Sports science is something we often read or hear regularly but tend to ignore as it never really affects us.
I remember, when Freddie Roach first visited Cebu and had a training session with the then top pro boxers some 15 years ago, their questions after the event to the renowned coach showed that they maybe the top fighters, sports science was a stranger to them.
I think it was Rev Santillan, then the OPBF (Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation) champion who asked Roach whether it is true that fighters run the risk of becoming blind if they sleep after a fight.
I forgot Roach’s exact response but I do remember how he sort of frowned at the question there’s no such risk. In another Q and A involving boxers, this time as the one answering questions, there was a comical part when one boxer said refraining from sex would help a fighter going into a fight, while the other one professed that having sex helped him.
Of course, that was a different time, there was no Webmd, no doctors or professional trainers offering advice on their social media pages.
I’m talking about that because for close to a month now there has been some lingering pain in my tennis arm and it was only about two weeks that I began wearing some sort of protection on the elbow that I was told that I might have tennis elbow.
So I did what anyone who feels any sort of illness these days does, I googled it. Webmd basically told me what my tennis mates said, change the tension of the racket or playing style, something which tennis ace John Pages, now the Cebu City Sports Commission chair, told me when we met last week.
That got me thinking when I started feeling this; it was a month ago when after removing two old overgrips, I only put in one. I use four—two overgrips on top of a replacement grip on top of the original grip. At the same time, I was also experimenting with changes with my serve and forehand, the result? An unhappy elbow that reminds me of its misery with every hit.
The advice from veteran have been varied also—some say the pain will go away with constant play, while some say rest will make it go away. I decided to do a little of both.
This reminds me too of how I scoffed at reports at how Andre Agassi supposedly endured hell in his final US Open, getting cortisone shots in between matches for his swan song.
I thought the US writers were getting a bit carried away with their reporting for the US tennis icon. My elbow has shown me how wrong I was.
What’s next for my sports science experiment? Learning whether good ol’ Bisaya hilot can fix a tennis elbow.
July 03, 2022
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