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We want to not only dedicate this journal to him, but also highlight his contributions, and some of the sentiments of his close colleagues. Additionally, we want to dedicate the JMST article of the year award to him. We will keep his dedication to tennis medicine at the forefront of our organization. Please keep his family in your prayers.
Additionally, the tennis world is also deeply saddened by the loss of Oliver “Ollie” Stephens after a year long struggle with two types of blood cancers. He was a junior development coaching specialist, a master PTR professional, a USPTA professional, iTPA MTPS, and contributor to STMS (as well as a close friend of mine). He always had great vision that transcended traditional coaching. His curious nature and lifelong ambition to teach and learn made him one of the most loved tennis teaching professionals around. He contributed the concept of training less hours/ week then an athlete’s age to reduce risk of injury, which is now known affectionately as “Ollie’s Rule”.
However, he may be best known by his motto during his struggle...”attitude is a choice”. He used this is his guiding light with his wonderful wife, Milena Stephens to maintain a consistently positive outlook on his tough prognosis. He has made a difference in so many ways to so many people. He last contributed to the STMS World Congress in Orlando, December 2016 with some brilliant on court sessions. He was scheduled to be the STMS-PTR exchange lecturer at the most recent STMS North American Regional Conference February 2018. While he was saddened that he could not attend due to health reasons, we were able to play a video of his inspirational message about “attitude is a choice” where we all shed a tear now better understanding the precious value of life. Please keep Ollie Stephens, his wife Milena, and his family and friends in your prayers.