Robyn Porter Rice
PhD Candidate and Physical Therapist
Certified in Pilates and GYROTONIC® Method
How long have you been involved in tennis and in what ways?
I grew up playing competitive tennis. I was a nationally ranked junior and then played Division I college tennis at Northwestern University on a full athletic scholarship. For the last 15 years as a physical therapist in private practice, I have specialized in treating overhead athletes and tennis players of all ages and levels.
What is your current role in tennis or "tennis medicine"?
Currently, I am finishing my PhD at University of Miami, and have been transitioning to more research and education from clinical practice. The USTA’s Sports Science Committee has funded my research investigating risk factors for injuries in elite and professional tennis players. I also recently authored a Physically Speaking topic for the WTA, “Mind Your Core” (November 2017).
What do you find most interesting about "tennis medicine"?
Since tennis is a lifetime sport, treating tennis players across all ages and levels is always exciting and challenging. Tennis players are dedicated and passionate about playing their sport, sometimes at the expense of their health.
What is your favorite "tennis medicine" diagnosis to treat and why?
My favorite diagnoses are the ones with positive health outcomes- where players not only return to tennis healthy, but also educated and enlightened with a better understanding of how to manage their bodies for the demands of the sport. I am especially interested in the trunk- since it’s the key to tennis and all efficient movement. Whether you are treating a shoulder or hip, addressing the body holistically is most important, and that definitely starts with the trunk and “core”.
How do you think we can improve the field of "tennis medicine"?
A multidisciplinary approach to maximize health and performance of all tennis players will improve tennis medicine and move it forward. Also supporting research and quality data is critical, so we have the evidence to guide our clinical decision-making and tennis programming.
Why did you join STMS and how are you involved?
Joining STMS means being a part of and contributing to the future and next generations of “tennis medicine”. It is a real joy learning from and getting to know national and international medical and sport science colleagues both on and off the court at the STMS conferences.