Game. Set. Health.
Pete Sallay M.D.
For someone who enjoys playing and watching tennis as much as I do, this is a perfect time of year to find your racquet and join a friend on the court. It’s also a good time to fine-tune your mechanics and prepare your body for the challenge to avoid injuries
Over the years, I have treated many recreational athletes and tennis pros alike at Methodist Sports Medicine / The Orthopedic Specialists. I had the great pleasure of serving as the orthopedic consultant for the Indy Tennis Championships (formerly the RCA Championships) for 13 years until it recently moved to Atlanta. The professional players sustain injuries that are primarily related to the extreme exertion they sustain over a season that now stretches over the entire year. Recreational players, on the other hand, sustain injuries that are primarily related to poor stroke mechanics, improper equipment, and suboptimal conditioning. Many common injuries can be prevented and that’s why we recently created three educational YouTube videos at the Five Seasons Family Sports Club in Indianapolis. The videos cover proper tennis mechanics, common tennis injuries and the benefits of youth tennis.
The Five Seasons tennis pros demonstrate some of the common mistakes made by recreational players that can lead to injury. They discuss the importance of footwork and balance as essential elements of putting the player into position to hit the ball properly. Additionally they emphasize the importance of the connection of the right and left sides of the body in producing smooth effortless strokes.
In the YouTube video about common tennis injuries, we explain the basic care of acute minor injuries following the R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation) treatment formula. Injuries which don’t resolve in a few days with the basic care may require the attention of a sports medicine physician.
Youth tennis is another important topic. I encourage parents to teach your children tennis at a young age because it’s one of the safer sports for them to play. In addition, there are long-term health benefits for children who start playing at a young age and continue playing as an adult. We discuss those positives and other benefits in the third YouTube video.
Visit our YouTube channel to watch the videos and tell us what you think in the comments section.
To read Dr. Sallay’s “Healthy Tennis” articles in Midwest Tennis magazine