keep it there. You will be surprised how different you feel after having your fingers do computer work the whole day. Then lift the palm, press down with your thumb, and bend and unbend the other fingers.

    Then open up your palms facing them outwards and press with the tips of your fingers against a table edge, creating a backward force on your wrist.

    Then simply rotate your palms around your wrist 360 degrees, in both clockwise and counteclockwise directions.

    Make sure you do some ghost swings with an actual racket, before hitting a live ball, so you don't load the wrist suddenly.

    All these will help prevent arm issues.
     
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  49. Swissv2

    Swissv2 Hall of Fame

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    Don't forget Yoga for Men. Reduces injury by 69%! Ok, I made that up, its really 64%.
     
    #49
  50. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Feet:

    Tendonitis tendencies: Flex your feet frequently before start of play. Before putting on shoes, roll a tennis ball under your feet.

    Balance: Stand on one leg, and rotate the other leg in the air both directions around the knee. Will improve your balance.

    Stretching: Simple stand on one leg and lay the other leg flat at a height resting it on the tennis bench. Stand there and feel the muscles relaxing.

    Roll your ankles both ways as it would happen in an injury.

    Run a few feet forward, backward, left and right, as that is what you would be doing on court from the first ball.
     
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