Robert Carlbo has obtained all 3 iTPA Certification levels, including the highest level, MTPS, and was the 2013 PTR Professional of the Year. In addition to his extensive tennis coaching credentials, Robert recently visited Trinidad to teach underprivileged kids in rural areas.

"It was truly one of the most rewarding things I have done in my teaching career. Every day I teach a wide variety of players from performance to 10 and under, which allows me to stay on top of my game and keep things fresh and exciting. But this particular trip was really rewarding seeing the kids being so appreciate while learning some athletic development and tennis skills."

Some great photos from his trip are below. Great job Robert!
2015 Nominations now open through April1 for second annual Paul Arber Young Coaches Award!

Paul Arber was a Australian Tennis Coach liked by all who knew him. He demonstrated character, hard work, determination, inspiration, commitment to continuing education and mentorship, and this annual award is dedicated in his honor. This coaches award is open to tennis coaches worldwide under the age of 30, and the winner will be awarded $1000 good on any iTPA educational materials, including tennis fitness certifications.

The Paul Arber Young Coaches Award is meant to provide a deserving young tennis coach with the means to expand his or her tennis fitness knowledge and expertise.

To be considered, a coach can self nominate, or you can nominate a deserving coach at your facility or a colleague who you feel is worthy of this coaching award. Please email the iTPA with a copy of the resume and a 500-word essay on why this award would help the person in his or her career and why you feel they deserve this award. Also include how tennis fitness continuing education will help in their careers. 

WINNER will receive:
  • A $1000 award good on any iTPA products, including tennis fitness certifications. 
  • Press release highlighting winner as the Paul Arber Coach Young Award Winner.
  • Prize Package including 2 Donnay Tennis Racquets, Tennis String, and Thera-Band Tubing.

Paul Arber Young Coaches Award Webpage


Great job opportunity with the iTF for a someone with an interest in online tennis education. The iTPA works very closely with the ITF and specifically the icoach to provide high quality coach education material. 

Tennis iCoach is recruiting! Do you have the skill set to manage one of the world’s leading Coach Education websites? We are looking for an enthusiastic professional with a strong tennis background and the following qualifications, skills and attributes:

  • A University degree in the Sport Sciences (or similar)
  • A qualified tennis coach with experience
  • English as your native tongue
  • Proficient Spanish a strong bonus
  • An affinity for the world of digital and social media
  • Ready to start in January 2015. Location: Valencia, Spain.

If that sounds like you, we would love to hear from you. Email your CV and cover letter to with the e-mail subject line “Tennis iCoach Coordinator: Application” by January 11th 2015. For a full description, click here:

Guest video blog post by iTPA Certified Member Dean Hollingworth, CTPS on the Dynamic Warm Up. This video is part 1 in a 2-part series. For the second video, check later this week on the iTPA Inner Circle Member Only Website. Exclusive content like the second part of this video is posted on the member only website.
iTPA Executive Director Dr. Mark Kovacs discusses some basic athleticism that tennis players should have.
News Release
27 August 2014
For Immediate Release

Hilton Head Island, SC - - Professional Tennis Registry (PTR) is pleased to announce a partnership agreement with the International Tennis Performance Association (iTPA).

“Continuing education is key to being a successful tennis coach, as well as a thriving tennis industry. By partnering with iTPA, PTR has joined forces with a first class association that will provide excellent educational opportunities for our tennis coaches around the world,” said Dan Santorum, CEO, PTR. “One of the benefits of this agreement is that members of both organizations can take advantage of special educational opportunities.”

“The iTPA is proud to partner with the PTR to continue to grow the quality and breadth of education offerings throughout the tennis industry,” said Dr. Mark Kovacs, PTR, CTPS, MTPS and iTPA Executive Director. “The iTPA’s mission is closely aligned with that of PTR and this partnership will benefit members of both organizations with a focus on providing high quality education to aid in the further development of tennis teaching and coaching professionals.”

