Special offer for all members and their families from the Pennant Hills Tennis club
If you are a member or a family member from someone who belongs to Pennant Hills Tennis club and you mention this to the receptionist you will receive $10 off your initial physiotherapy consultation. We will also donate 10% of all your service fees straight back to the Tennis club.
Considerations for Injury Prevention
- Tennis raquet considerations
- Tennis turf
- Proper footwear
- Technique and coaching
- Tennis warm up and cool down
- Weather considerations
Where to get Help
At Healthy Innovations we have knowledgeable physios who can assess your injury or condition and provide you with the treatment needed to get back to the playing court. We also have remedial massage therapists who can help with tired and sore muscles so you can be at your best. Just call our friendly receptionists on 9481 8140 and book your appointment today.
Services available at Healthy Innovations
- Pilates (studio and mat)
- Xtend Barre
Tennis Raquet Considerations
- Make sure you are using the right racquet for the game you play – consider some of the new technology racquets that have vibration-dampening qualities built into the frame and are the right weight and balance for your game.
- Keep racquets regularly re-strung to prevent strings becoming brittle and un-responsive.
As a guide, string the racquet per year by the number of times you play per week. Eg: 3x week = 3x per year and remember you may never break a string – or at least once a year.
- Ask your professional stringer to make sure that the re-string tension is not too high.
Softer is kinder to your arm and will give you more power too.
- Be guided by your re-stringer as to the best string to use for your particular racquet and game. Again, some strings are softer on your arm
- Pay particular attention to your grip – both size and condition.
If the size of the grip is too small or too big it puts stress on the wrist, elbow and shoulder, which in turn may lead to injury. If the grip is in poor condition it becomes harder to hold, again causing stress on the hand and wrist.
- When all else fails, check your technique!
If you have an injury, have it looked at as soon as you can-more can be done after 6 days than 6 months!
AND REMEMBER, ALTHOUGH IT’S CALLED TENNIS ELBOW IT MAY NOT BE CAUSED BY TENNIS
The Tennis surface you play in can be an important consideration when trying to avoid injury. Tennis surface are divided into 2 categories:
- Astro turf
If possible your better options are the natural ones as there is some give to these surfaces. With synthetic surfaces they are much harder and can result in an increase of shin splints for example. Regardless of playing surface it is imperative that you check the surface for cracks, objects, damage etc. Check the net as well as you do not want any surprised when playing.
Playing on a dry surface is much safer than a wet one. Rain, dew and water on the tennis surface can cause you to slip and fall and risk injury.
Tennis is a vigorous game where footwork plays a key role in its movement. The game requires lots of stops and starts, lateral movement and quick stops where players need shoes providing maneuverability, durability, flexibility, traction, comfort and style.
Sneakers are shoes with rubber soles and canvas or synthetic toppings and can be worn in causal situations. Sneakers offer none of the lateral support and durability needed for on-court play. Sneakers should not be worn to play tennis; however, tennis shoes can be worn off court.
Lateral Support – Because tennis players move left and right, forward and back, tennis shoes are made with extra support sneakers don’t have, including a strong and supportive “heel counter”. Players run the risk of twisting or rolling ankles if they walk on court wearing sneakers. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, players should, “wear tennis shoes with good support to prevent ankle injuries. For added support, wear two pairs of socks or specially padded tennis socks.”
Shock Absorbency – On-court footwork requires players to stop and start quickly. These necessary movements jar the body; therefore, purchasing tennis shoes, made with materials to provide shock absorbency, means less wear and tear on the body and joints for players. As well, the grip on the sole of the tennis shoe is designed for that movement, offers better traction and as it’s usually lower profile provides greater stability. (Regular sneakers aren’t made with tennis movements in mind nor are they made with shock absorbent materials)
Durability, Stability, and Flexibility – Unlike sneakers or cross-trainers, tennis shoes are made to give players stability when running down tennis balls; flexibility, which gives players more traction and power while moving around the court; and durability – as the soles take a beating during matches. Sneakers often provide too much flexibility which can rob tennis players of peak performances on court.
Fashion and Availability – While both tennis shoes and sneakers come in a wide selection of fashions, tennis shoes have a more athletic feel to their appearance.
Customers can purchase sneakers at department stores and shoe shops. However, tennis shoes can be found at athletic stores, tennis pro shops, and stores specialising in tennis gear and equipment.
The Right Shoe for the Right Job – For those looking for a comfortable rubber-soled shoe to wear daily, or in casual situation, sneakers are the way to go. However, for tennis, ALL players , including children, who need a shoe that will provide comfort, flexibility, traction, durability, and maneuverability, then purchasing a pair of true tennis shoes is the way to go.
www.merchantodftennis.com.au ph: 9484 9113
Technique and Coaching
There are a number of things to consider from hand grip to game tactics to help you play at your best and importantly reduce the chance you will fall victim to injury. The following list is made up of skills and considerations that a good tennis coach will go over with you to make sure they are done correctly. This list was put together by Jim Watts of the Pennant Hills Tennis Club. Jim Watts is a high performance qualified tennis coach Tennis Australia. He has many years’ experience that includes working with world, Australian and state ranked tennis players.
