Got Tennis
  | By Long Island Tennis Magazine Staff
Photo credit: Nicole Guglielmo

Long Island Tennis Magazine has the unique opportunity to pose questions from our readers to tennis coaching legend Nick Bollettieri. Nick has coached 10 world number ones, including Andre Agassi, Boris Becker, Jim Courier, Martina Hingis, Jelena Jankovic, Marcelo Rios, Monica Seles, Maria Sharapova, and Venus and Serena Williams, as well as a host of other world-class players, including Tommy Haas, Anna Kournikova, Jimmy Arias and Nicole Vaidisova, to name a few.

If you want to ask Nick questions in a future issue of Long Island Tennis Magazine, e-mail with the Subject Line “Ask Nick.”


Question from Donna Barasch …
Many of us who have been playing club tennis for years have the ensuing aches and pains that seem to follow. Are there any exercises or stretches that you recommends to keep us fit and active? I, for one, am particularly concerned about tennis elbow (tendinitis).
Nick Bollettieri: The warm-up and daily stretches are important. Before you play, make a routine. I also suggest using an exercise ball. I lay on one for a minute in the morning and afternoon. After playing, be sure to shower down very quickly and change the wet clothes.


Question from Hemel Cosme …
How do you get kids to stop choking the racquet, release the death grip and have softer hands?
Nick Bollettieri: First of all, if you breathe, you maintain flexibility. If you don't breathe, your whole body becomes tense. Play the mini-game with the green ball inside the service line. This will help with softening the drop shots and slices.


Question From Kevin Mouffok …
If a player begins training in their teens, is it too late for them to ever become a pro tennis player?
Nick Bollettieri: In order to be a pro, you need to be ranked in the top 70 to make any money. Set your sights on a good college scholarship and education. There are always extreme cases.


Question from Daniel Weitz …
What is the breakdown of time you should spend on the mental, physical and technical aspects of tennis?
Nick Bollettieri: Everyone is different. However, it is imperative that you do a little bit of each. Your coach needs to determine what you need to spend the most time on based on where you are at in each aspect.


Question from Michael Weitz …
How much time during practice do u spend on playing points and sets?
Nick Bollettieri: No one can give you a specific answer. Each person reacts to what they need at the time. Your coach has to decide what practice consists of.