PTR is the largest global organization of tennis teaching professionals with more than 15,000 members in a record 125 countries. It has the greatest percentage of multicultural and women members of any such organization. PTR is dedicated to educating, certifying and servicing tennis teachers and coaches around the world in order to grow the game. Visit

The iTPA is the worldwide education and certification organization for trainers, coaches and specialists who are passionate about tennis specific performance enhancement and injury prevention. The education company offers a professional training and education process that establishes recognition through three certifications: Tennis Performance Trainer (TPT), Certified Tennis Performance Specialist (CTPS) and Master Tennis Performance Specialist (MTPS). Visit the iTPA website at

Contact: Peggy Edwards • PO Box 4739, Hilton Head Island, SC 29938 USA
843-785-7244 or 800-421-6289 • fax 843-686-2033 •
International Tennis Performance Association's Dr. Mark Kovacs completes the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and Nominates the Entire iTPA Membership to do the same within 24 Hours!

For the week of August 18-24th, the iTPA will donate 30% of all proceeds from sales to the ALS. #icebucketchallenge
by Jonny Fraser (iTPA Master Tennis Performance Specialist, Science in Tennis) and Mike James (GPTCA International Tennis Coach)

Over the weekend of the 19th and 20th July 2014 both myself and Mike James attended the Society for Tennis Medicine and Science (STMS) and International Tennis Performance Association (iTPA) Tennis Medicine and Performance Conference at Life University, Marietta, Atlanta. With over 100 delegates attending the conference from a range of backgrounds including tennis coaching, strength and conditioning, sports medicine and other sport science disciplines the two day event provided the latest tennis research whilst delivering a host of practical sessions. With both Mike being a performance tennis coach and myself being a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), Certified Tennis Performance Specialist (CTPS), Master Tennis Performance Specialist (MTPS) alongside coaching tennis the majority of sessions we attended focused on the physical training and preparation of players; however, with our understanding of the holistic approach to developing tennis players it was of great interest to attend psychology, nutrition and medical presentations throughout the weekend.

The first session by one of the most respected tennis sport scientists, Dr. Mark Kovacs, gave an excellent explanation of the eight stages of the serve focusing on the technical aspects, physical components and injury reduction strategies. Particular points to mention were for coaches to be aware of hyperangulation of their athletes when preparing in the serve (where the humerus in time lags behind the scapular before accelerating up to strike the serve) and that when for example a right handed player serves they lands on their left leg countless times which may lead to an imbalance. It was suggested to consider that after a group of serves that a player completes a set of single leg squats on the non landing leg.  Leading on from that it was a great pleasure to hear the editor of the NSCA journal Dr. Jeff Chandler discuss myths of training professional tennis players. This was an interactive session with the floor offering plenty of discussion. Areas focused on were strength training, physical testing, periodisation and tennis specific endurance training. There was an in depth discussion of when training junior tennis players to be aware of their chronological, biological and training age and ways in which to manage this.

The presentations by Dr.  Neeru Jayanthi focused on an areas of great interest to me which considered injury prevention in elite junior tennis. With my main philosophy being that tennis can help develop young people positively whilst having great interest in talent development, I was intrigued to listen to the session. Indeed one of the first points made was that coaches (45%) have the most influence on players wishing to train at a high level in comparison to the player (35%) and then the parent (15%). This straight away made me think with coaches being the most influential person determining how intensely the player considers to take the game, even with the best intentions are coaches educated to a level where they understand volume, levels of appropriate intensity and how growth effects a young person’s body? Indeed the thoughts of children not being miniature adults sprung to mind. Jayanthi went onto discuss a number of research articles he has published in recent years including considering risk factors for medical withdrawals from USTA National junior tournaments and training and sport specialisation risks in junior elite tennis players. A host of possible conclusions can be made from these two pieces of research. For example cumulative match scheduling and competition without adequate recovery and rest (approximately two hours) can be detrimental for junior tennis players. Despite this many systems across the world which rank and rate players are based on volume such as how many matches you win within a certain time period which ultimately may lead to excessive volume. Other conclusions were that players should consider delaying early specialisation until middle or late adolescence due to a potential increase risk of burnout and injury alongside playing only one or two tournaments per month, having adequate time away and recovery from the sport. Thanks must go to Jayanthi for his passion and drive to delivery outstanding research in this area of youth development.

