What do you focus on when working within the sphere of accident prevention? Not only when playing at a higher level, but also when playing among club players, you enter an impervious terrain when you are called to manage the physical and the technical aspects in the best way.
But they play a common role in helping an athlete achieve the best possible result, and the best gratification and satisfaction for the amateur partner. In tennis, and beyond, physicality must support the technical-tactical aspects to excel in the sport-specific gestures that have to be displayed on the field.
We speak of prevention because this part of the training upon which more and more efforts and time are invested, and upon which we focus by paying particular attention and carrying out specific exercises involving joints, muscle and kinetic chains or anatomical areas that are particularly stressed during the game. Simply because, these have taken a leading role in shaping players’ sports-playing future.
So, let's see what is meant by accident prevention and what are the potentially most worrying situations we could encounter. We start with a clear definition by saying that prevention is the set of actions aimed at reducing risks and the chances of unwanted events occurring. For a tennis player, and a sportsman in general, injury is certainly one of the most serious and disabling disadvantage ever, especially at a high level. But what are the potential injuries a player can incur?
As previously mentioned, accidents affecting the articular, muscular or tendons strongly affected by specific movements of the tennis player certainly have causes both in the physical and in the technical aspects. Where there are injuries to joints such as the shoulder, the elbow or the wrist, we have a first alarm bell that must make both the physical trainer and the coach or the club teacher think.
It is because of this closely related situation that we could be facing technical injuries when we have injuries that occur due to problems attributable to the sport-specific (incorrect) technique. Especially because, tennis is characterized by a high repetitiveness of gestures, and the overuse (overuse) of some anatomical, muscular and articular areas is the factor of greatest risk both for an athlete and for an amateur, especially when the latter does not use the right infrastructural tools, such as ropes and rackets, appropriate to their level of play.
Other injuries defined by non-contact (in tennis there are no traumas from direct physical contact) can be caused by external factors (incorrect administration of training stimuli between sets and repetitions, gestures or exercises performed incorrectly, sub-optimal climatic conditions, like inadequate heating), which negatively affect factors inside the body (muscle fatigue, contractures or even strains and tears). Together with the joints of the upper limb (above all), attention is paid to some fundamental muscles related to the execution technique and which we will see in the next articles how to train at your best.
It is therefore essential to integrate the work of the technical-tactical aspects along with video analysis sessions which objectify the necessary specific parameters and which support the eye and experience of the coach/trainer. But in addition to the coach it will obviously be the player who can understand and better identify any errors or corrections that need to be implemented to improve his tennis. In physical preparation off the pitch, however, work protocols focused on postural work are essential to provide balance to the athlete as much as possible. As are exercises that try to compensate for any muscle imbalances, passing through joint mobility, flexibility and stability of the whole body system.
by MASSIMO TODESCHI
physical trainer in the tennis for 15 years and physical sciences teacher. I am constantly looking for the study of the scientific part that accompanies the "field" activity ... nothing is left to improvisation !!