On any given day, a TB12 Body Coach like Becca Coutts, DPT, will work with an incredible array of clients- from a child struggling with motor control, to a mother hoping to play with her kids, to a recreational golfer dealing with lower back pain. While the clients may be vastly different in terms of age, situation, and goals, the Body Coaches employ the same underlying principles of the TB12 approach.
How does Tom Brady break through barriers of performance and longevity? It’s this integrated focus on pliability, health, and recovery that Becca uses to help athletes and non-athletes alike. For clients that balance a competitive sport with work and family, this approach is key to helping them do what they love for longer.
Tennis and Chronic Injury
Roughly 18 million people play tennisin the United States. Though often characterized as a lifetime sport, tennis can exact a toll on the human body, as a 2018 review of the medical research explained: "Tennis entails high aerobic and anaerobic demands, with repetitive stresses through a variety of strokes and movements. As a result, tennis players are susceptible to a range of injuries, including chronic overuse conditions and acute traumatic injuries."
The risk of chronic injuries goes up along with the intensity of play, the review suggests. "Through hundreds of strokes per match, the kinetic chain enables a player to generate high racquet and ball velocities while minimizing joint loads, especially with power shots including overhead serves, overhead smashes, and groundstrokes." Like other sports that require generating force through rotational movement, playing competitive tennis, where matches can last for hours, can overload muscles in ways that create chronic imbalances and overcompensation. For those dedicated to pushing their tennis performance to the next level, injury prevention efforts become vital to realizing the goal.
Revitalizing a Tired, Sore Tennis Player
Recently, on a day in which Coutts worked with a range of non-athletes, she had improving performance in mind when working with a long-time client and amateur tennis competitor in her twenties, but was mindful that injury prevention would be central to the effort.
“She didn’t have any acute injuries,” Coutts says. “She was looking to improve her speed, power, and explosiveness within her tennis conditioning routine.” “She was always combatting the volume and effects of her schedule. From multiple practices each day to matches every weekend — she was often sore and exhausted.”
Movement Analysis: Looking for Opportunities to Improve
Coutts started by studying her client’s movements while the client was playing.
“Watching her play was crucial for analyzing her rotational movement and to see where she lacked speed, explosiveness, and power,” Coutts says. “A lot of the time, athletes have the appropriate strength but need to learn how to use it best without putting unnecessary strain through their bodies.”
One principle at the core of TB12’s approach to functional strength & conditioning is to limit inflammation and overload. Tom Brady explains it this way: “After a lifetime of lifting weights, for the past seven years, I’ve used resistance bands almost exclusively. The difference is profound. My muscles are more balanced and functional, especially for the movements I need to perform as an NFL quarterback.”
Custom Tennis Exercises
Coutts used this principle to help her client improve performance without adding wear and tear.
“Using the resistance bands was essential for developing her power and explosiveness,” Coutts says. “We wanted to avoid overloading her body since she was already doing a lot of practice and exercise throughout the day.”
Coutts applied the versatility that resistance bands allow. She could have her client perform sport-specific movements — against resistance — within the full range of motion. Coutts used the bands to mimic the rotational movements of tennis, focusing on getting her client to engage her gluteal and core muscles. In addition to this sport-specific functional strength & conditioning, Coutts performed deep-force muscle pliability work “to decrease her muscle soreness, improve her recovery, and restore her pliability.”
Pushing for More Performance
Coutts has been working with this client for years. The continued success is a testament to how a focus on performance through recovery can pay off.“She’s continuing to perform at a high level,” Coutts reports, and still improving: “It’s fun showing her that she is capable of getting better every day.”
“It’s fun showing her that she is capable of getting better every day.”
TB12 Body Coach Becca Coutts, DPT An Approach that Will Work For You
Everyone can take advantage of the TB12 approach, whether your goal is to improve in a competitive sport or enhance the quality of your daily life. The same strategies and techniques that a competitive tennis player can use to maximize performance and improve longevity are equally effective for fitness enthusiasts and non-athletes. No matter what you love to do, the TB12 approach can help you do it better and for longer.