Waters 1Emily WatersMrs. LesterAdvanced Composition11 October 2011 What Problems Do Tennis Players Face? According to the CNN news, after Rafael Nadal’s match in the 2011 US Open Series, hebroke down in the conference room with major cramps in his legs. After just minutes ofagonizing pain, he lifted his head and said it was from playing in hot, humid weather for hours.Many tennis players have such recurring injuries throughout their careers. Some of these injuriesgo away and others will stay with the players for their whole lives. “Common causes of sportsinjuries include: athletic equipment that malfunctions or is used incorrectly, falls, forceful high-speed collisions between players, and wear and tear on areas of the body that are continuallysubjected to stress” (Haggerty). Tennis is a sport of agility, endurance and repetition of strokes.With this sport, athletes work hard on their sprints forward and backwards and also shuffling sideto side. After years of this stress on the body, this career can wear down muscles and tendons allthrough the player’s legs. With being physically fit by running daily, eating the right types offood and working out, the body will get accustomed to this schedule and the players will be ableto stay in the point longer on the court. Players suffer wear and tear on muscles in their upperbody from constantly hitting the same stroke over and over again. Therefore, in order tounderstand the pervasiveness of injuries tennis players experience, the players have to know thedirect injury, the impact it will have on their joints and muscles, the preventions, and the outlookfor preventing and treating injuries in the future.
Waters 2 One way to understand the effects of injuries on tennis players is to know definitely whatthe direct injury is. One injury that most tennis players suffer with is injury to the wrist: “Loadsplaced upon the wrist can result in the development of tendonitis in the muscle tendon units thatcross the joint and provide both stability and movement of the forearm wrist and hand”(Ellenbecker). The wrist injury is a very common injury. This problem means the players areusing too much wrist in their shots. They are not hitting from their bodies. The power source isonly from the wrist and hand. When a player has wear and tear on her wrist or even the forearm,one of the two is going to start hurting as well. Another major injury that can occur while playingis a muscle cramp. The player will definitely know when she gets a cramp: “Insufficientstretching before exercise, exercising in the heat, and muscle fatigue may all play a role in theircausation. Imbalances in the levels of electrolytes (sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium andphosphate) in the blood can also lead to muscle cramps”(Stoppler). Players see cramps come intothe picture at the beginning of a season. The body is not warmed up enough to be hitting thesame strokes constantly. Once the body is in shape again, players will not see cramps very often.Tennis players may get cramps from not eating the right foods. They are letting their bodiesdown by not giving them the right amount of nutrition they need to sustain hitting for a longperiod of time. Nutrition is a big part of a tennis player’s career. Without a healthy diet, theplayers will not be able to perform at their best standards. Furthermore, if the players eatunhealthy foods, then the lack of good nutrition will definitely show up in their match: “sugareaten before an event may hinder performance because it triggers a surge of insulin. The insulincauses a sharp drop in blood sugar level in about 30 minutes. Competing when the blood sugarlevel is low leads to fatigue, nausea and dehydration” (Topham). Before a match, a player needsto get as much starch in her system as she possibly can. The more pasta, bread, cereal, and fruit
Waters 3and vegetables in the body, the more energy the player will have on the court the next day or inthe next few hours. Players who do not know what the difference is between healthy andunhealthy foods. They are more likely to harm themselves with not getting the right amount ofprotein, carbohydrates and vitamins and minerals. To be sure that these problems get resolved,the players also need to look at the impact of eating healthy and the affects that it will have ontheir bodies. Next, the impact these injuries have on a player’s body is very serious. Most of theinjuries are very harmful, but the players may not realize that these injuries can stay with themfor the rest of their lives. The impact of the wrist injury is to risk harming other tendons in theplayer’s body. The wrist muscles are connected to the elbow and the shoulder. This fact meanswhen the player injures the wrist, it is felt all through the arm because “The reasonably delicatetendons crossing the wrist cannot be asked to generate the forces required for powerful strokes intennis without injury occurring” (Ellenbecker). From repeating the same movement over andover again, players tend to get injuries to the wrist and also get tennis