*** Prior to opening PROformance Athletes Gym, Dennis was the director of High Performance at High Performance Specialists, (owned and operated by the Team Doctors of the Toronto Maple Leafs). Previous to that, he was the Head Conditioning Coach of the Beatrice Ice Gardens at York University. As a Strength and Conditioning Coach Dennis has provided programming to University Varsity Teams, OHL hockey clubs, European professional hockey clubs, and a wide variety of Minor Associations. Dennis formerly worked in a multidisciplinary rehabilitation clinic as a Physiotherapy Assistant (PTA). Prior to that, he has held fitness and health programming positions in Community, Private Industry, Municipal and Corporate Health centers. Dennis performs contract work for National, International, Olympic and Professional athletes in hockey, baseball, soccer, basketball, tennis, field hockey, swimming, water polo and beach volleyball. Dennis has worked with over 100 current NHL Players, 20 individual Olympians, 3 Olympic Teams, and dozens of professional athletes from other sports. In 2002 alone, Dennis was a Conditioning Consultant for 5 major Championship Teams, including the Women’s Olympic Hockey Team Gold Medal Champions in Salt Lake City and the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League. Prior to entering the health care industry, Dennis Competed as a nationally ranked athlete in swimming, representing Canada at the International level. Coach Lindsay also has military and tactical training experience with members of SWAT, ETF, and JTF II of the Canadian Armed Forces. ***
ONcourt: What is your philosophy that you try to apply when training athletes?
Dennis Lindsay: My Philosophy has three parts.
1) Everybody is an individual. I like to use a mass program and correct problems with each individual.
2) Variety. I don’t like to repeat – training needs to be interesting that way the athlete will try harder with new things.
3) Has to be a challenge, even an easy day or slow day has to have some sort of challenge, no challenges – no growth.
ONcourt: What do you consider the most important physical trait a tennis player needs and why?
Dennis Lindsay: Discipline is very important. My experience with tennis players is that they don’t know how to be personally disciplined.
Physical trait – Speed. Tennis players can be strong but if they are not fast, they won’t get to the ball. Speed wins in tennis.
ONcourt: When it comes to developing tennis players physically, what do you feel is often overlooked?
Dennis Lindsay: The technical aspect of agility is often overlooked, we think we’re working on agility and foot speed, but what we’re doing is repetitive movements. For example, ladders and hurdles, the players can get really good at these exercises but they need to be able to apply it on the court. What is happening technically on the court needs to be broken down and practiced.
ONcourt: What about your job motivates you to come in everyday?
Dennis Lindsay: I learn something new everyday – I never stop learning. It’s not just a job, it’s a passion. When an athlete gets the light bulb, it is very rewarding.
ONcourt: Out of the different sports and athletes you are involved with, tennis player’s are the most…(Fill in blank).
Dennis Lindsay: …. The most diverse. There isn’t any one particular size shape or build.
ONcourt: What is one single thing a tennis player can work on in the gym to see an immediate improvement on the court?
Dennis Lindsay: Core strength lower back and hips. Train on that properly even for one week, and you will notice a significant difference.
ONcourt: Why did you get involved with training high performance athletes?
Dennis Lindsay: I was a high performance athlete and felt I did not get enough support. I was on a swimming scholarship in the States and received a lot of support in terms of conditioning. When I trained in Canada, I felt I wasn’t prepared well enough compared to my counterparts on my team (this was over twenty years ago). I wanted to get involved with training high performance athletes in Canada and push them past 100%.
ONcourt: What makes a great high performance trainer?
Dennis Lindsay: Same thing that makes a great high performance athlete: confidence, no fear, and it can’t be about ego. You have to be confident in what your doing. Being confident without ego means you’re knowledgeable.