Parish positive

PUBLISHED: 09:14 10 October 2010

UPMINSTER tennis ace Helen Parish is determined to come back even stronger after 

UPMINSTER tennis ace Helen Parish is determined to come back even stronger after surgery.

Parish is due to go under the knife for an operation on her shoulder on December 1, having overcome a knee injury earlier this year.

But she knows it will be a long road back to tournament action.

“I’m really pleased to have got a date booked in,” said Parish.

“It’s been quite a long wait for various reasons, but I’ve been training as normal, so I’ve had plenty to keep me occupied.

“Ultimately I just want to get back into competing as soon as I can, so it’s good the operation hasn’t been delayed further.”

Despite only playing three matches since last November, due to her knee and shoulder problems, Parish refuses to be downbeat.

“I feel relatively positive about the past year, although the lack of competitive tennis has been very disappointing,” she said.

“I’ve taken advantage of the time away from competing by putting in a lot of hard work on the practice court with my coach [Matt Coombs] and in the gym with my trainer [Lee Smith].

“Despite this [shoulder] injury, I’ve been able to train almost as normal and feel I’ve improved every aspect of my game this year, with the exception of my serve.

“I’m still very motivated to train and be on court, despite all the setbacks and I will continue to make the most of every hour on court until the day before my surgery.”

Parish has been told it could take 9-12 months before she can return to tournament play, but aims to get back on the practice courts by early 2011.

“I won’t be able to serve for at least six months, which is why the period between the operation and return to competition is so long,” she explained.

“It’s very important for me to not rush the rehabilitation process and listen to the surgeon, my physio and trainer so nothing goes wrong and I don’t further delay my comeback.

“I’m confident, should everything go to plan, I will come back a better and stronger player and having this time away from competition will only make me more determined to succeed.

“In the meantime, I aim to complete level 1 and 2 tennis coaching qualifications and perhaps look into Open University qualifications to broaden my options beyond tennis.”

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