elbow. Tennis elbowoccurs when the player is gripping the racket too firmly. The right way to grip the racket is veryloose and relaxed. Many players who are not relaxed when playing are more likely to get tenniselbow than a player who is very loose with the grip hold. When tennis players injure the forearm,the whole arm feels it. The muscles are not strong enough to have so much pressure on the arm.The impact of having to act like a robot with the strokes is that it gives players cramps allthrough the body because they are using that muscle routinely. Most cramps have a distinctfeeling when they occur: “Often a muscle that is cramping feels harder than normal to the touchor may even show visible signs of twitching. Most cramps resolve spontaneously within a fewseconds to minutes” (Stoppler). Muscle cramps, or “Charlie Horses”, are very painful. Charlie
Waters 4Horses come from when the muscle cannot relax. These cramps normally last a few seconds andmay harm the player’s game. If the players get one during a match, that means they need to getmedical attention or try to walk it off. After just one cramp on the court, the player may be downand worried about the cramp, so they will not put enough effort into the game. This impact of thecramp has a huge toll on the player to perform at her best. To not come into contact with musclecramps, the body needs the right foods and if it does not receive the right foods the body is moreprone to get hurt: “According to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, enduranceathletes on a high-carbohydrate diet can exercise longer than athletes eating a low-carbohydrate,high-fat diet” (Topham). If the foods the players are taking in are empty calories, then the vitalorgans lose much of the minerals and vitamins they need. Protein is a very good source of energyfor tennis players, but too much of this source will cause dehydration in the body. High intakesof protein raise the level of the amount of water it takes players to eliminate the nitrogen fromtheir bodies by going to the bathroom. Obviously, there are different ways that injuries and noteating correctly can affect a tennis player, but there are many solutions and preventions to theseproblems. Not only is impact of tennis injuries important to know, but the prevention measures areimportant to realize also. One prevention for a wrist injury is working out properly and havingthe right grip on your racket: “Several important factors can be applied to prevent wrist injuries.The first and most important is the use of proper technique. Players using extreme grips placetheir wrist and forearm in positions that place additional stress on the muscles, tendons, andligaments and can predispose them to injury” (Ellenbecker). There are many grips a player canhave. Many players use semi western while others use western. Using a western grip will putmore wear and tear on the wrist because the hand, forearm, and wrist are doing more work to hit
Waters 5the same ball a player would be hitting with a semi western grip. The technique of a stroke is themost important part of tennis; therefore, this part needs the most attention. Building up themuscles in the arm is very vital in the game. Without muscle in the arm, the game would not beas fast paced as it is now. There are many ways to prevent muscle cramps from occurringmultiple times on and off the court. One prevention once the player gets the cramp is to stop thework out immediately: “If you get a muscle cramp while exercising, one strategy is to stop youractivity and hold the cramped muscle in a gently stretched position until the cramp resolves. If acramp occurs when you are lying down, you may want to do just the opposite -- put weight andwalk on the cramping leg. Light massage may (or may not) help alleviate the pain” (Stoppler).Muscle cramps come from a lack of potassium in a player’s diet. When the player is not gettingenough of it, the body reacts by cramping. Also, cramps come from players doing rigorous work-outs and not getting enough stretching afterward. Secondly, teaching about nutrition is a solutionfor eating healthy. Many people want to know the different food groups out there and how toincorporate that into their everyday lives. “Obama has made eliminating child obesity a priorityand the circle puts a greater emphasis on fruits and vegetables” (Brand and Margolis). Thefederal government has changed the food pyramid to a food circle now. It is divided into thesame groups but on a plate. The circle also has a smaller plate for the dairy products people needto eat every day. Also, since the player needs to eat better, the cost of the food is going to go up.Every healthy food in the grocery store or at a convenience store is more expensive than gettingthe unhealthy processed food located everywhere around the store. More people are not going towant to eat healthy since the cost is much higher. In the end, there are many solutions to fixinjuries and get back on track with eating healthy so the future of resolving these problems willget better through time.
