January 27, 2010
Prevent injury by limbering and stretching before playing a sport.
You might be an ace on the courts, but whether you’re a professional athlete or a recreational player, stretching and limbering the muscles before engaging in play is essential in the prevention of a serious injury. Perhaps the most common injuries shared by players worldwide are caused by lack of preparation before going out on the courts or the ball field.
Although not all injuries can be avoided, muscle-stretching and limbering up your body is important. Even world-class pros like Dinara Safina, Raphael Nadal and Marcos Baghdatisand, all of whom were competing in this year’s Australian Open in Melbourne, have had their share of injuries. They retired recently because of injuries sustained during the competition.
Dan Dwyer, Managing Partner/Head professional at Point Set Indoor Racquet Club in Oceanside, and John MacEnroe’s first tennis coach, explained that there are several ways to avoid injuries simply by using the “Laws of Physics” and “Rules of Logic.”
If you follow these basic principles of tennis, it will prevent you from getting hurt, and enhance your game:
· Exercise on a regular basis to keep your body in proper form.
· Warm up prior to play.
· Look at the ball “with an intensity beyond belief.”
· Hit the ball as far in front of you as possible.
· Turn your arm and your shoulder to move the racquet, and make certain that the ball, racquet, and body weight go in the same direction.
“Everything else in this world must conform to these principles and tennis is no exception,” explained Dwyer. “By far, the two most common injuries I’ve dealt with over the last 50 years are tennis elbow and shoulder problems. Both are invariably caused by too tight a grip and/or hitting the ball late.”
Aside from the pros, the average person gets hurt because as they get older, they don’t exercise or train on a regular basis to keep themselves in proper shape. Dwyer pointed out that the Achilles tendon injury, which affects the back of the foot, is a very good example of this.
Although rotator cuff tears, tendinitis and Achilles tendon ruptures are relatively common, pros and recreational players today have the advantage of the newest diagnostic equipment to help identify problems before they become critical; and the latest technology in surgical procedures, revolutionizing the treatment of patients who want to be back in the game. Additional information on the prevention of sports injuries can be found at the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.