A recent article by the International Tennis Performance Association made clear what injuries affect “junior” players. This “junior” designation includes ages 10 to 17 made up of 43% male and 57% female from a group of 861 players.
For many of you that are parents or coaches of juniors you already know this but the research makes it possible to compare data and make any changes in training, and, equipment.
Racquet Quest, LLC is in the racquet technologies business and as such was drawn to the “shoulder” (yellow) injury slice of the pie:
Of immediate interest is the difference between shoulder injuries in the 15-16 age group and the Under 12 age group. It is not surprising that older players are stronger than younger players. So, then, does it make sense that younger players require different training and equipment?
My position is that training and equipment is not only age based but “size” dependent as well. Not every 12 year old has the same physical attributes, or lack thereof. As in any training endeavor the more you train the better you get and you increase your training type and schedule as your goals are met.
Staring with a properly prepared tennis racquet is critical to long term success, and modifying that tennis racquet to compliment the players progress is important. This is where working with the trainer, racquet technician, and the player is mandatory, in my opinion.
Thanks to the ITPA for an enlightening article. Here is a link to that article if you are interested in learning more.