Waters 6 Finally, knowing the outlook for preventing the injuries tennis players could possibly getwill help them understand what they face in the future. If tennis players know the problems, theimpacts and the preventions, they will know the likelihood of preventing them in the future ofeach injury: “Players using extreme grips place their wrist and forearm in positions that placeadditional stress on the muscles, tendons, and ligaments and can predispose them to injury”(Ellenbecker). The outlook for relieving wrist problems lie in to a new stretching technique thatwill help the situation. Hopefully there is an expert of groups designing a new grip that willcause less strain to the wrist muscles and forearm. With muscle cramps, the outlook forpreventing this injury is quite good if there is enough stretching and exercising going on:“Insufficient stretching before exercise, exercising in the heat, and muscle fatigue may all play arole in their causation” (Fallon). With stretching, these cramps go away very quickly so theoutlooks for eliminating these cramps are pretty good. They only last for a few seconds and theydo not leave any evidence behind except for pain. The outlook for treatment is to just wrap thecramp if it stays with the player for a while and eventually it will disperse. There are some goodand bad aspects of eating healthy and keeping it going for a long time: “Becoming an eliteathlete requires good genes, good training and conditioning and a sensible diet” (Topham). Thecost of food today is sky rocketing and some players may say they do not want to pay so muchmoney to eat healthy. This issue may lead to many falling off track in the future. If the playerchooses to eat healthy, then the outcome will be very beneficial to her and her game. Overall, theoutlook for preventing injuries is about the same as it is right now: if the player does not want todo the work to prevent the injury, then it will cause more damage to her body than before. As can be clearly concluded, there are many ways to hurt muscles and tendons in thebody. This problem may scare players that are entering this field. However, there are many ways
Waters 7to prevent these injuries from happening. For example, if a tennis player injures her wrist, thereare many exercises to gain strength back and to keep it healthy throughout her tennis career. Inthat case, the players have many options to take when they get injured.
Waters 8 Works CitedBrand, Madeleine, and Jacob Margolis. “Food Pyramid Becomes a Food Circle in Makeover.” Food Pyramid. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Sept. 2011. <http://www.scpr.org//////food-pyramid- gets-makeover/>.Ellenbecker, Todd S. “Wrist Management: Prevention of Wrist Injuries in Tennis Players.” United States Tennis Association. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Sept. 2011. <http://www.usta.com///_Fitness/ 59135_Wrist_Management_Prevention_of_Wrist_Injuries_in_Tennis_Players/>.Fallon, L. Fleming. “Exercise.” Gale Virtual Reference Library. Ed. Jacqueline L. Longe and Deirdre S. Blanchfield. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Sept. 2011. <http://go.galegroup.com//.do?sgHitCountType=None&sort=RELEVANCE&inPS=true &prodId=GVRL&userGroupName=cant48040&tabID=T003&searchId=R2&resultListT ype=RESULT_LIST&contentSegment=&searchType=BasicSearchForm¤tPositio n=5&contentSet=GALE%7CCX3405600582&&docId=GALE|CX3405600582&docTyp e=GALE&role=>.
Waters 9Haggerty, Maureen. "Sports Injuries." Gale Virtual Reference Library. Ed. Jacqueline L. Longe and Deirdre S. Blanchfield. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Sept. 2011.<http://go.galegroup.com/ps/ retrieve.do?sgHitCountType=None&sort=RELEV ANCE&inPS=true&prodId=GVRL&userGroupName=cant48040&tabID=T003&searchI d=R1&resultListType=RESULT_LIST&contentSegment=&searchType=BasicSearchFor m¤tPosition=2&contentSet=GALE%7CCX3405601480&&docId=GALE|CX340560148 0&docType=GALE&role=>.Stoppler, Melissa. “Muscle Cramp: A Real Pain.” Medicine Net. Ed. William C. Shiel, Jr. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Sept. 2011. <http://www.medicinenet.com///.asp?articlekey=47633>.Topham, K. “Nutrition for the Athlete.” Colorado State University. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2011. <http://www.ext.colostate.edu///.html>.