How to Handle the Jet Lag

Professional tennis players and coaches travel a lot around the globe. Here is advice for them from our expert Allistair McCaw.

advice for travellers 225x300 How to Handle the Jet Lag

Just completed my 68th flight this year, no not as a pilot, but as a passenger. As I’m incredibly blessed and fortunate to get to travel a lot, I often get asked how I handle the jet lag. Here’s my top five tips:

1. The minute you take off set your watch to your final destinations time.
2. Drink water and snack light, avoid the hot meals and go for fresh salads/cold meats (protein) rather. I also like to take protein powder in a shaker bottle.
3. Do a little reading or work, don’t watch too much TV (screen so close to your eyes creates even more drowsiness later) and try get some sleep.
4. Get up, stretch and move around often.
5. When you have arrived at your destination, get into the pattern of where you are straight away. Eat some breakfast or dinner and keep drinking water.

As tough as it is at times, a light workout and stretch is best as well.
I always have the athletes I travel with, perform these above pointers.

Happy travels!

Share the post and Like on Facebook. Thank you!

Ten Things a Parent Should Look for When Choosing a Coach for their child

Ten things a Parent should look for when choosing a Coach for their child:

10 things in coach 300x210 Ten Things a Parent Should Look for When Choosing a Coach for their child

1. They have experience in the field, especially working with the level your child is at.
2. They are development minded and follow a long term athlete development plan.
3. They have a passion for what they do.
4. They have a connection with your child.
5. They keep sessions fun, engaged and challenging.
6. They have good teaching ethics as well as have good core values and principles.
7. Your child is excited to see them and go to practices.
8. They communicate well with you, the parent.
9. They are continually eager to learn and better themselves as coaches.
10. They teach life skills and not just athletic/game skills.

Share the post and Like on Facebook. Thank you!

Are Sports Doctors and Physiotherapists qualified to write training programs?

Why is it that some sports doctors and physiotherapists feel they are also experts in the field of sports performance training?

sports doctors Are Sports Doctors and Physiotherapists qualified to write training programs?

In my opinion, if you haven’t done at least 10 years in the field you are trying to give advice in, you are not an ‘expert’ or even near what some might call ‘experienced’.

With total respect, physiotherapists and sports doctors may know their stuff in the medical field and room, and we certainly couldn’t do without them, but when I see a program from a physiotherapist with a strength or training program, I get concerned.

Firstly, I want to see their credentials and experience with athletes, no, not in their consulting rooms, but in the gym, on the field or area of athletic enhancement.

Anyone who advises or prescribes programs must fully understand how to properly train an athlete, not just rehabilitate them.

Again with all respect, and there are a few out there who know their stuff in the gym, but not actually being active in the training part, does not qualify anyone to design a training program no matter how many injuries you’ve treated, books you’ve read and thesis’s you’ve done.

A major mistake some athletes on the pro tour make is hiring a physio thinking that they can do the physical training too. I have seen this once too often. It often ends up going the wrong way.

Another thing: why is it that we find more trainers going to seminars or workshops held by physiotherapists to learn about rehab, when there should be more physiotherapists going to strength & conditioning seminars on how to train an athlete and prevent the injury cause?

I say, lets learn from each other and not make this wall of division and misunderstanding. Put ego’s aside and lets work for the benefit of the athlete and the industry we are in.

Look forward to hearing your comments!

Share the post and Like on Facebook. Thank you!

Ten Essential Things for a Young Athlete

Ten essential things that play a role in how far a young athlete progresses in their athletic career:

10 essential things Ten Essential Things for a Young Athlete

1. Quality of Coaching
2. Parental Support
3. Athletic skill level
4. Sport specific skill level
5. Geographical position
6. Financial support
7. Work ethic of Athlete
8. Passion & Desire of Athlete
9. Competitiveness of Athlete
10. Genetics


Share the post and Like on Facebook. Thank you!

The Future of American Tennis and The Role of USTA

I want to share with you my discussion with  Aaron Gross, Head Men’s Tennis Coach at University of Portland. We had a talk about the situation with American tennis and the article “McEnroe’s Successor at U.S.T.A. Needs to Hit the Court Running” in The New York Times.

