New player has wrist pain

RyanRF

Professional
I recently started teaching my girlfriend tennis. She has no experience in any other sports and is basically starting from scratch. After our last practice session (Sunday), she mentioned pain in her wrist. The pain has lingered for a few days and is still there today (Thursday). She says the pain started as a 6/10 and has slightly improved to 3/10.

Should we avoid tennis entirely until the pain is completely gone? Is minor wrist pain inevitable for a person who hasn't yet built up any strength, or could this point to a real issue? Maybe equipment is at fault?

Some other details:
- We have done 5 practice sessions so far. Each one is about 45 minutes long and is made up mostly of me feeding balls to forehand/backhand.
- Her right wrist (forehand) is the one that hurts. Feeling around, it hurts when I squeeze or put pressure on her wrist, but not necessarily when he bends it or rolls it around.
- When playing, she says it's the off-center shots that hurt.
- Her setup: Volkl Organix 7 (295g) with synthetic gut at 55lbs.
 

LuckyR

Legend
Sounds like an overuse injury. The term: overuse is a bit of a misnomer, since she just started so she is not playing more tennis than a tennis player, but she is using her wrist way more than someone who plays nothing.

It probably isn't the set up, it's the move away from a sedentary lifestyle.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
People think Volkls are the best for the arm. Maybe that is how it used to be. This is from the spec of the Organix 7:

Stiffness: 74

Even with any comfort grip technology, it is not surprising there is pain.

Many women have very thin and weak wrists. The way to go is to start with a flexier frame and 10 and under soft balls and build up the wrist strength from there.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Wrist injuries are common and can be difficult to heal.

Unknown injury, unknown techniques, wrist pain - stop stressing her wrist and stop tennis unit you know what is happening.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
People think Volkls are the best for the arm. Maybe that is how it used to be. This is from the spec of the Organix 7:

Stiffness: 74

Even with any comfort grip technology, it is not surprising there is pain.

Many women have very thin and weak wrists. The way to go is to start with a flexier frame and 10 and under soft balls and build up the wrist strength from there.
For the most part, I would ignore the stiffness/flex ratings as an indicator of how much shock is delivered to the wrist and arm. IMO, the Comfort rating that TW supplies in their reviews is a much better indicator of frame shock delivered to the wrist and arm. It is a gross generalization, an oversimplification, that stiff frames are harder on the arm than flexible one.

There are just too many exceptions to the "rule". Some very flexible frames appear to have caused various arm problems according to users. OTOH some rackets regarded as extremely arm-friendly have pretty high stiffness ratings (68 or higher). While the Organix 7 may have a stiffness/flex rating of 74, it has a comfort rating of 79. While, this is a respectable comfort rating, some of the other Volkls have ratings in the low to high 80s.

The Volkl Classic V1 is something of a standard for arm-friendliness. Even tho' it has a high stiffness rating of 69 (TW's rating), it would be difficult, if not impossible, to find a more comfortable racket (very easy on the arm). TW did not assign a comfort rating to this racket (because they probably never did an in-depth review). However, I suspect that its rating would be in the high 80s or better. TW currently has this racket on sale
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
For the most part, I would ignore the stiffness/flex ratings as an indicator of how much shock is delivered to the wrist and arm. IMO, the Comfort rating that TW supplies in their reviews is a much better indicator of frame shock delivered to the wrist and arm. It is a gross generalization, an oversimplification, that stiff frames are harder on the arm than flexible one.

There are just too many exceptions to the "rule". Some very flexible frames appear to have caused various arm problems according to users. OTOH some rackets regarded as extremely arm-friendly have pretty high stiffness ratings (68 or higher). While the Organix 7 may have a stiffness/flex rating of 74, it has a comfort rating of 79. While, this is a respectable comfort rating, some of the other Volkls have ratings in the low to high 80s.

The Volkl Classic V1 is something of a standard for arm-friendliness. Even tho' it has a high stiffness rating of 69 (TW's rating), it would be difficult, if not impossible, to find a more comfortable racket (very easy on the arm). TW did not assign a comfort rating to this racket (because they probably never did an in-depth review). However, I suspect that its rating would be in the high 80s or better. TW currently has this racket on sale
I used to own the original Classic V1 so I know what you are saying. I am not sure of all the frames since.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Ryan, make sure that your gf is not applying too much grip pressure to the racket -- the finger grip pressure should be fairly relaxed most of the time. Also make certain that her strokes are not too wristy. Some novice players flex the wrist when pulling the racket back and then use excessive wrist extension and then flexion again. Her unit turn should not be done with the arm or the wrist. It should be performed by coiling the torso/body. Take a look at the lack of wrist movement when Kevin G prepares his racket:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9G-ozLkxRA

Many players flip the wrist back to bring the racket back further for the FH after the unit turn. Make sure that she is not doing this. It is ok to let the wrist band (back) as the forward swing commences but do not actively force the wrist back prior to the forward swing. Note that power for the stroke should start with the legs (knees bent), hip rotation, and torso rotation before the shoulder and arm take over (a bit after the forward swing has started).

As suresh suggested start your gf off with the softer training balls -- either the orange (qst 60) or the green dot balls (qst 78). The impact shock should be very mild with these, even on off-center hits.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
I used to own the original Classic V1 so I know what you are saying. I am not sure of all the frames since.
The Classic V1 first came out some 2 decades ago (1994 according to a TW poster). I don't know if any of the Volkls since have equaled the comfort of the V1 Classic. Some of the newer ones do feel a bit harsh. However some of their newer frames still garner comfort ratings around the low to high 80s:

http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/reviews/VSGV1M/VSGV1Mreview.html

But then these newer rackets are often double the price of the Organix 7 and the V1 Classic.
 

RyanRF

Professional
Also make certain that her strokes are not too wristy. Some novice players flex the wrist when pulling the racket back and then use excessive wrist extension and then flexion again.
Watched her closely yesterday and noticed this. Rather than allowing her wrist to hinge, she was straining to hold it rigid throughout the swing. Ouch.

Once we made the correction to a more fluid motion and passive wrist it seemed to help things.
 
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