Sports Medicine Home

USTA High Performance Profile
The USA Tennis High Performance Profile (HPP) is a series of musculoskeletal tests that was assembled for the purpose of identifying muscular imbalances and pinpointing areas on which tennis players should focus their physical training.  The information obtained from the HPP can be used to prevent injury and optimize on-court performance.

Technique and Injury Prevention White Paper
In addition to this article, you can download a White Paper produced by the USTA Sport Science Committee on the relation between Technique, Technology and Injuries in Tennis.  This paper is meant to highlight the essential pieces of information coaches and players should know about how technique and technology in tennis equipment can either help to prevent injuries (ideally) or contribute to injuries.  Each "chapter" of this white paper ends with a "Coaching Application" segment that boils the information down into the most useful "nuggets."

Heat Illness 
Players who practice or play in hot conditions are susceptible to heat illness. The three stages of heat illness, in increasing order of seriousness, are heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.

Injuries, Technique and Conditioning 
Injuries are a fact of life in almost every physical activity, and tennis is no exception.  With the amount of tennis that today's high performance players play it is very unlikely that anyone will make it through their career without sustaining an injury of some sort.  With that said, it is important to realize that not all injuries are created equal.  Some injuries, like a sprained ankle, are accidents and "just seem to happen;" there is not much a player can do to "better prepare" for that type of scenario.  However, there are other injuries that are directly related to preparation and technique. These are injuries that likely can be avoided if a player takes the time to learn, and use, proper technique while also conditioning the body to handle the demands of tennis.

It Is Bad When...
Tennis players occasionally hear their bodies making strange sounds on, and sometimes off, the court.  These sounds are described as a popping, snapping, or crunching, and are usually associated with movement of a joint. Players may be concerned that these sounds could be evidence of damage to a muscle, tendon, or joint, and that continued play may worsen the condition.  There are several guidelines to help you determine whether the sounds are significant for injury.

Key Points for Sports Medicine 
Have a complete medical profile for each player for whom you are responsible, and never dispense prescription medications without permission

Managing an Injury 
One question that is always asked of coaches and sports medicine experts is whether ice or heat should be applied to an injured area. Here is some information on the benefits and drawbacks of the application of ice and heat.

Musculoskeletal Injuries 
As a high-performance coach, you need to know some of the basic terminology regarding injuries to the musculoskeletal system.  These are the most common injuries in tennis, and they generally fall under the broader heading of overuse injuries.  Overuse injuries are injuries that, instead of occurring from one particular event or incident, happen when repeated stresses are applied to body tissues, resulting in overload and breakdown.  Some of the most common overuse injuries in tennis are shoulder or rotator cuff tendon problems, tennis elbow, and shin splints.  Some acute injuries do occur from a single event, such as an ankle sprain, and may not be considered to be overuse injuries.

Pain! 
Pain located in muscles (i.e., thigh muscles, forearm muscles etc.) is usually less serious and comes from repeated exercise and training activity.  This type of pain is also difficult to train or play through, but is not considered as serious.  The presence of this type of pain indicates to the coach and player that the current training and playing load is too strenuous or frequent and should, if possible, be modified before further injury occurs.  Due to the copious blood supply in muscles, they heal and recover far more quickly than joint or tendon injuries.  A player can continue playing with muscular discomfort, but should be monitored closely.

Wrist Management: Prevention of Wrist Injuries in Tennis Players
The repetitive demands placed upon the wrist of elite players frequently lead to injury.  Loads placed upon the wrist can result in the development of tendonitis in the muscle tendon units that cross the joint and provide both stability and movement of the forearm wrist and hand.  Additionally, stress fractures, ligament sprains, and tears in the cartilage at the end of the forearm bone (ulna) can also occur and limit performance.

 
Print Article Email Article Newsletter Signup Share
 
USTA Membership
Learn More or Login
Learn More or Login
Espanol
 
Newsletter Signup
 
 
 
 

Copyright 2014 by United States Tennis Association. All Rights Reserved.

Online Advertising | Site Map | About Us | Careers | Internships | Contact Us | Terms of Use | Umpire Policy | Privacy Policy

Connect with us! Facebook-38x39 Twitter-38x39 Youtube-38x39