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Aching Wrist Problems 02/12/04
By Masaaki Tajima, U.S. National Junior Girls Coach

Coach Masaaki Tajima answers the following question:

My wrist hurts occasionally when I play my backhand topspin and sometimes it hurts during the forehand topspin. How can I improve this and also improve my technique?

Coach Tajima replies:

"First about your wrist; of course the pain can be caused by variety of problems; Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, pinched nerve, ligament fracture, etc. The most common problem are pinched nerve and ligament fracture caused by snapping the wrist too often and too hard. Try not snapping the wrist for a while and see if the pain persists. If it does, see the doc."

"I define technique as smoothness of stroke and efficiency. Players who generate speed, spin and power primarily by snapping of the wrist tend to be less consistent even at the higher levels due to less contact time with the ball and the precision required. They also tend to use shorter strokes to make up for their lack of foot work which makes them look jerky and awkward. "

"You can attain both improved technique and alleviate your pain by improving your foot work, to be in better leveraged position utilizing your full body to generate speed, spin and power and not relying so much on your wrist. And think about following through with your stroke more than you are now after you struck the ball. As in life, stability and balance is the key to longevity."

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