The top five tennis injuries are related to an ankle sprain, tennis elbow, back fracture, shoulder pain or calf muscle strain. Tennis is a deceptively physically demanding sport, and injuries happen even to the most seasoned pros, as well as to the weekend enthusiast. Even if you are adamant about doing tennis conditioning drills before playing, you will need to make sure you take care of your body after tennis practice.
The high intensity of tennis conditioning drills combined with long rallies or competitive matches can really get your heart pumping. It’s crucial you don’t just stop cold at the end of a game. Warming down is just as important as warming up. After the last point, take a minute to walk around the court a couple of times to give your body a chance to adjust to the slower pace. Your heart will appreciate it and your muscles will be better adjusted after a few minutes of a warm down period.
Treat Any Pain
After you arrive back home, be aware of any tenderness, swelling or pain. Although ordinarily you shouldn’t expect these, the possibility always exists after engaging in any sport. Be especially mindful of your joints, like your elbows and knees. If you do have pain or swelling, physical therapists recommend applying ice for 24 hours before applying heat. The ice will help to minimize any swelling, which could lead to further discomfort. The point is, don’t try to tough it out or bust through any pain or discomfort you feel. The better you treat any pain, the faster you’ll be able to get back on the court.
The high intensity nature of tennis demands that your body give up a lot of its stored water, in order to feed your muscles. As you play, too, you’ll sweat out a lot of water, which can leave you hydrated after a match. Your adrenalin after a game may block the signs that you need to hydrate your body. Instead of waiting to feel thirsty after a game, go ahead and rehydrate before your body begins to feel the discomfort of dehydration. Dehydration symptoms include headache, dizziness or disorientation. You don’t need to guzzle water or a sports drink. A slow, steady method of hydration is better for your stomach after an afternoon in the sun playing tennis. Otherwise, you could get that uncomfortable throbbing sensation that comes from drinking cold water too fast on a hot day.
If you care for your body in these three ways after tennis practice or a match, you’ll feel better, play better next time, and help to ensure a long and enjoyable experience with playing tennis for as long as you desire.