Coaching and Technique points:
- Hand placement /Grip
- Hand placement is imperative to any successful tennis game to get right straight away
- Required for sound swings, optimal ball contact and centreing of the ball
- Body Stance
- Correct stance will lead to injury reduction
- Correct stance will improve your hitting efficiency, speed, and reduce the amount of running you will have to do on the court
- Swing Development
- Correct mechanics are taught for the back swing, forearm swing, drop shot etc.
- Court Positioning
- Lead to faster ball returns, efficiency
- Tennis Tactics
- Explains how to play various opponents (singles and doubles)
- Social versus competition
- Develop of all facets of Tennis game
- Drop shots
- Approach shots
- Ball position
- Ball toss
- Flat versus spin
Tennis has many components that with the correct instruction can be quite enjoyable and beneficial to learn. Jim teaches 5 days a week at Pennant Hills Tennis club and is happy to teach anyone the skills and intricacies of the game of tennis. More information about Jim and his coaching service/availability can be found at www.jimwattstennisschool.com.au
Tennis Warm up and Cool Down
When we watch televised tennis, we see the athletes come onto the court and do around 20 minutes of hitting the ball before the actual match starts. What we don’t see is the warm up that the players do before heading out to the court.
To prepare the body for a tennis match, a specific warm up protocol incorporating both upper body and lower body drills is ideal. The warm-up is designed to increase muscle and tendon suppleness, stimulate blood flow to the muscles, increase the body’s temperature and enhance free, coordinated movement, as well as reduce the risk of injury. A warm up should be 15-30 minutes long and finish no more than 30 minutes before the match. It should include:
- 5-10 minutes of:
- Lower body exercise to increase the heart rate, such as jogging with high knees, butt kicks, side skipping and backwards jogging.
- Upper body exercise such as trunk twisting exercises – hold your racquet in front with one hand on the handle and the other at the tip of the head and then simply twist your trunk from side to side, being careful not to over exert yourself. Next, you can do arm circles to loosen up the shoulders. Start with doing 10 small circles forward and 10 backward. Follow this up with medium circles and finally, big circles where you try to use almost the full range of motion of the shoulder joints.
- Dynamic stretching i.e. stretching during movement has been shown in recent studies to be superior to static or stationary stretching, in enhancing a tennis player’s power and strength. Stretches should be specific to tennis and include lower back, calf, hamstring, quadriceps, buttocks, groin, shoulder, pectorals and triceps.
- Tennis- specific footwork warm up drills such as:
- Jogging on the spot -vary the width of the stance and the height, speed and direction of the steps. This prepares the leg muscles for the quick feet actions required in tennis.
- Side lunge – practice jogging on the spot followed by a jump lunge to the side to prepare for returning wide shots. Alter the angle and direction of the jump lunge and then add in a couple of side steps before lunging.
- Carioca step – this is a sideward moving run where you move at constant speed. To move to the right, your left foot alternately crosses in front and behind your right foot. To move to the left, reverse the steps.
- Wedel – this is a diagonal hopping drill where you hop with both feet together forward to the left and then forward to the right, and repeat the pattern.
- After all of these exercises, you are now ready for some light hitting. Begin gently and gradually progress to hitting the ball harder. The first few hits should be made from inside the service line. Hit some soft ground strokes, volleys and half volleys to get your reflexes up and ready. After about 5 minutes, move to the service line to continue your rally. Move back further to no-man’s land and finally to the baseline. Once you are at the baseline, try to keep your ground strokes as deep as possible. It is better to hit long than into the net during this warm up. Try different spins and trajectories but always focus on keeping proper form. After about 10 minutes of ground strokes, move back to the net to practise your volleys and overheads. Finish your warm up with some serves into both the deuce and ad courts.
Following a tennis match, a cool down should be performed, including a gentle jog and light static stretching of the muscle groups used during the game. These muscles include the lower back, calves, hamstrings, quads, buttocks, groin, shoulders, pecs, triceps and forearms. Each stretch should be held for at least 20-30 seconds. The theory is that a cool-down can help avoid injuries and boost athletic performance by circulating blood and oxygen to the muscles to restore them to their resting conditions. This reduces the risk of blood pooling and muscle soreness, and helps remove waste products such as lactic acid from the blood.
Please note these tips are for the general population and if you have any injuries or specific requirements we recommend you book in to see one of our experienced physiotherapists at Healthy Innovations Thornleigh (9481 8140).
Generally tennis is played outdoors so there is a number of precautions and things you need to be aware of when playing in the elements.
Hot and humid days can be quite dangerous if you are not prepared. Wear light clothing that let’s your skin breathe and wick away the moisture. The U.S. Tennis Association recommends wearing a cotton/polyester blend in white or similar colours to reflect the sunlight. Drinking one glass of water every 15 minutes during tennis playing is recommended. Drink 2 to 3 glasses of water before playing tennis in these conditions is very important as well. This will reduce your risk of heat exhaustion, muscle cramps and general dehydration.
Remember to wear 30+ sunscreen, and a hat and sun glasses.