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REDEFINE


TENNIS


hat do Jason Spezza, Will Smith, Vanessa Williams, Matthew Perry, and many others


have in common? From pro athlete to celebrity actors and singers, they all use tennis as a fitness tool and enjoy the many physical, mental and so- cial benefits of participating in this great sport.


Star Player for the Ottawa Senators, Mis- sissauga-born Jason Spezza, is just one of many current NHL headliners who relishes the sport. These guys see tennis as an off-rink release. Not only does tennis challenge their competi- tive spirit during valuable downtime, it can be used as an effective cross-training tool for these athletes. Tennis helps increase aerobic capacity, lowers resting heart rate and blood pressure, improves metabolic function, increases bone density, lowers body fat, improves muscle tone,


20 CLUBLIFE SPRING 2012


strength and flexibility, refines hand eye coordi- nation, and hones reaction times for improved performance. Gary Muller, ORC’s Director of Tennis has


worked with Jason Spezza on the tennis court as part of his pre-season training. He is impressed with how Spezza’s hockey ability and natural athleticism translates to the game: “It is always interesting to see how a professional athlete from another discipline will take to the game. Someone with Jason’s drive and focus will do


well in any sport, but I think he genuinely en- joys the physical and mental challenge inherent in the game, and he really rose to the task. It may sounds strange, but the focus of his tennis training was from the feet up; his sessions were less about his strokes than his movement, yet,


< BY KRISTIN MULLER >


It’s More than just a Game! W


Mississauga’s 2011 athlete of the year, Billy Bridges.


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