I played a tennis tournament two weekends ago, the beginning of June. I hadn’t competed in 6 months. I found the weekend to be both mentally and physically exhausting, as it’s not easy to get back in the groove of competition in Texas heat. The tournament was based on the universal tennis rating (UTR), which is a rating system introduced in the past few years. The rating is calculated based on an algorithm of previous match results instead of the usual, age or gender.
I played two matches on Saturday, one midday and another later in the afternoon with a 2 hour break splitting the difference. I won both of them, but the second match was a battle against a hard hitting guy trying to play college tennis. I persevered using my maturity and quick reflexes. I used his speed of gameplay to generate additional power on my own shots. As soon as the adrenaline wore off after the matches that day, the muscle soreness started creeping in. A whole lot of it. 3 flights of stairs seemed a Mount Everest. The next day I woke up with severe muscle soreness, and a slow moving body. I did my warm up routine consisting of foam rolling, dynamic movements, and a light tennis hit which made me feel better. I walked out to play the singles finals match on Sunday with a slow start and more unforced errors than desired. I slowly got myself back into the match with more aggressive shots, but ended up losing to yet another college-bound adolescent male. Second place is a bit humbling. I hate to lose. However, the match provided an excellent opportunity to learn and grow. Leading up to the tournament I trained 4-5x/week for a couple months, but it wasn’t quite the same as playing 5 hours of tennis in the heat on one day.
The weekend tournament made me think of all the weekend warriors out there. The majority of us work regular schedules, sitting or slightly moving around 40 hours a week in the office. Afterwords, we decide to sign up to do a race, play a tournament, run a marathon, or some intense physical activity during the weekend as we seek the antidote: adrenaline and achievements. This amount of strain on the body when you haven’t kept up with your training is a recipe for injuries, aches and pain. The tendons, muscles, and ligaments haven’t been adequately prepared to absorb such loads or impact out of nowhere. If this hits home, I strongly recommend to not overlook your preparation phase. A closely followed prep plan will reduce risk for injury and improve your performance.
At CHARM, we offer both physical therapy services and private 1:1 training sessions with our team of physical therapists to help you achieve your personal goals. In addition to regular resistance and body weight exercises, we often incorporate the sling suspension exercises using Redcord Active to identify weak links, improve neuromuscular control, and regain symmetry. We’ll make sure your muscles are all activating and interacting as they should. When you put in the work upfront, your confidence will grow and your body will thank you later. Sign up for a private 1:1 session with our team of physical therapists to help you prepare for your next adventure.