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Thread: Quadriplegic tennis. Looking to start

  1. #1

    Quadriplegic tennis. Looking to start

    I played tennis for 20 years before I was hurt and I'm ready to start again. We have bridge 2 sports in nc and Raleigh has a group but no quads and the coache have no idea what to do with a quad. They have chairs to borrow but the backs are low and the dump is next to none. Ho can I try it out? And do many or any c6 quads with no grip and minimal triceps use. Manual chair to play?

    Sorry for taking over this board

  2. #2
    Senior Member wheeliecoach's Avatar
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    I am not an expert by any means but I have seen a lot of quads play in a manual chair. They usually tape the racket to their hand. It definitely is possible!
    "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot nothing's going to get better. It's not." - Dr. Seuss

  3. #3
    I'm not a quad but have about no trunk support as I'm a very high Para. Here is a picture of the chair I use, it is a Quickie match point and has a high backrest. I feel very stable in the chair and it moves very easily. I have the right run tires which are holding up very well with tennis. Not sure how it's gonna be for you with your grip, but worth trying it out. Just don't get discouraged, it takes a lot of time to learn how to move the chair around the Court, just remember stay way back about 4 feet behind the baseline in the center of the court all the time, totally different dynamics to wheelchair tennis than A/B tennis, forget about the net game, lol. The ball will go flying over your head everytime and you will loose the point if you are up too far. I'm actually thinking about opening a disabled player tennis camp here in Fla winters if I can get the right setup, I may look into getting a grant from USTA. If I was closer to NC I would help you out, if you get up North to R.I (I live there summers) or Boston at some point let me know and I'll spend some time with you on the courts and we actually have one of the top rated players Dick Lane as our coach, it's amazing the way he moves around the court. I'm sure Wheelie Coach can give you some pointers too. Maybe there is something you can wrap around your hand on the grip to help out? It's gonna take time, your going to have to re-learn to play, although your strokes will come back to you being your a experience player. It's just the chair movement that is not easy and frusterating at first.

    Editing to say Wheelie Coach must have been posting as I was, lol. Me and her played together double once when I was learning still around 3 years back in CT. I've improved lots since then, finally got the chair movement down. The other huge pointer I can give you is hit the ball long and deep and not too hard, this gives you a lot more time to get re-positioned in your chair back to 4 feet behind the baseline and in the center of the court. If you try to hit it hard and low, it will come back to you just as hard and you will be outta position, the exception to this is a shot you know you can put away. I think your gonna love wheelchair tennis once you get the hang of the differences of playing vs playing when you were a/b, like anything else in the chair, don't compare yourself to how you played before, it's a totally different animal that's gonna take time.
    Last edited by Curt Leatherbee; 05-02-2012 at 03:16 PM.
    "Life is about how you
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  4. #4
    Thanks for the Advice. I did find a video showing how to tape the racket but moving the chair will be more difficult because I can't grip the wheel. I've seen backwards tape before. I'm more concerned about the trunk support, my weak chest muscles and less stable wrists.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Scorpion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ECUrach85 View Post
    Thanks for the Advice. I did find a video showing how to tape the racket but moving the chair will be more difficult because I can't grip the wheel. I've seen backwards tape before. I'm more concerned about the trunk support, my weak chest muscles and less stable wrists.
    There are elastic wraps that go around your torso and the back of the chair to help with balance. It can't hurt to try. And with a little bit of triceps, it sounds like you're a functional C-6/7, and you'll get stronger as you play.

  6. #6
    I don't think not gripping the wheels will be as much as a problem as you might think, I normally push with my palms mostly especially with my right hand which is holding the racket while pushing. Maybe some quads who play can chime in here? I know there are even higher levels than you who play out of power chairs, there are a few who are real good and would probabley even give me a good game, Heres a video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zk4b23pjokQ Heres one of the top woman quad players, notice how she kind of palms the wheels while pushing and has on some sticky gloves http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bscABU3Yh4g
    Last edited by Curt Leatherbee; 05-02-2012 at 10:14 PM.
    "Life is about how you
    respond to not only the
    challenges you're dealt but
    the challenges you seek...If
    you have no goals, no
    mountains to climb, your
    soul dies".~Liz Fordred

  7. #7
    I played for years, we are quite similar in injury. I never used a tennis chair as I had no one to help me transfer or could I afford it so to get started.
    Buy a weight belt it'll keep you in the chair and when your natural instinct to reach locks in you won't fall out.
    Buy self adhesing wraps. You can buy them online now they are used on horse legs too to wrap the racquet to your hand, someone will have to do this for you.

    Learn the art of a killer drop shot serve.
    Aim at the court edges when returning, paras tend to over push themselves right into the net.
    Lobbing is your friend.
    Don't freak when you play your first tourney and quad and they kick your ass and everyone else from a power chair or they're incomplete and stand to fix their shorts!
    Not sure the gender ratio but I was the only woman and quad in NYC forever.
    Again, you can always call me.

    When you get better you'll get your own tennis chair. Using your status you can probably be sponsored by a chair company!
    (typing from phone, excuse errors)
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    I shall not tolerate ignorance or hate speech on this site.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by ECUrach85 View Post
    Thanks for the Advice. I did find a video showing how to tape the racket but moving the chair will be more difficult because I can't grip the wheel. I've seen backwards tape before. I'm more concerned about the trunk support, my weak chest muscles and less stable wrists.
    I am a high Para with limited grip in my dominant hand(pins in middle finger and torn tendons in index and ring finger) I use coated pushrims on one side, the same pushrims the lowpointers use for their rugby chairs. I also use a weight lifting strap for balance.

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