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Injuries in Junior Athletes — not just Tennis and how it is Connected to their Technique

Truth be told most techniques in tennis have a correlation with the development of an injury over the course of a players/athletes career if not modified and/or amended for that specific player/athlete. It is that simple. The majority of these players are taught a specific technique to ‘play’ the game and yet these techniques are one and the same in the onset of injury. Ironically, players within the developmental spectrum will not notice an immediate discomfort due to the somewhat pliability of their growing bodies. Unfortunately, once this development phase has run its cause the player becomes more susceptible to the very same technique they were taught years prior. But it doesn’t need to be this way.

The principles of human movement are readily available for all and to help navigate the core principles that are responsible for the development of the respective discrete and serial skills. Unfortunately, these are often filled with scientific jargon that make them not as readily accessible to those in need. The foundation of AM8 International has been built on one of these principles — accessibility. In simple terms, this means more often than not the scientific jargon is left behind — to an extent. Rather, the scientific jargon is integrated into our programmatic analyses, for example, but over time to ensure the reader is placed on a learning curve akin to performance progressions.

By this logic whether a player/athlete, parent and/or coach you’re privy to the science in a progressive format which has an underlying purpose of heightening your general knowledge base — you bet progressively, to align with your performance advancements, progressively, so they both run parallel to optimise your results.

It is often unknown to those involved at the developmental level that injuries are being developed in conjunction with the conditioning of a new skill. It is the specific discrete skills, if not given enough attention, that when the serial skill is in action through play that the player becomes susceptible to the onset of injury — whether in 6 weeks, 6 months or 6 years. A common example in tennis is “tennis elbow” which can readily come about by a player making contact with the oncoming ball behind their elbow. It’s that simple. The pressure placed on this joint becomes immense over time and the elbow is not designed to withstand this force. Rather, the player should be conditioned to make contact in front of their body whilst extending through the ball. For a more detailed synopsis be sure to delve into the What is Your Game Missing Series with the technical complexities of varying techniques shared throughout a significant number of elite players on both the WTA and ATP tours for an incredible eye opener.

Using the elbow as an example, over the course of an hour of play, a player will make contact with their groundstroke at least one hundred time or greater — depending on the level of play. By all accounts this is a minimum as for a more advanced player this will track in the high hundreds if not more, whilst a player that is earlier in The Pathway will potentially remain close to that initial hundred. Irrespective of the total the concern is in the number.

Whether one hundred to nine hundred plus times of a repetitive motion that involves direct pressure on an elbow joint, the cause for concern is substantial. And that’s merely inside the scope of 60 minutes!

To mitigate injuries from the beginning and/or from here on in it is important to be conscious of the pitfalls of techniques — not all techniques are good for your body and/or conducive towards developing an optimal performance. But I have good news. The core techniques that have been backed by >150,000 inferences — that’s a significant dataset, align with functional movement patterns and adhere to core principles of biomechanics and in turn human movement. In other words, they’re designed to mitigate injury and have been scientifically proven to be attributed towards elite performance. And by elite we’re specifically referring to a Top 10 tennis ranking.

To learn more about Injuries in Junior Athletes — not just Tennis and how it is Connected to their Technique, head on over to Beyond Top 10 Tennis and head to Episode 38. More? Catch up on our Tips over on TikTokTwitterThreads or Instagram for quick snippets to apply in your game, today.