Jan 29 2010

Craig Wittus: Open, An Autobiography by Andre Agassi

By Craig Wittus, Director of Tennis, The Westin Diplomat, Hallandale, Florida 33019 Title: Open, An Autobiography Author: Andre Agassi Publisher: Knopf 2009 I just finished reading Andre Agassi’s book “Open” I thought it was one of the best biographies I have ever read. Aided by ghost writer and Pulitzer Prize winner J. R. Moehringer, Andre tells us the truth about his life growing up in the professional tennis world. How many of us knew that Andre truly hated tennis? Did you know that his father (an expert Armenian wrestler) bought a house specifically so that he could have enough land to build a tennis court? The realtor would bring him to a house and he wouldn’t even look at the house he would head towards the back yard to see if there was enough space. The senior Agassi also built a ball machine that shot balls out at 110 MPH. Andre called it “The Dragon.” We constantly hear about the stories of these domineering fathers and how they have ruined their children’s lives. Andre spent time at the Nick Bolletieri Tennis Academy in Florida where he polished his tennis, wore a Mohawk, eyeliner and earring, and learned other malevolent activities. Later he married actress Brook Shields, but the relationship failed and en route he turned to more drinking (hard liquor) and snorting crystal meth. This revelation is the one that has turned the tennis ...

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Jan 12 2010

Craig Wittus: Tennis Update – Winter Tennis & More

Tennis Update By Craig Wittus Warm Up To Winter Tennis: We’ve had record lows the past week here in January but it shouldn’t stop us from playing a good game of tennis. The only problem is that the risk of injury increases in these conditions. Here are a few things you can do to avoid the injury bug. 1) Take a couple of laps around the court before you start 2) Wear a warm up suit that is not to binding 3) Stretch 4) Bounce around a lot on your feet during warm up 5) Even though after you play a little you feel warm it is a good idea to keep your warm up on, your mind says one thing but your body says another! New Material in Wilson Tennis Racquets: Wilson Tennis Racquets is coming out with a whole new line of racquets with a material referred to as BLX. Roger Federer and Juan Martin Delpotro will be introducing new racquets at the Australian Open this year. The material is cultivated from material near volcanoes called Basalt. Watch Federer and DelPotro’s game “Erupt” this year! Will Justin Henin Make It Back To Number One? Watch for the Belgian “Comeback kids” to make a big impact in the Women’s tour this year. Venus and Serena are on their way down. They’re not motivated enough. Also, the US Davis Cup team lost in the first round to Serbia. After Roddick who else ...

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Sep 08 2009

Craig Wittus: Tips on Tennis Nutrition: The Tennis Match Diet

By Craig Wittus Proper nutrition is important before the match, during the match, and after the match. Before a match eat a meal consisting of carbohydrates such as pasta, rice, and potatoes. Try to keep it whole grain.  You don’t want to overindulge but you need the “fuel” for your engine to run. During the match, drink plenty of fluids like water and a supplement such as a fruit juice mixed with water which replenishes your vitamins and minerals. (See Preventing Dehydration: DON’T FORGET TO DRINK, DRINK, DRINK! ) It is also important to replenish your potassium by eating a banana or energy bar. After the match drink plenty of liquids to hydrate your body and eat a good meal with a combination of lean protein and healthier carbohydrates.

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Sep 08 2009

Craig Wittus: TENNIS ELBOW – Whose fault is it?

By Craig Wittus I just had one of my pupils call asking about tennis elbow and how she can take care of it. After first consulting with your medical/health care provider, the next thing you need to do is to go see your friendly neighborhood tennis pro and have him do surgery on your stroke.  How come you never see tennis pros with tennis elbow? From the day they threw that rattle to the ground and grabbed that racquet, they were instructed in the proper way to stroke the ball. If you have pain on the outside, you’re probably stroking your backhand the wrong way. If you have pain on the inside your probably stroking your forehand the wrong way.  A few tips for a temporary solution: Restring your racquet at a looser tension Build your grip up one size Try one of the many new racquets made now that are built to absorb the shock of making contact with the ball Use a vibration dampener Experiment using two-handed strokes Buy one of the many tennis elbow braces offered ( I prefer the Aircast) Seek the help of your local USPTA tennis professional This tennis tip is provided as educational information. Always seek the advice of your medical/health care provider for any medical questions and always ask your medical/health care provider about the use of any medications, even OTC (over the counter) anti-inflammatory drugs.

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