McEnroe Higueras 300x173 The Future of American Tennis and The Role of USTA

Valery: Actually, no serious analysis was made why USTA PD with $17 million annual budget has failed in producing new American tennis stars.

I think that big salaries of Patrick McEnroe ($1million) and his staff definitely have discouraged them from taking risks.

They need to put a new USTA PD manager on $100K salary plus bonuses for developing top players. But I doubt that it will be done.

Aaron Gross: Why the pressure for champions to be “produced” by federations. Did the USTA really have much to do with Connors, McEnroe, Agassi, Sampras, Courier, Chang, Roddick, Williams Sisters, Davenport, etc, etc? Maybe a few little extra perks here and there, but 99% of the work was done by the players, parents, coaches of these players. Uncle Toni deserves credit for Rafa- not Spanish federation. The Djokovic family seemed to have sacrificed everything to help Novak make it- not the Serbian tennis federation. I guess we are all looking for the USTA to justify the money they blow through. But, really do we expect them to be producing these incredibly special players?

Valery: Remember, initially the name of USTA PD was Elite Player Development and goal was producing new American champions. And $17 million budget is more than enough for supporting 170 talented tennis players every year if count $100.000 for one junior player. The issue is that USTA does not know what to do and how to do. They have no plan and no ideas. So, they have chosen the easiest way: create one more bureaucracy with huge salaries and an incompetent boss.

Aaron Gross: I think we are saying the same thing basically. I don’t feel that money is justified in high performance player development. Take that $17 million and build some big outdoor facilities in LA, Miami, Houston, anywhere with good weather and lots of population. Don’t build these facilities out in the suburbs. Find a place close to the bulk of the population. Get as many kids possible playing tennis at an early age. The goal doesn’t have to be to make them champions. Just get them interested in tennis with a good experience with the game initially. Maybe they will decide to play HS tennis. Maybe someday they will have kids of their own and decide to push them towards some of the opportunities available for people that don’t have tons of money to maybe get them to a point where they can earn college scholarships. Imagine a serious grass roots initiative starting now and how important that could be for the game of tennis in 5, 10, 15, 20 years.

Instead of trying to find that “one” 6’5 fifteen year old with the 125 mph serve that may be an eventual top 100 tennis player. Lets try and get 10,000 new players from the age of 5-15 through affordable opportunities close their houses. It wouldn’t take long to pay off. Tennis equipment sales will blossom, TV ratings will go up, and as the generations grow through this love of tennis from the cradle- the sport will no longer be cyclical. There will be enough people in the US from 5-10 simple facilities with enough equipment to serve people that aren’t rich to the degree that they can learn the game correctly, possibly play some tournaments, and gain a fondness for the game that has not been accessible to them in the past. Scrap all of the high performance coaches and budgets. Put it all into growing this game to a robust, recession proof place. Forget about “American” tennis champions. Some will come and some will go, but most likely not produced by this initiative. How many people go to Giant Stadium to watch to soccer teams play against each other that aren’t even American. American’s like to watch great sports. It is a bonus if we are watching American’s when it comes to tennis. Give me Federer v Nadal any day over Isner v Johnson.

We just have to cultivate more people in this country that can appreciate the beauty of the sport- no matter what country the players are from. The 10,000 hard core tennis fans in the US probably watched Nishikori v Cilic. And the tennis fans that tune in for Fed, Rafa, Djokovic probably didn’t watch. Lets create an interest in tennis that teaches people how to play correctly from a young age, how to appreciate the dignity of the sport, the diversity of the sport, and an appreciation that no matter what a players race, creed, color, religion, economic standing- that he/she can make it. With tens of thousands of tennis enthusiasts “getting it” finally at that point- tennis will officially be back in the US- irregardless if there are US champions or not.

Valery: I like your vision much more than an idea of spending money for a few people – “champions”. But I doubt that it will be turned into reality.

Aaron Gross: I agree. Just a voice in the dark.

Share the post and Like on Facebook. Thank you!