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Real Tennis Players - Like You! - Asking For and Offering Advice on the Sport They Love
Player to Player is USTA.com’s regular feature in which everyday tennis players are given a forum to ask advice on the sport they love – and their fellow players will dish out advice. We’ll post a number of the best responses we receive to our question.
This week's question from Michelle: I have been playing tennis for about eight to nine months now. I do not have a hard time beating players hitting with pace and heavy topspin, yet I lose to a person who just taps the ball over. It's very frustrating to lose to someone whose ground strokes aren't nearly as good as yours. Does anyone have some advice?
Do you have any advice for Michelle or a question of your own? Please share your thoughts by e-mailing Player@usta.com, and include your name and hometown for a chance to receive advice from your fellow players!
Last week's question from David: Has anyone found a way to enjoy tennis without aggravating a lower-back disc problem? I know I should not serve, but could I do an abbreviated serve motion, or should I just not play tennis at all? What gym machines are safe to use? Only the stationary bike and treadmill? Is jogging OK? Would love to get some advice from others who have had this problem.
From Eduardo N.: I'm 28 and I was diagnosed with two herniated discs at 17, and a third one a month ago. I'm a tennis instructor and play 4.5. While I have my bad days, they usually happen when I haven't done much exercise in the week (rain mostly) and it's on the stiffer side. What works for me? Keep my core strong (crunches, sit-ups, swimming, etc.).
From Vanessa O.: Stretch, stretch, stretch, at least once a day 30 minutes after playing. Since I started doing this, my injuries have gone away. I also do isometric exercises and lift light weights. And stretch some more! Core work is essential as well. Summary: Core and stretching, you pick your way: yoga, pilates, ballet, whatever.
From Paula O.: Yoga cured my lower back issue. Alternate cardio sessions (bike, jog, elliptical). Strengthen core. Still playing and serving!!!!!
From Rachel F.: Don't quit unless you really have to. An abbreviated motion is fine. Pro players have used them and played with success. You can also work on an underhand serve, using spin and direction rather than relying on power; it can be effective. And, of course, check with a doctor. Good luck.
From George A.: You wouldn't believe how a good chiropractor changed my life. I now play tennis 3-4 times a week with just mild aches. Seriously, have a chiro check it out. You will be glad you did!
From Tamasine W.: I had bulging discs in the L4/L5 area, and other than good stretching and swimming, I found less 'pounding' type exercise was better for maintaining tone and muscle definition while giving my back time to rest and repair. I did not play tennis for about six weeks and I served so it went in but not with a lot of power. Let your back heal -- see a physical therapist for proper exercises and stretching for your injury so you can return to a normal game. I play now with no issues, but I have back strengthening exercises and stretches I will ALWAYS do for now on!
*Please note that any advice given out in this forum should in no way be confused with actual medical advice. Before starting any new exercise regimen or treatment or altering your existing ones, we strongly urge you to consult with your regular physician.