“Sammy Speaks” is a 7 part blog series with South Asian Games Gold Medalist – Sathwika Sama. Over the course of the next seven weeks, Sathwika will share details of her journey/experiences in the international tennis circuit
Other articles in the “Sammy Speaks” series can be found below –
Episode 1 – Stay Indoors, Train Indoors
Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Today, I would like to confront the imminent recovery tools needed to perform at the highest level of world tennis. By now, I’m sure a lot of us are aware of the gruelling and physical nature of our sport, which gets tougher every passing minute. The top players are able to train harder for longer periods of time and lengthen their careers by a number of years mainly due to their advanced recovery methods. The stretching, sleep, and nutrition are vital. However, we still lag behind the Western World, who have moved much further than us with their advanced recovery techniques. Let us introspect some of them.
a) Ice Baths & Cryotherapy: One of the most commonly used recovery processes world-wide across multiple sports is an ice bath. Ten minutes of hip high immersion in Eight Degrees Celsius water after an intense exercise session is believed to help reduce muscle pain and soreness. Cryotherapy is a new concept and requires two minutes of immersion in an ice chamber. An extremely effective tool abroad which is yet to be considered in India.
b) Physiotherapy: Physiotherapy plays a vital role in the recovery of every athlete. A good physiotherapist at every tennis academy is a common thing of the West, even at the grassroots level but is yet to be found across even top tennis centres in India. A good physio knows an athlete’s body inside out, not only about preventing injury but also gearing it for optimal performance on a daily basis. A physiotherapist is a must have for all pro athletes today.
c) Massages: Massages are taken every-day by WTA players and are as common as practice sessions. A deep tissue massage relieves soreness and helps in increasing blood flow to all the tight body parts. While we debate whether this is important -Simona Halep and Naomi Osaka are busy winning grand slam titles with their regular ice baths, physiotherapy and massages.
Personally, and I only speak for myself, if I wanted to do all these three everyday along with my tennis and fitness sessions, I would basically need a private helicopter or be stuck in traffic for over 6 hours a day. Credit has to be given for starting the process of having the odd physio and massage centre in India. However, it seems of utmost importance to have them all at the same place, if we are to make Grand Slam champions.
Finally, the idea of this blog was not to see what we do not have as a country, but to introspect and improve as a unit. I believe it is important I put my dreams on paper as one day I wish to train in a tennis centre equipped with all these facilities. Of course, it should ideally be indoors.
Keep smiling as the sun will shine tomorrow😊
Have a safe weekend.