Being a parent (father) myself with very active kids, I am always wanting to do what I can to better their training and competition experience.
Having been lucky enough to have had experience in training young tennis players for a long period of time, I do my best to get the most out of them, although it is never easy when it is your own kids!
I am always one for outsourcing services with our kids. I play guitar, but I get my son and daughter guitar lessons with someone. Giselle is an ex swim instructor, but we put our kids in swimming lessons.
The one area we do not outsource is anything to do with strength training, flexibility, conditioning, etc. We do this for a living and do it well.
Not everything needs to be outsourced and there are areas of being a tennis coach or tennis parent that you can really capitalize on. Recovery and preventing tennis injuries is a big one.
We massage our kids (aged 7 and 10) and they love it. They can notice the benefits of it and enjoy the feeling of getting the tension released.
If you work with players or are parents of players, learning to massage is an amazing tool to use to prevent and treat tennis injuries.
So, what are the benefits of massage for players;
• Relieves muscle pain and tension.
• Increases blood flow (oxygen and nutrients) throughout the body, to speed up recovery.
• Improves connective tissue healing, which promotes strength and muscle elasticity.
• Improves muscle balance and body flexibility, which reduces and prevents injury.
• Reduces recovery time after an injury.
• Lowers anxiety.
• Improves mood.
• Improves quality of sleep.
As a tennis trainer, I do not think I would have lasted 10 years training Lleyton Hewitt if I did not use my massage skills with him on a daily basis. I know how important he found the daily treatment, especially after grueling sessions.
Fixing the problems you find, allow you to stop the injuries happening. The body holds tension and for each individual, you can feel and release areas that are causing or could potentially cause injury.
Preventing tennis injuries should be at the forefront of every tennis parent's mind because of the advantages it provides your child over their competition.
Less time off means a fitter body and more skill development.
We have used SLM Tennis massage with every professional player we have worked with and they all acknowledged the benefits it provided.
Giselle and I learned the SLM technique, it is all we have ever used because it worked best and we have always had great results (you could imagine massaging Martina Navratilova or Lleyton Hewitt every day, what you do needs to work)
SLM sports massage course was created by - Steve Lockhart. We were both lucky to have learned from Steve, face to face decades ago.
Check out his online course here This is Steve's fundamentals course, it teaches people the basics of SLM massage and how to apply them. You will learn how to give an effective sports massage. (Giselle and I studied under Steve for 2 years and completed his full therapist course.)
You may ask yourself the question – is massage safe for young players? 100% it is.
When you learn the basics from a qualified professional and put them into practice, nothing will go wrong. We do encourage everyone to do their own research though.
I know from the experience of dealing with parents, coaches, and Tennis Trainers for over 20 years, how much they want to help their players.
Tennis is a tough sport on the whole family (time, finances, travel) so learning to massage is one way as a parent you can really help your child always feel at their physical best and stay injury-free.
The cost involved with having to take kids for treatment can really escalate over the course of their careers also.
I like the fact, I have the capacity to massage my kids at home at our convenience.
Last night my son got home from our training session, he showered, ate, and then I massaged him. He woke this morning feeling ready to go!
One thing I get out of massaging my kids is the connection and chance to chat about life and what is going on (they cannot get away haha).
Don’t feel you cannot do this, you can! learn and put it into practice.
As always, all we aim to do is educate our community. I hope you look into tennis massaging, I know you and your players will get lots out of it.
Get in touch if you have any questions relating to this blog. I will be happy (as always) to answer any questions.
How do you get started? Either complete the form below or click on the link below for more information. https://www.memberstennisfitness.com/sports-massage-course
Last month we launched a specific Tennis Home Workout, for players that want to keep training, but have limited space and equipment. The feedback has been overwhelming, check it out - https://www.memberstennisfitness.com/home_tennis_workout