Samuel Rayner (GBR)
Part 1: “A TALL STORY – It’s like playing tennis on a tightrope”
It is with great excitement that I can now share my tennis blog on this platform at Sergetti, if you follow me on Instagram @sartennis04 you would have seen some posts about me using the Sergetti stringing method and me experiencing a fantastic training day at Bromley Tennis centre. I got to hit with Neil Pauffley , play a practice match with Peter Masters and join in a squad with Head of high performance coach Matt Smith. It was such a memorable day and a great start to my relationship with Sergetti going forward.
You can read all my previous tennis blog entries by visiting https://www.tennisbrothers.net/sam/ , this will give you some background on my tennis journey so far.
I have also recently been featured on the cover of a junior tennis online magazine – you can read my story there by clicking on this link http://serveituptennismagazine.com/issues/37
I am loving having a happy and healthy start to 2019! Such a different scenario from the one this time last year being ill with HSP disease. (Henoch-Schonlein purpura (HSP) is a disease involving inflammation of small blood vessels. It most commonly occurs in children. The inflammation causes blood vessels in the skin, intestines, kidneys, and joints to start leaking.) Due to the illness I missed 6 months of training and competitive tennis plus 40 % of school. It has only really been since January this year that I have felt fully recovered.
Being ill wasn’t the only thing to affect my tennis during 2018. Over the course of the past 14 months I grew over 5 inches! I thought it would be good to write a blog on the impacts of this on my tennis, especially since returning to full training last September and dealing with my ongoing growth.
During this period, I have focused heavily on core fitness with Holly (@haclifestyle), nutrition with Edin (@edinsehovicnutrition) and recovery with Ellen (@ellsflexback). They will all contribute to this blog to talk about the impact of growth spurts on the aspiring junior athlete.
With me and my body developing during 2018 and again in recent months at the start of 2019, I have found it tough to coordinate my movement and balance because of the high amount of growth. When I play from 1 week to another, I go from feeling balanced and in control of my movements to feeling like I am playing tennis on a tight rope. I can go from feeling fresh to feeling tired and heavy footed in my movements. To counteract this, I have to focus really hard on my basics and foundations and make sure I give 100% effort and focus to maintain good energy levels.
I have found it really important to counteract the effect of growth on my tennis by putting in extra work off the court with Holly, Edin and Ellen.”