February 16, 2019
Owner and Physical Therapist at Harmon Physical Therapy, Michael Harmon, was born in Liberia, Africa, and later was raised in Wilmington, Delaware. After receiving his Bachelor of Science from The College of William and Mary, Michael went on to obtain a Masters of Physical Therapy from The University of Delaware. As a Physical Therapist for more than 15 years, Michael brings a unique combination of Outpatient Orthopedic experience, compassion, and the dedication to improve the health and well-being of those he treats. Michael is an expert in joint problems including: shoulder, knee, foot/ankle, low back and cervical treatment. Michael is an avid skier and loves spending time with his beautiful wife, Annie, and his energetic daughters, Edina and Eliana.
Scroll down to Register for a Shoulder/Rotator Cuff Workshop by Michael Harmon of Harmon PT.
Game-Set-Match, Inc. partner, Michael Harmon, owner at Harmon Physical Therapy, shared these tips below with us for post-match play recovery. He endorses these stretches & recovery methods as do we, of course exercising your best personal judgment on what's right for you. Please enjoy the article below & don't forget to scroll down to register for Michael's Shoulder/Rotator Cuff Workshop at Game-Set-Match, Inc. University Hills Plaza in Denver.
After a match or an intensive training session, the physical recovery phase is essential for making progress. There are several things that can be done to help recovery: active recovery, diet (including hydration), cold (shower, ice bath or cryotherapy) and massage. These different techniques will help you achieve optimum recovery and progress with your exercise. Find out the best ways to recover physically.
Active physical recovery
The aim of active recovery is to remove toxins, avoid muscle soreness and gradually bring the body back to a resting state. Active physical recovery is going for a jog or a bike ride at a moderate and relaxed pace, with your body as loose as possible. During this exercise, you are at 50 / 60% of your MHR (Maximum Heart Rate if you have a heart rate monitor), so at low intensity for 15 minutes. After your jog or bike ride, you should do some light stretches:
Quadriceps Stretch (muscles at the front of the thigh)
While standing, bend your right leg and hold your right foot with your right hand. Bring your right thigh backwards while keeping your pelvis facing forward. Your left leg must stay straight during the stretch. You can use a wall to keep your balance. 2 x 6 seconds per leg.
While standing, stretch out your right leg on the tennis net in front of you (or on a low wall) Lightly tilt your chest forward.
Triceps Surae Stretch (calf muscle)
Position yourself facing a wall. Put the front of your right foot against the wall about 10 cm high while keeping your heel on the ground. Your left leg must be straight and slightly behind you to keep you balanced. Try to get your body as close as possible to the wall while keeping your foot, pelvis and shoulders aligned.
Finish with a Relaxation Stretch
Lie down on your back. Slowly stretch your arms and legs as if you want to make yourself taller.
Physical Recovery through Rehydration
During this period, hydration is extremely important. Your drink should be mineralized and rich in bicarbonates. Water and sodium for rehydration, bicarbonates for pH correction (as exercise lowers pH). Quite often forgotten about by sports people, magnesium is essential for the proper functioning of the human body. When it is deficient, recovery takes longer and performance levels drop. Sparkling water is a good source of sodium, magnesium and bicarbonates. Don’t be afraid to drink a lot of it after your tennis match.
Physical Recovery through Cold
For some years now, more and more top-level athletes have been taking ice baths or undergoing cryotherapy sessions in cool boxes so as to recover more quickly and to reduce muscle damage and inflammation. Even it cryotherapy centers are open to everybody nowadays, it is easier and less costly to apply cold yourself. A cold bath at a temperature of 15 °C/59*, for a few minutes, will lead to a quicker recovery. For more localized applications, you can use ice packs or ice bags. These can be applied for 5 to 15 minutes.
