Preventative Care for Competitive Sports: Carly’s Racquetball Story

11 years ago, I left the sport of racquetball finishing 2nd place in doubles at Nationals in Montreal.  It was my last tournament and I had trained long and hard for it. Unknowingly, I was training wrong. Even though I had finished well, I managed to get Lateral Epicondylitis on my racquet arm, which is better known as tennis elbow. Knowing I was going to be going to College for Massage Therapy that fall, I gave up the sport to let my injury heal. While in school I also learned that racquetball had given me functional scoliosis from not compensating training with the left side of my body. My muscles had pulled my spine to the right side of my body. Luckily, I was in a school training to fix things like that.

Over the last 10 years, I really missed the sport of racquetball.  So, last October, I decided to get back into the game. My first tournament was the Saskatoon Open. I got creamed my first 2 matches and then ended up winning my last match in a tie breaker, which placed me second last in the tournament. I also had 2 strained calf muscles. The last match lasted 90 minutes and there are no subs, only a few time outs. I had not trained for that level of cardio and paid the price.

As I worked on my training and entered a few more tournaments, I slowly started getting better results and better yet – no more injuries!

This season I intend to play at Racquetball Nationals in Vancouver in May 2019. Training is now a lot more serious and I know I also have to take care of my body though preventative care. It takes a village. I started running, and as a non-runner this was a real change. I was also weight lifting twice a week, playing racquetball about twice a week, and I started playing basketball by myself as a creative way to have more fun with my cardio. To help me maintain and keep my body in top shape, I also used the skills of my team at Lead!

I started taking Block Therapy class at Lead once or twice a week. This helped a great amount with keeping my range of motion of my swing even when my muscles were sore and tight. Saw Dr. Rikki for chiro about every 2 weeks to make sure that spine wasn’t going anywhere. Nicole for physio to prevent wear and tear on my shoulder joint. Kyla and Morgan took care of my muscles with massages every 2 weeks.

This October, I had my first racquetball tournament of the season and ended up with a nice 2nd place trophy, and no injuries! The most competitive game of the tournament was on the Friday evening. After the match, I spent nearly 2 hours working with my Block Buddy at home, foam rolling, and doing point therapy with a ball. Come Saturday, I didn’t have aches or pains! If that isn’t a miracle, I don’t know what is. I most certainly am looking forward to this season’s journey with the Lead team behind me to get me to where I want to be.