Getting injured lately?
Since I started playing tennis I had quite a few minor injuries that lasted a few days each. By October I was feeling quite strong and fit. Working out on my agility and quickness three times a week. And then an adductor strain came to last till the end of 2012.
As a youngster I was pretty much prone to injuries. By the age of thirty the percentage has fallen dramatically. So, I kept thinking what are the circumstances I get injured; I drown a few key points that might help you as well stay injury free and healthy as much as possible.
Overtrain – Ok, I’m not going to get in detail on that as you can find some great resources on-line if are interested on the subject. But simply put the term is self-explanatory. So, if you find your self tired day after day, confused, not clear minded and out of focus then you should look after your self. Although not aware if it’s proven I have the feeling that almost unconsciously you might injure your self in order to have a break. And that’s not what you really want. So, watch out the signs.
Warm up – that has to be one of those things I can swear by its’ importance. And that’s how I stretched my adductor muscle up to a second degree strain. One time was enough to learn. Although I used to do warm ups before that, I was running late for a match with a friend. So, I said, what the heck I’ll warm up as I play. My hitting partner miss hit a short ball. With out a thought I reacted to the ball and I run as fast as I could. And that was it. But was it? Not really as I continued running for short balls for the next hour or so. What I was thinking? Well, nothing really. Although the next two months unable to run was enough to rethink my injury prevention practices.
Cool down – again, I can’t stress it enough how important this is. Although not clear to many recreational players, when you start practicing day after day it’s next to impossible to avoid it with out having to deal with DOMS. So, get serious and cool down! As a caviar you’ll get more out of your body at your next practice session.
Stretch – what else can protect you more from a potentially violent stretch during play? Stay loose and increase your elasticity.
Sleep – My body needs recovery. And so are yours. The hours of sleep might vary but if you’re having trouble getting out of bed there is a possibility you don’t get enough of it. Also I have found out that helps me enormously if I take a nap between practice sessions on the days I got more than one on schedule.
Fuel – ok that’s a grey area for me as I’m still working on it and I’ll share more on it as I’m getting it sorted. But as far as I have experienced with healthier options (meaning fruits and vegs mostly) I’ve noticed I can concentrate for longer comparing to when I’m eating poorly. In a week full of nutrients I find my self sharp and energised even when the practice is over. Not to mentions, otherwise I feel mentally exhausted.
So, warm up, cool down, sleep enough, stretch, eat well and enjoy!