Recovery through Massage
In order to be effective, a sports massage must last between 20 and 30 minutes. Ideally, it should be carried out in a relaxing, temperate and calm place. Avoid noise, drafts and bright light. The direction of the massage is always from the end of the limb towards the base of the limb (for example, for a leg, from the ankle towards the knee; for an arm, from the elbow towards the shoulder).
1. Go for a light jog for 15 minutes
2. Stretch the hamstrings, quadriceps, calves and back (approximately 6 minutes)
3 Take an ice bath or shower (8 minutes)
4. Finish with a “relaxing” massage (10 minutes).
Don’t forget to drink sparkling water during this period.
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GSM - October 10, 2017
5 Mental Toughness Tips
by Jeff Cooper
Updated May 29, 2017
Most tennis players are all too familiar with the difficulty of the mental half of tennis competition. The power of the mind is evident at every level, from Goran Ivanisevic or Jana Novotna at Wimbledon to an eight-year-old afraid to use any of her full strokes in her first tournament. Tennis is a gold mine for sports psychologists, and some players spend several hours each week just doing mental toughness exercises.
FIVE SIMPLE TECHNIQUES YOU CAN TRY RIGHT AWAY
1. The best all-around mental repair tool is the simple phrase, "only the ball." It cures, at least temporarily, most of the big pitfalls. Whether you're upset, angry, nervous, or just distracted, repeat this phrase to block out negative thoughts and return your focus to where it belongs, the ball.
2. Probably the hardest time to concentrate is when you're getting ready to return serve. Your opponent has the ball, so your mind seems to sense that this is an opportunity for a little time off. The next thing you know, your musings about which movie to watch tonight are rudely interrupted by a chunk of rubber and fuzz coming in at 90 m.p.h. A combination of three tactics can help keep your mind on the job:
While your opponent is preparing, try to focus on something undistracting, like your strings. (Strings get readjusted a lot more than needed because of this little trick.)
As she/he tosses the ball, try to watch it come out of her hand and say to yourself a long, drawn-out, "baaalll."
As she/he hits the serve, say "hit," followed by "bounce," then on your return swing, "hit."
The "baaalll" device seems to work well for most players without much of a downside. The "hit, bounce, hit" phrase is also popular but for some players it distracts more than it helps.
3. It's possible to become too analytical in the middle of a match, which will keep you from letting your strokes take their natural flow, but you don't want to shut down your analytical abilities either. If you miss a shot you shouldn't have, you'll dwell on it less if you take a moment to figure out what you did wrong, then say to yourself, "Okay, I won't do that again." It's usually a good idea to repeat the stroke right away with the correct motion. You might very well make the same error the next time the stroke comes up but just go ahead and apply the same process. Eventually you will get it right and, in the meantime, a little extra optimism won't hurt.
4. Learn versatility. If you have only one playing style and it's not working, your lack of strategic options also creates a shortage of mental safety valves. A key factor in psychological health, in general, is feeling empowered to choose different courses of action. If you have a Plan B, C, and D on the tennis court, the failure of Plan A is unlikely to cause despair. Tennis players often lose because at least a part of them secretly gives up. You won't give up while you have something else to try. Learn to play every part of the court and hit every kind of shot with every kind of spin.
You'll likely uncover a weakness in a seemingly invincible opponent. Variety makes the game more creative and interesting too.
5. Look alert, energetic, confident, and happy. Looking so will actually help you be so to a significant extent, and it will keep you from giving encouragement to your opponent. If your opponent is at all prone to choking, your look of ready confidence on the verge of seeming defeat might keep just enough doubt in her mind to make her cave under the pressure of closing out the match.
BOOKS WITH GOOD CHAPTERS ON MENTAL TOUGHNESS
Vic Braden's Tennis 2000: Strokes, Strategy, and Psychology for a Lifetime
Pat Blaskower's The Art of Doubles: Winning Tennis Strategies
For an entire book on mental toughness, check out Dr. James Loehr's Mental Toughness Training.
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GSM - October 3, 2017