To all the tennis players who love the game and constantly strive for improvement.
You maybe play tennis to stay fit, and don’t think about that you need to become fit to play great tennis. Improving your fitness is as important as improving your tennis game. As you strive for improvement and increase your playing frequency, you start experiencing daily aches and pains in different areas of your body or you may strain a muscle. Playing tennis is harsh on your muscular-skeletal system and every tennis player develops overuse injuries eventually. These injuries are preventable if you learn to listen to your body. You need to learn how to practice mindful fitness.
Awareness is your first step to be able to correct your problems and to improve. If you don’t know what is going on, then you cannot know what to do to become better. For example, if you were aware that your future Achilles problem is forming right now, because your opposite hip and glute are not engaging properly and functionally, then you could correct the problem immediately, and as a result, you will prevent the future Achilles problem. These small dysfunctions and imbalances are easy to ignore, because most of the time you don’t even know about them, until it is too late. However, if you are aware and listen to the signs your body is showing, you will be a master of your own health, which will enable you to play pain-free tennis on high levels.
The older you are, the more accumulated imbalances you have in your body, which means less functional joints and muscle groups. Once you are injured, it takes a lot of effort to get yourself back to balance. You may get chronic lower back problems, sciatica issues, worn cartilage in your knees, impinged nerve in your shoulder, and in the worst case, you may need a knee or hip replacement surgery. All this is preventable if you start listening to your body now. You will avoid future doctor appointments, chiropractic treatments, and physical therapy that cost a lot of money and lost time from your training, causing a serious de-conditioning.
You may think, “Yeah, I listen to my body, but it doesn’t say anything.” To tell the truth, your body is talking to you all the time, you are just not used to understanding its language. In the beginning on your journey to awareness of your body, you may not be able to feel anything other than that your legs are sore or your lower back tight. With regular practice and introspection, you will become aware of more subtle signs, such as a few trigger points in your glutes that start causing issues in your opposite knee or ankle. At this state of awareness, you can prevent any issue before it happens. Develop a habit of always “searching” your body, touching and pushing and squeezing your muscles, looking for tender points and tightness that is felt only on deeper levels. That is your body talking to you, and this book will help you to understand. Learn basic stretches, strengthening exercises, myofascial release, and other injury prevention and performance tools. Learn the meaning of balance in your body and the interaction between the muscle groups and joints, so you can always catch and correct a developing problem that would show several months or even years later.
The younger you are the better chance you have to be completely injury free for the rest of your life with not too much effort. We are talking about chronic and overuse injuries, because acute injuries can happen—you may lose your concentration for a moment and step on the ball and twist your ankle. If you are a little bit older, then you may have created some issues in your body by now and you will need to work harder to get yourself back to a balanced and “young” state. If you are already messed up a lot, you still have a chance to get yourself better and to get rid of your chronic problems. It will take a serious commitment and a lot of work. However, the good news is that it is completely possible!
Further information and free articles about mindful tennis fitness training are available at http://www.tennisfitnesslove.com/. If you want to have a concrete guide in your tennis bag, so you can always do the exercises after your tennis practices, then you can check out “Tennis Fitness for the Love of it: a Mindful Approach to Fitness for Injury-free Tennis”, available on Amazon or on the above website as an e-book. Commit to your body. Get in harmony with it---you are the best healer and trainer of your own body. Practice all the necessary elements daily, and see how your tennis game will improve.
About the Author
Suzanna McGee is a former bodybuilder champion Ms Natural Olympia and current competitive tennis player. She has been studying performance of the human body and mind for more than twenty years. Her training style has helped thousands of athletes to perform at a high level without chronic pains and injuries, and without age limitations. She is the author of "Tennis Fitness for the Love of it: a Mindful Approach to Fitness for Injury-free Tennis”.