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Too Much Tennis

Is your tennis game good enough to make you the next Roger Federer or Maria Sharapova? Keep that racket swinging, but don't practice too hard cuz it could mean an early end to your tennis career.

Tennis - Injuries on the Court

Research shows many young tennis players are training and playing too much - and getting hurt because of it. Your muscles and joints are still developing when you're a kid and you can really hurt yourself if you work those parts of your body too hard. Players who focus just on tennis so they can be the next superstar don't have any time to play other sports. That means muscles in other areas of their bodies don't get a chance to develop properly. A four-year study of boys and girls playing at USTA youth tennis tournaments found that young players' backs, shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, calves and ankles are getting injured more than ever. This is from spending too many hours a day swinging a racket in practice and then spending even more time hitting balls during week-long tournaments.

Tennis - Preventing Tennis Injuries

Warming up your muscles is crucial to preventing tennis injuries. It increases blood flow and oxygen to your muscles, and increases the range of motion of your joints to reduce the risk of muscle tears. So warm up with a light jog and stretching exercises for 15 to 30 minutes. After a game of tennis, you've gotta cool down to gradually lower your heart rate and reduce the risk of sore muscles. You can cool down the same way you warm up - with a light jog followed by stretching. In addition to warm ups and cool downs, make sure you drink plenty of water and stock up on carbs and protein.

Tennis - Bottom Line

It's always fun to play your favorite sport, whether it's tennis, basketball or skateboarding. But when you're a kid, you should be trying lots of different things. It's not healthy to only eat pizza and pop every day, you wouldn't want to just listen to Chris Brown for the rest of your life - and you shouldn't put all your effort into playing just one sport. It's more likely you'll get hurt rather than become the next superstar.

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