There were a host of other fascinating presentations attended by myself and Mike James. Page Love delivered a session on nutrition focusing on recovery and reducing the potential risk of injury for tennis players. Much of the focus was on tart cherry juice and the antioxidant nature of this to reduce muscle soreness and aid recovery. Indeed this would be a very interesting research topic for anyone in tennis considering the benefits of tart cherry juice during intense match play and recovery. Ollie Stephens then considered the important factors when working as a team to develop competitive tennis players and Dr. Larry Lauer discussed bringing back players from injury. This lecture provided a great insight into the stages an athlete goes through when being injured, such as going through the grief stages and how a team can respond in a way to create a supportive, nurturing environment to help get the athlete back to full fitness. This included factors such as clear and transparent communication, education and listening to the athlete. Other excellent sessions discussed injury and illness data from the US Open for the past 15 years and the age eligibility rule and managing WTA players. Both gave a great insight to working with elite professionals.

The practical elements from USTA Head of Strength and Conditioning Satoshi Ochi, Director of Strength & Conditioning at the University of Georgia, Katrin Koch, and Spanish Director of Education for the iTPA Lalo Vicencio gave delegates an opportunity to actively get involved and take home tennis specific drills and exercises. Focus on these areas included the split step and the opening of the hip and initial step, footwork and agility movements and co-ordination exercises to use with both younger and older tennis athletes. It must be said that with the great range and diversity of presentations and break out groups unfortunately we couldn't make each one, but based on other delegates thoughts and reviews every researcher or practitioner must be recognised for their excellent delivery and information either on a coaching, sport science or medicine level.

Away from the presentations the forums provided delegates to ask questions related to tennis science and medicine questions with two themes. The first one focused on developing young healthy tennis athletes. Indeed the topics varied from ways in which to strength train, manage volume and nutrition such as supplementation. The second panel discussed working with elite full time tennis professionals. It was also a pleasure to hear Atlanta based ATP tennis professional Robby Ginepri give his opinions on how tennis has changed over the past decade since he began his career on the tour. There was great acknowledgement that sport science and medicine has a larger part now to play when developing players and this is due to the advancement of the game physically. Ginepri explained that within his academy sport science plays an important role with the use of physical conditioning and performance psychology and nutrition sessions. This gave me great confidence with me recently starting my own business ( which is a sport science business solely focusing on tennis.

Ultimately both Mike and I feel there were a number of take home messages for practitioners working in tennis to be aware off. First of all you have to know the game, be aware of the common areas of injury, the challenges both junior tennis and senior professional players face alongside understanding the uniqueness of how to train a tennis player. Secondly, every tennis player is different and knowing your athlete and allowing them to feedback to you and the team you work with is essential to develop a strong professional relationship and maximise their potential. Thirdly don't over complicate things, tennis is a difficult sport to plan and periodise for so use the most effective ways of training but keep things as simple as possible. It was clear that educating players, coaches and parents alongside communicating with and understanding the roles of practitioners who can help develop tennis players, reduce injury and enhance performance is essential, the goal of any of us working within tennis. 

