Like the general population, the start of a New Year conjures the hopes of achieving dreams and excitement of opportunity and success for tennis players as well. This time of year players on the professional tennis circuit have had a short but well-earned rest from the grinding stresses of year-round tennis and travel. Most players get back to their home countries and spend some quality time with their families. Not long after this, they embark on a pre-season training block. This often means travelling somewhere where the weather is more suitable and also somewhere they can revitalize their mind – in essence a working holiday.
As soon as they get to training though, it is definitely not a holiday. Pre-season training is part of periodised training schedule where the athletes can put together a high volume block of conditioning as well as fine-tune parts of their technical game that they want to change or improve. This period of training is highly scientific and well planned to suit the requirements of their upcoming year. Periodisation training includes planning the year so there are planned areas of strategic training.
When the athletes start the year’s first tournaments such as the Australian Open Series Tournaments in Brisbane and Sydney it can initially be very arduous. Players are often a little fatigued from their training block. Additionally their bodies and minds have forgotten the stresses of competitive match play and to make things more difficult many players travel from different parts of the world where the climate and time zones are completely different to Australia.
As a result, the physiotherapists’ work-load at a tournament can spike in the early part of the year. The athletes require an increased level of manual therapy and stretching relative to the rest of their year. It is also a time where minor injuries and imbalances are sorted with thorough assessment and solid injury prevention programs. On the whole, prevention is the key and athletes are increasingly becoming experts in knowing their bodies and seeking our expertise in injury prevention, conditioning, and maintenance.
Despite the increased work-load for both athletes and physiotherapists it is a wonderful time of year as everyone is excited to see everyone and get back to business as well as gel back into the larger tennis family and forge a good year ahead.
We at Grand Slam Physiotherapy wish all our clients a happy and prosperous new year. Whilst we are busy working at tennis events we also have the clinic running full steam ahead. To book an appointment or if you have any enquires please call (03) 52772151.