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John Mills, USPTA
As a tennis player getting older, we need to practice prevention. As a youth, your attitude is usually, "nothing can hurt me." As we get older we need to think - Prevention. Here are a few things that might help you:
- Wear sunscreen, you should have started as a youth.
- Wear sunglasses, also should have started as a youth.
- Wear a hat, again should have started as a youth.
- Wear long sleeve shirts and pants (SPF clothing).
- When something hurts on your body, stop playing for a few days.
- Do not forget the medical value of plain old ice. Ice your injuries ASAP.
- Take anti-inflammatories (sparingly).
- You are not going to win every point. Learn to say "nice shot" more often. Start thinking about being able to play tomorrow or next week un injured. A terrible injury caused by poor judgment might keep you off the courts for weeks.
- Don't forget to get your racket restrung more often to help prevent tennis elbow. Approximately, string the racket per year, the number of times you play a week.
- Remember, through tennis, you will receive: fitness, fairness of play, friendships and camaraderie, just to name a few.
- See yourself as an athlete, eat and drink accordingly.
- Keep your friends, on and off the court.
- Do not get overuse injuries, modify your schedule to allow your body to recover.
- Go to the gym, do yoga, Pilates, ride a bike. Do things that do not involve shocking your body to save your joints. Give up running and replace it with the treadmill, Stairmaster, or bike. Save the running for the courts.
- Add cross training to your fitness regimen.
Good luck on the courts!
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John Mills currently teaches tennis at the University of Houston, Clear Lake campus. John Mills' experience includes four years as head pro at the Windemere Racquet & Swim Club, where he was responsible for organization of all tennis activities at the club. John also played college tennis at the University of Houston and has spent 20 years teaching tennis at the Memorial Park Tennis Center, the Pasadena Racquet Club, and as the head pro at the Bay Area Racquet Club.