The impact of technology on sports is unquestioned. From baseball and football to golf and the Olympics, it has changed how we train athletes, manage and prevent their injuries, gather and interpret statistics and even how we watch sports. And tennis is no exception. Recently, tennis has ventured further into the high-tech world of sports with RacquetFit.
I recently had the opportunity to complete RacquetFit’s “Level 1: The Body-Serve Connection” certification. It was outstanding, and something I highly recommend to all tennis, medical and fitness professionals working with tennis players. I am an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine, and a USPTA member with a passion for tennis. I am also the Chief Medical Advisor for the American Council on Exercise (ACE). I attend many medical and fitness related conferences, but RacquetFit was unique. The two-day course was both highly informative and entertaining. There was no shortage of hands-on, practical information. The level of interaction between RacquetFit’s stellar faculty and the participants was tremendous. Attendees came from a variety of backgrounds, with equal numbers of tennis professionals, healthcare professionals (physicians, physical therapists, athletic trainers, etc.) and fitness professionals. Interaction between fellow participants was a highlight, and I met many new friends and colleagues from all over the country.
RacquetFit is based on the highly successful Titleist Performance Institute golf program which is one of the world’s leading educational endeavors dedicated to the study of how the human body functions (and malfunctions) in relation to the golf swing and golf biomechanics. TPI was founded in 2003 and has studied and collected data on thousands of golfers ranging from top professional tour players to weekend enthusiasts. There are over 19,000 TPI-certified professionals in 63 countries assisting players of all levels. Recently, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) approved RacquetFit for continuing education credits.
RacquetFit has used technology to study how the body moves optimally in tennis, and has collected data on all types of athletes ranging from top ATP and WTA professionals to recreational players. The resultant RacquetFit screen, obtained from this data and developed in conjunction with its extensive advisory board of tennis industry experts, is simple, quick and highly reproducible. It combines brief video clips with an orthopedic-based physical exam assessment and can be used to both uncover and document issues and flaws, both technical and/or anatomic, that will affect tennis strokes and movement, ones that could be easily missed even by the most skilled tennis instructors.
RacquetFit screening is good for evaluation at all levels of tennis from beginner to advanced, from youth to mature athletes. With younger players, it is especially good to help avoid developing bad technical habits. With more mature athletes, like myself, it can easily uncover musculoskeletal issues and limitations that may require orthopedic evaluation and treatment, or just some preventive exercises to improve or resolve the issue. In both young and old, this will lead to not only improved, more efficient performance on the court but also lower risk of injury. Proper documented assessment takes the guesswork out of tennis stroke and movement pattern analysis. Also, once technical issues and/or physical imbalances are addressed, a repeat screen can be performed and visual feedback easily given.
RacquetFit offers a Level I seminar which covers the 13 tennis serve characteristics and teaches 15 tennis-specific screens. The Level II seminar which focuses on the 16 characteristics related to groundstrokes is expected to be released in the summer of 2019.
To learn more, please visit racquetfit.com or reach out to Dr. Sean Drake at firstname.lastname@example.org.