Over 11 Hours of Presentations from the 2014 Tennis Medicine & Performance Conference available for download at the iTPA Dartfish Channel
Junior tennis injuries are starting to get more media attention as youth sport injuries have increased over the past decade; it is more common to see surgeries performed on young athletes for overuse injuries. Much of this media attention stems from other sports like baseball and football, but tennis is also one sport where overuse injuries is an area that every coach, parent, tennis performance trainer (TPT) and Certified Tennis Performance Specialist (CTPS) should hold a strong education. Many of these injuries, and even surgeries, used to be only performed on college and adult athletes. Fortunately for tennis, the average young tennis player experiences relatively few severe injuries and is considerably lower than many other sports [1]. However, overuse is a concern in competitive young tennis athletes. Although injury rates and types of injuries are not as well researched as in some other sports (i.e. baseball, soccer, etc.) some interesting data exists that can help us better understand young tennis athletes and the typical issues that they see. Over a multiyear period a major junior national tennis tournament 21% of participants sustained an injury [2]. Over the last few decades research has been inconsistent about where the majority of tennis injuries occur. Earlier research showed that a large percentage of injuries occurred in the lower body [3]. However, more recent research has showed that upper body and core injuries are becoming more prevalent [4]. This is likely due to the change in technique (more open stance movements and greater reliance of upper body in stroke production, the slower surfaces and new technologies in the racket and strings.)

One unique study involved a series of questions on training, technique, competition and other factors that was provided to all participants at the largest junior team tennis event in the US [5]. It was collected at 12 different locations and 861 junior tennis players completed the survey:

- 97% of individuals who completed the study

Gender breakdown:

  • males-43% (356);
  • females-57% (N=476).

Age: 10-17

As the goal of the study was to evaluate injury patterns and trends a clear definition of injury was important. “An event that forces a player to miss 3 or more consecutive days of tennis play, either practice or competition, or that requires medical attention from a trainer, therapist, or doctor.”

Major Findings From This Study

  • For both the 12 and under and 14 and under age group the shoulder was the most often injured area. However for the 16 and under age group the back was the most commonly injured area.
  • Only 51% and 54% (male and female) of respondents use free weights and only 38% and 39% use machines.
  • Only 43% and 58% (male and female use medicine ball during training).
  • 90% and 97% (male and female) use a double-handed backhand
  • 20% and 22% (male and female) use an abbreviated/short service motion
  • 83% of all players predominantly train and play on a hardcourt surface
  • 81% of all injuries in junior tennis players were tennis related
  • 51% of all athletes that reported an injury visited a Physician or Physical Therapist

Below are three charts that provide the breakdown of the location of injuries based on the three different age groups (12 and under; 14 and under; 16 and under).

When all the data was pooled together the following showcases the most common injury areas in the junior players who participated in this study (male and female combined ages 10-17)


The shoulder and back are two major areas that need a greater focus in training and injury prevention programs. The high prevalence of hardcourt tennis play is something that needs to be taken into account when devising on and off-court training programs. The increase in injuries as athletes’ age through their junior career is also something that should be of major interest to coaches, trainers and administrators. More education is needed to ensure that appropriate understanding of volume and injury prevention programs are implemented to help reduce the likelihood of injuries in junior tennis players. This is something that requires good communication between tennis coaches, certified tennis performance specialists and parents to ensure that the young tennis players develop and optimize performance while limiting the occurrence of injury.

1.         Kibler, W.B. and M. Safran, Tennis Injuries, in Epidemiology of Pediatric Sports Injuries, D. Caine and N. Maffuli, Editors. 2005, Base, Karger. p. 120-137.

2.         Hutchinson, M.R., et al., Injury surveillance at the USTA boys' tennis championships: A 6-yr study. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 1995. 27(6): p. 826-30.

3.         Reece, L.A., P.A. Fricker, and K.F. Maguire, Injuries to elite young tennis players at the Australian Institute of Sport. Aust J Sci Med Sports, 1986. 18: p. 11-15.

4.         Winge, S., U. Jorgenson, and L. Nielson, Epidemiology of injuries in Danish championship tennis. Int J Sports Med, 1989. 10: p. 368-371.

5.         Kovacs, M.S., et al., Demogrpahic data and injury trends in American national junior tennis players. Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 2012. 26(1): p. S62.

