I want to highlight an issue we often see in tennis players. Being aware of this and addressing it is something that has the capacity to prevent many tennis injuries for players.
Whenever we assess a player’s tennis mobility and flexibility we always start from the ground up (big toe flexion, foot alignment, ankle joint range, calf complex flexibility, etc.).
We have found with tennis players, they tend to get locked up or jammed in their ankle joints, their calf complex (plantaris, soleus, and gastrocnemius muscle) and the tibialis anterior (runs alongside your shin bone). Muscles shorten and joint mobility becomes restricted.
It is common to see players with poor ankle mobility in the leg they land on during the service motion.
To understand the importance of ankle mobility lets to take a step back and look at the body joint-by-joint. The body can be seen as an alternating stack of stable and mobile joints.
The ankle joint being the lowest to the ground, the ankle joint is a...
We were chatting with a pro player that we helped out and we asked them a few questions about life for him on tour. We were amazed at some of his answers to the question.
What is tough about life on the road?
After hearing about how things roll for lower ranked players, we find ourselves totally blessed!
I was lucky to start my career 15 years ago working at the top level with Monica Seles, and Giselle working with Arantxa Sanchez Vicario. We have never seen the hardship described below, but we are aware they exist.
We don’t want to slag professional tennis in any way, we want the general tennis community to know what life is like, for an aspiring tennis player. We want to help educate young players on what they need to prepare for and push through, in order to be in the top 100.
Male players rankings sit between 1-1000. The circumstances we are talking about below relate to players ranked 200 and below. Considering they are 800 of the best players in the world it was a real...
In the year 2000, I was lucky enough to get the job as Physical director at the Sanchez Casal Tennis Academy in Barcelona, Spain. It was a huge responsibility for me at the time as I was young for the role, in such a world renown premier club.
It started me on a journey that has led to many many highlights in my life. But I am not here to talk about myself! I am here to talk about building relationships.
How when you communicate effectively, have mutual respect and care for each other, friendships are forged, results come and as you will see opportunities arise.
As a parent, coach or player, if you are not focused on these areas, there will be plenty of dead end relationships and no one wants to waste time and energy right?
I want to tell you about an experience I had with a player I worked with starting back in 2000.
Carlos Cuadrado was a young Spanish prodigy when I laid eyes on him, he was already labelled a top 10 player at the age of 16. He was on the rise and it was my job to...
Strengthening up specific areas of our bodies can help prevent many tennis related injuries. Stability, Strength and flexibility play the biggest part in reducing the risk of spending time off court. Strengthening the smaller “stabilising muscles” around joints can eliminate a lot of joint related tennis injuries e.g. tendinitis. Muscle tissue strength helps prevent muscle tears and connective tissue injuries by providing a more robust athlete, the stronger the muscle tissue the more resilient it will it be. Having the flexibility capacity to get into certain positions, more positions and utilise more muscle is what you need to prevent flexibility related injuries (muscle tears, overuse injuries etc.)
Due to the physical complexity (strength, stability, flexibility, agility, power, high aerobic capacity etc.) as players we need to deal with and given the time constraints most players have. More often than not our recovery and injury prevention regimes get put at the...
Yes, it’s correct we are really disappointed. It really brings us down.
It’s so disappointing to see so many young tennis kids get injured.
Over the past year, we have seen kids as young as 12 years with tears in rotator cuffs, tendonitis in the elbow, wrist, achilles and frightening stress fractures in the shoulders and lower back. We are seeing more and more young athletes present with limited flexibility, stability and strength.
In a nutshell what parents, coaches, and players need to know is;
“There is no short term fix….. there is no quick fix pill, if you are not willing to do the correct things at the beginning, you are setting young athletes up for disaster.
I know this might be harsh but it’s fair to say this, as we have been working with tennis players for over 20 years (on tour and in academies). We saw it first hand, working in Spain, with kids that did the correct things Svetlana Kuznetsova and Juan Monaco to name a few. Both at a young...
Most, if not every tennis player will develop some form of tennis training injury during their careers. Some injuries cannot be prevented, but you will be surprised how many of the below injuries you can be prevented from doing one thing.
We will tell you more about that later on.
Most common injuries in tennis we see on a daily basis are, often the overuse injuries.
Overuse injuries often develop slowly and can start out as a mild discomfort that gradually increases and becomes painful. Some common overuse injuries are:
1. Tennis Elbow – A very common cause of elbow pain due to the chronic irritation of the tendons on the outside of the elbow.
2. Wrist Tendonitis – Caused by irritation and inflammation around the wrist joint. Usually, this will occur from a number of reasons from equipment (new racket, heavy / wet tennis balls, court surface), bad technique, or mainly overuse. This can be prevented with some simple yet effective good strengthening tennis exercises...
If you were old enough to have seen tennis being played over the last 20 years, you would have noticed the rapid rate of development that has occurred. Even in the last 5 years, there has been a big jump in the physicality of the game.
The factors that have created these changes are; Technology advancement (tennis training equipment, rackets, strings, clothing, court surface) Sports science (supplementation, tennis fitness programs) Tennis Nutrition and Hydration (Sports drinks, sports specific eating plans, better knowledge, and understanding) I have found there are few things that stand out for the players that have endured and acclimatised the best to the current game.
Players are looking at tennis a lot more holistically. There is a strong sense of balance and getting what I call the Work: Rest ratio right. It is not just about hitting loads and loads of balls anymore. Having quality across the board has more emphasis placed on it. This involves having a...
Little Billy (10 years old) loves tennis, he plays everyday and is driven hard by his parents who commit both time and money to see him succeed and MAKE it. After 5 years of playing Billy decides he is done! He is finished playing and wants nothing to do with tennis.
Have you heard or experienced this yourself?
I have seen this happen too many times……
There are a number of reasons;
1. Kids get pushed or driven too hard.
2. People around players don’t know how to manage the tennis training volume (how much training for tennis and tennis workouts are they doing)
3. They get distracted. As young players get older, they start to want to do different things socially, other things become more important to them. They start to find out about the opposite sex, video games, spending time with friends, other sports etc.
4. Injury. They develop one or a number of tennis injuries that knock the passion out of them.
5. Lack of progress. They don’t feel they are...
Tennis players are all looking for the winning edge. They are all looking for what is going to give them that edge and get them performing at their best. What many players haven’t looked into is how food sensitivities can affect their training for tennis and their tennis performance.
Food sensitivities are extremely prevalent these days. At least 45% of people reading this article will be affected by them. All of the packaged and processed foods, along with overuse of antibiotics and other toxins we are exposed to have caused our guts to get damaged leading to this rise in food sensitivities. Our body, gut, and digestive system are designed to process real food not this fake food.
So what’s the big deal?
Food sensitivities cause stress and inflammation on your body. They can lead to symptoms like bloating, fatigue, joint pain, weight gain to name a few. Not only this, but this inflammatory stress on the body can disrupt the hormonal...
Most people struggle to improve on a consistent basis, with their tennis and tennis training program. They get to a point where things plateau or even worse tennis injuries occur. Is that you? Maybe you have been there before.
This can be due to a number of factors (coaching, motivation, knowledge, application, attitude). I have found that when some simple questions are asked, players know at least 3 things that they can do better straight away to help them improve instantly.
Finding these 3 things can get players going, boost their motivation and push them forward. They are often simple things (you don’t want to get too complicated). It’s the realization that they can create change instantly, that is enough to shift their thoughts and will get them seeing things differently, and then the motivation kicks in.
Here is run down of how it should work.
1. What are 3 things you could do right now to improve yourself and your tennis? Don’t think to hard, keep it simple...