ITA sponsored conference looks at common injuries in college tennis

Conference 2
Photo: Medicine of Tennis conference presenters

ITA sponsored conference looks at common injuries in college tennis

A tennis conference examining injury prevention, treatment and performance was recently held in New York, co-sponsored by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), New York University School of Medicine and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)

Titled “The Medicine of Tennis: Preventing Injury, Optimizing Treatment and Maximizing Performance,” the conference provided collegiate tennis coaches and health care professionals the opportunity to exchange key information related to common tennis injuries.

The conference was held Friday, September 6 at Apella at Alexandria Center in New York for the second time, but this year the focus was on collegiate and adolescent players.

It is hoped that this landmark conference – the first ever jointly sponsored NCAA and member institution medical conference – will serve as a model for other NCAA sports.  

“Ideally, conferences such as this will guide coaches and clinicians to make data-driven decisions that will promote safety, excellence and wellness in college student-athletes,” said David Benjamin, Executive Director of the ITA. “The ITA looks forward to further partnering with Chief Medical Officer Brian Hainline and NCAA Sports Medicine to continue addressing the important issues related to collegiate tennis injuries.”

One key session of the conference was ‘NCAA Tennis Surveillance Data: Past, Present, Future’ by Tom Dompier, PhD. This segment delved into the issue of injury data tracking, which is key to making better decisions about the health of college players. Dr. Dompier provided information on the lack of data on tennis injuries and the need to build awareness of the NCAA-Datalys Injury Surveillance Program.

The ITA is working with the NCAA to help encourage athletic trainers to submit injury data, as at present only about 1 percent of NCAA member institutions are participating in the joint NCAA-Datalys Injury Surveillance Program. 

Two ITA collegiate coaches, Danielle McNamara, David Swensen-Meghan McMahon Head Coach of Women's Tennis at Yale University, and Bid Goswami, The Columbia Tennis Alumni and Friends Head Coach of Men's Tennis at Columbia University, attended the conference and helped lead several sessions.

Goswami said he found the seminar very informative with representatives from key sports medicine fields present. “This is an important conference talking about injury prevention, optimizing treatment and maximizing performance for juniors and especially college players,” he said. “I hope to see this Medicine of Tennis conference grow as it will help coaches and players alike.”

McNamara also felt the conference was very informative. “It really emphasized the important roles that so many different people with their own specialties play in a successful team or individual player,” she said. “It became very clear that not very many individuals have the knowledge and experiences needed in all of these different areas (i.e. Physical therapy, biomechanics, nutrition, medical expertise, sports psychology, coaching) and how the success of the athlete can really depend on how this ‘team’ of people work together.” 

She added, “I think that a lot of college coaches could really benefit from this conference and I hope to see it continue to grow in future years.”

Conference organizer Dina Pagnotta, Director of NYU Langone Medical Center Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation Network, said getting coaches and health care professionals in one room for discussions and learnings was valuable. “It was extremely important to get the coaches’ perspective for the health care professionals to hear as they are the ones who know the players best,” she said. 

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