Looking for a good way to stay in shape and have fun? Try tennis. Whether you're a member of a club with an organized league or just like to head out to the public courts once in a while, tennis is an easy game to get started playing. Just get yourself some tennis shoes, a racquet, and a friend, and you're ready to go. These safety tips can help protect you from injuries while playing tennis. Safe Tennis Gear The right gear can help prevent injuries. Racquet. Talk to a trained professional at a tennis specialty store to make sure you get a racquet that's right for your size and skill level. Using a racquet that is too light or too heavy can increase your risk of shoulder and elbow injuries. Likewise, a racquet with the wrong grip size or the wrong amount of tension in the strings can be hard on your wrists and arms. Sneakers. Be sure to get shoes specifically designed for tennis and the court surface. Tennis shoes should support your heel and help keep your ankle from rolling or sliding side to side. Also, if you play on courts made of asphalt, concrete, or other hard surfaces, heel inserts may decrease the stress on your lower back. Socks. Choose socks made from synthetic fabrics rather than cotton, as these will help keep your feet dry and prevent blisters. For added support, consider wearing two pairs of socks or specially padded tennis socks. Safe Tennis Training To prevent injuries during training: Get a sports physical before starting any training program. Be in good shape before playing tennis. Always warm up and stretch before practice and matches. Use proper technique. If you have questions about your technique, take a lesson from a trained instructor. Stop training if you get hurt or feel pain. Get checked by an athletic trainer, coach, doctor, or nurse before going back to training. Play different sports throughout the year to prevent overuse injuries. Safe Play To play it safe: Know the rules of the game. Make sure the court is in good condition and isn't wet. Have a first-aid kit available at all practices and games. Use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or greater and wear a hat if you play outside. Drink plenty of water during and after play. Give yourself time off to rest between matches and training sessions to avoid overuse injuries. Back to Articles Related Articles Safety Tips: Basketball It's fun to play and great exercise, but basketball is also a contact sport, and injuries happen. To stay safe on the basketball court, follow these safety tips. Read More Safety Tips: Running Injuries can be common, and runners should always be aware of their surroundings. To keep things safe while running, follow these tips. Read More Knee Injuries Healthy knees are needed for many activities and sports and getting hurt can mean some time sitting on the sidelines. Read More Overuse Injuries Overuse (or repetitive stress) injuries happen when too much stress is placed on a part of the body, causing problems like swelling, pain, muscle strain, and tissue damage. Read More Sports and Exercise Safety Playing hard doesn't have to mean getting hurt. The best way to ensure a long and injury-free athletic career is to play it safe from the start. Find out how. Read More Safety Tips: Soccer Soccer is easy to learn at a young age, and it's great exercise. But it's also a contact sport, and injuries are bound to happen. To help prevent mishaps, follow these safety tips. Read More Dealing With Sports Injuries You practiced hard and made sure you wore protective gear, but you still got hurt. Read this article to find out how to take care of sports injuries - and how to avoid getting them. Read More Sports Center This site has tips on things like preparing for a new season, handling sports pressure, staying motivated, and dealing with injuries. Read More 5 Ways to Prepare for Your Sports Season How can you get ready to play your best season ever? Read these tips for teen athletes. Read More Safety Tips: Baseball Baseball is by no means a dangerous sport. But it can present a very real risk of injuries from things like wild pitches, batted balls, and collisions in the field. Read More A Guide to Eating for Sports You've prepared for the game in almost every way possible: but now what should you eat? Read about performance foods, nutritional supplements, and more. Read More Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Tears ACL injuries can happen in active and athletic kids when excessive pressure is put on the knee joint, resulting in a torn ligament. Read More Meniscus Tears The key to healing meniscus tears is not to get back into play too quickly. Find out what meniscus tears are and how to treat them. Read More Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2021 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.