For Media Inquiries: Mary Jo Kovacs
International Tennis Performance Association (ITPA)
(770) 828-5779

July 9th, 2014

International Tennis Performance Association (iTPA) becomes the sport science and physical conditioning education advisor for the Research and Coaches Education Department of  Spanish Tennis Federation (RFET).

Atlanta, Ga (USA)--The International Tennis Performance Association (iTPA) today announced a new agreement with the Spanish Tennis Federation (Real Federación Española de Tenis), namely with its Research and Coaches Education Department to become the sport science and physical conditioning education advisor for tennis coaches, physical trainers, strength and conditioning professionals and physical therapists who work with tennis athletes throughout Spain. The iTPA is the worldwide education and certification organization for trainers, coaches and specialists who are passionate about tennis-specific performance enhancement and injury prevention. The iTPA is the first of its kind in the tennis industry.

Through quality, evidence-based education combined with accurate, professional credentialing overseen by a Certification Commission comprised of world leading experts, the iTPA offers three levels of tennis-specific certification: Tennis Performance Trainer (TPT), Certified Tennis Performance Specialist (CTPS) and Master Tennis Performance Specialist (MTPS). “The iTPA was established to ensure that tennis players are provided with the best training from iTPA certified individuals using the latest evidence-based practical information to improve on-court tennis performance while limiting the likelihood of injuries,” said Dr. Mark Kovacs, Ph.D., FACSM, CTPS, MTPS, CSCS*D.  “The iTPA is excited to become the official physical conditioning education partner for the RFET. As part of this great partnership over 350 Spanish tennis coaches, who are members of the RFET through the Professional Coaching License, are now members of the iTPA and gain access to the unique educational offerings focused on improving on-court tennis-specific performance and the reduction in injuries. Over the coming year the iTPA and RFET will work closely together to develop combined educational offerings to help increase the opportunities for high quality evidence-based education for Spanish tennis coaches, physical trainers, physical therapists and healthcare providers who train and treat tennis athletes.”

“For the RFET, this agreement will be a valuable support for the development and training tennis players in Spain and from the Department of Research and Coaches Education we may increase the services and the resources available for our Spanish tennis coaches, physical trainers, physical therapists and healthcare providers in order to update knowledge and support them in their daily work with tennis players,” commented Dr. David Sanz (PhD., High Performance Masters Degree, Director of Research and Coaches Education RFET). “The iTPA platform provides a high quality resource, with the thoroughness of information that not only comes from experience, but of evidence applied to tennis players in recent years. This partnership starts today with this first initiative and we will increase our relationship with new activities in the future.”

About International Tennis Performance Association (ITPA):
The iTPA is the worldwide education and certification organization for trainers, coaches and specialists who are passionate about tennis-specific performance enhancement and injury prevention. The education company offers a professional training and education process that establishes recognition through 3 certifications:  Tennis Performance Trainer (TPT), Certified Tennis Performance Specialist (CTPS) and Master Tennis Performance Specialist (MTPS).  The certification materials are overseen by the iTPA Certification Commission consisting of world experts in improving tennis performance and reducing injuries; visit the iTPA website at

About Real Federación Española de Tenis (RFET):

The Royal Spanish Tennis Federation (RFET) is the governing body of tennis in Spain.

The RFET has a Coaches Education and Research Department which deals with the coaches education program for tennis coaches as well as with the research projects funded by the RFET in cooperation with other institutions.

The tennis coaches education in Spain has two main streams: the initial education and the continuous education. The initial education is recognized from 1997 by the Spanish National Sports Governing Body (CSD) and the Ministry of Education. There are more than 10.000 tennis coaches certified in Spain by the RFET. The continuous education combines both traditional approaches such as refresher courses, conferences and workshops with distance learning courses organized in conjunction with Universities and other academic institutions. Visit the RFET website at


Download the press release PDF HERE. Also available in Spanish on our media page.