Allen Fitzsimmons of Belchertown, MA, is the owner of Talon Furniture Gallery and chief executive officer of Transitioning Forward, an organization specializing in asset appraisal and other aspects of estate settlements. When he is not working, Allen Fitzsimmons enjoys playing tennis. He has played competitively and has spent a decade as a certified teaching pro.
In 2014, German Sabine Lisicki set the all-time record for fastest serve in a women’s tennis match. Competing against Ana Ivanovic at the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, Lisicki struck a 131-mile-per-hour serve, besting the previous record, set by Venus Williams seven years earlier, by 2 miles per hour. Ivanovic got a racket on the ball, preventing Lisicki from hitting an outright ace, but could not return the serve. However, the 2008 French Open champion ultimately prevailed over the new world record holder by a score of 7-6, 6-1. Other female record holders include Serena Williams at 128.6 miles per hour, Julia Gorges at 126.1, and Brenda Schultz-McCarthy at 126.
On the men’s side, the record for fastest serve belongs to Sam Groth of Australia. Groth set the all-time service speed record at a challenger event in Busan, with a delivery clocking in at 163.7 miles per hour. It should be noted that the Australian’s impressive serve is not officially recognized by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), which attributes the record to a 157-mile-per-hour serve by American John Isner. Isner set the record in a four-set Davis Cup match against Bernard Tomic in which he recorded 49 aces and no double faults.
Allen Fitzsimmons, owner of Transitioning Forward, is interested in helping people move easily through life transitions. Allen Fitzsimmons, of Belchertown, MA, is an avid tennis player in the USTA.
The United States Tennis Association works with returning military to help with the transition from military life to civilian life. There are approximately 22.7 million military veterans in the United States. USTA Foundation’s Military Outreach includes introducing tennis to wounded warriors as a form of physical rehabilitation. The Wounded Warrior tennis training offered by the USTA encourages returning military personnel to reconnect with other military veterans in sportsmanship, brotherhood, and competition.
For some of the returning military members, this is an opportunity to engage in physical activity in a non-judgmental setting with other military personnel, active and retired. For other players, it is a chance to improve their lives and connect with their families.
Sports can give veterans focus and a way to return to a more normal civilian life. The US Tennis Association’s goals with physical therapy are for the military veteran to increase physical activity while decreasing stress and social anxiety.
Footwork in Tennis
In 2013, after a career in sales and marketing, Allen Fitzsimmons founded Transitioning Forward, a service that assists clients with all aspects of downsizing or moving. Allen Fitzsimmons has also played tennis at a high level throughout his life. He became a competitive tournament player and, later, a USPTA-certified instructor, working for more than 10 years as a tennis pro at various tennis clubs.
The secret to great success in tennis is great footwork. In order to win tennis matches, you need to make great shots. In order to make great shots, you have to move to get to the ball, to position yourself to hit it well, and to recover after hitting it. Improving the way you move your feet helps improve your game in three key ways:
1. More powerful shots. By getting into a good position, you avoid hitting the ball off balance or just using your arm, and you can put your whole body weight behind your shots.
2. Greater shot choices. When you get to the ball earlier, you have more choices in terms of the stance you assume, where you place the shot, and what stroke you use.
3. Fewer errors and higher levels of play. Improved balance, coordination, and agility will enable you to stay in points longer.