Atlanta, Georgia hosted the 2017 International Tennis Performance Association World Tennis Fitness Conference on July 22nd and 23rd. The conference was organized by International Tennis Performance Association (iTPA), and included world class faculty who are true leaders in the field of performance enhancement and injury prevention for tennis. Listed below are just some of the exceptional professionals who spoke that weekend:
- Sue Falsone - World Class PT and ATC
- Gil Reyes - Trainer and Mentor for Andre Agassi
- John Downes – Leading Chiropractor and Director Emeritus, Life Sport Science Institute
- Jason Vescovi – PhD, Leading Sports Science and Medicine expert for Tennis Canada
- Clay Sniteman – PT, ATC, Medical Director of the ATP Tour
- Andy Britton - Ohio State University Strength and Conditioning Coach
- Aylin Seyalioglu - DPT, Tennis Specific Physical Therapist and Young Athlete Expert
- Rodney Harmon - 2008 Men’s Olympic Tennis Coach, Currently GA Tech Women’s Tennis Coach
- Mark Kovacs – CEO, Kovacs Institute and Executive Director of the International Tennis Performance Association (iTPA) – conference chair
- Performance experts from The Ohio State University, The University of Michigan, The University of Georgia, Georgia Tech.
Conference Day 1 The day started off with Mark Kovacs sharing his knowledge on Advanced Biomechanics of tennis strokes and movement. One of the top professionals on the subject, Dr. Kovacs demonstrated an up-to-date analyses and protocols on how to work with tennis athletes on and off the court. Later in the morning, a panel, composed of highly respected tennis coaches and strength and conditioning coaches from the collegiate and professional tennis world, gave the conference’s participants the opportunity for a Q&A time and focused around optimizing performance in the collegiate setting. Panel members’ promoted an educational discussion based on their daily protocols, good and bad habits and how to maximize athletes while preserving their health. It gave the participants real life examples and different ways to approach.
Sue Falsone, who was the first female Head Athletic Trainer for a Major League Baseball (MLB) team – the Los Angeles Dodgers, shared her varied knowledge in dealing with overhead injuries. Falsone demonstrated new techniques and approaches that minimize injury risk and restructure the athlete’s body (posture) to maximize performance. She has presented on national and international level conferences in areas focusing on pillar strength, integration of physical therapy and performance training, and comprehensive kinetic chain assessment and rehabilitation.
Gil Reyes energized the room with his enthusiasm while sharing techniques and approaches he has collected throughout the decades working with worldwide legends in the tennis world including Andre Agassi, Simona Halep, Angie Kerber, Genie Bouchard, Jo Wilfred Tsonga and Fernando Verdasco. Reyes is the long time trainer and mentor to Andre Agassi. He worked with Andre during his entire pro career and also held the position as Strength & Conditioning Coach for the 1990 National Championship UNLV Runnin’ Rebels Basketball program. Reyes shared his experiences on the best way to retain the maximum level from your athletes under exhausting circumstances. His focus was on the important of the development of strength for the tennis athlete.
An outstanding practical session was held was held later in the day. Guest speakers and conference participants were able to discuss, learn and share new information and techniques touching all topics of discussed that day. Dean Hollingsworth demonstrated tennis plyometric protocols focused on power and speed. Hollingsworth is an established, highly regarded fitness consultant with more than 20 years of experience. He has worked with youth and young adults focusing on speed, agility, coordination and strength. Following Hollingswoth, Dominic King (Head of Athlete Development at Every Ball Tennis) spoke on the importance of on the road training for tennis. He opened up on how to optimize time and space to promote a high level program, but not forgetting recovery and time management during those tournaments. Andy Britton used the conference room as a mini collegiate weight room to demonstrate the best protocols performed by tennis athletes. Britton has served as a member of the strength and conditioning staff for the Ohio State Buckeyes since 2005.
Day 1 ended with the social and networking event which is always a great way for all the experts attending can talk shop in a relaxed setting.
Conference Day 2 The morning started with the hot topic of treatment techniques used in the ATP World Tour. Clay Sniteman lead the discussion and focused on the top 5 lower body and core issues seen on the tour lately. Clay serves as the ATC and PT for the World Tennis Professional (ATP), and has experience working with the Olympics and the World Champions Chicago Sledge Hockey Team.
Dr. Kovacs then interviewed Reilly Opelka. Reilly is a former junior Wimbledon Champion and one of the top rising stars on the ATP World Tour. Dr. Kovacs has been working with Reilly since the age of 13 and they discussed his development and the goals ahead from a physical and performance perspective.
Jason Vescovi, who oversees Sport Science for Tennis Canada, walked through his expertise on the new technology protocols are being used in sports, and how to quantify loads in tennis: with or without technology. Aylin Seyalioglu followed up with a great talk on the Female tennis player and how to work and train female athletes from a biomechanics and injury prevention perspective. Leading ATP and WTA nutritionist, Page Love, shared her nutrition knowledge. Love focused on building muscle for the competitive athletes and the innovated and reliable protocols that promote muscle rebuild. Participants also had the opportunity to learn more about the ultimate recovery devices out in today’s market. World recognized companies such as Marc Pro, RP sports, Normatec and Rapid Reboot showcases their products and demonstrated new releases and protocols.
The 2017 conference was a success. The weekend’s agenda provided attendees the opportunity to learn from the best professionals out in today’s tennis specific performance and injury prevention environments. This is a must attend event on the tennis calendar for any person who trains, treats, rehabs tennis athletes at all levels of the game!