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If you are the tennis player who loves the game and constantly strives for improvement, this book is for you. You may play tennis to remain fit, and maybe not realize that you need to become fit to play good tennis. Improving your fitness is as important—if not more—as working on your tennis game. As you strive for improvement and increase your playing frequency, it is very common that you strain a muscle or experience daily aches and pains in different areas of your body, and they tend to move around. When the achy knee is good again, then there is your hip hurting. In a few weeks, the hip is good, and you feel tennis elbow… sounds familiar?
The main idea of this book is to create an awareness of your body and to learn how to listen what your body is telling you. Playing tennis is harsh on your muscular-skeletal system and every tennis player develops overuse injuries eventually. These injuries are preventable if you learn to listen to your body.
Awareness is your first step to be able to correct your problems and to improve. If you don’t know what is going on, then you cannot know what to do to become better. For example, if you were aware that your future Achilles problem is forming right now, because your opposite hip and glute are not engaging properly and functionally, then you could correct the problem immediately, and as a result, you will prevent the future Achilles problem. These small dysfunctions and imbalances are easy to ignore, because most of the time you don’t even know about them, until it is too late. However, if you are aware and if you talk to your body and listen what it is answering you back, you will be a master of your own health, which will enable you to play pain-free tennis on high levels.
You may think, “Yeah, I am listening to my body, but it is not saying anything.” To tell the truth, your body is talking to you all the time, you are just not used to understanding its language. In the beginning on your journey to awareness of your body, you may not be able to feel anything other than that your legs are sore or your lower back tight. With regular practice and introspection, you will become aware of more subtle signs, such as a few trigger points in your glutes that start causing issues in your opposite knee or ankle. At this state of awareness, you can prevent any issue before it happens. Develop a habit of always “searching” your body, touching and pushing and squeezing your muscles, looking for tender points and tightness that is felt only on deeper levels. That is your body talking to you, and this book will help you to understand. You will learn basic series of stretches, strengthening exercises, myofascial release, and much more. The exercises will not just tell you what to do and how—anybody can tell you that. They will explain the meaning behind their value and importance. You will learn the meaning of balance in your body, the interaction between the muscle groups and joints, and how everything is connected. The goal of this book is to teach you the basic awareness of your body, so you can always catch and correct a developing problem that would show several months or even years later.
This book has shown thousands of athletes the mindful way to become fit and to play injury-free tennis for the rest of their lives, with only a minimal effort. What are you waiting for?