Don't Miss
Subscribe to Mackie Mail and get a coupon for $10 off your next purchase of $30 or more at Mackie's local GNC franchise locations!

U.S. Open postcard: Meet Serena and Venus Williams’ physical therapist |

Esther Lee is the physical therapist for Venus and Serena Williams. (Photo provided by Mackie Shilstone)

Esther Lee is the physical therapist for Venus and Serena Williams. (Photo provided by Mackie Shilstone)

When I came aboard Team Serena almost 6 years ago, also joining the team at the same time was Esther Lee, DPT (doctor of physical therapy). We both started our first tournament at the Sony Classic in Key Biscayne, Florida.

Since that time, I look upon Esther not only as a good friend, but also an incredibly talented and committed professional, who has taught me much about how to recover from and prevent injuries.It is one thing to work as a DPT in a clinic. It is something totally different to work on the road in different countries, time zones, and, in some cases, the tools you carry on your back. Such is the world of professional tennis.

Keep in mind, that while I have one client — Serena — Lee must handle two of the best in the game — Venus and Serena — on a full-time basis. It can make for lone hours and sore hands, but Esther makes it look easy.

During a break in practice today, I asked Lee what she has learned over the last 6 years relative to her tennis “field” experience.

“One of the many things I’ve learned working with professional athletes,” notes Lee, “is the importance of strength, mobility, and balanced stability of the body, beginning from the center or core of the body.”

Lee says, “Just as important is the health of the mind and spirit coming from good communication and genuine support from a team of individuals around you on and off the court/field.”

Let me attest to that, especially from a true professional, who has made me better at what I do, as well. We hit again today on both a practice court and on the Arthur Ashe center court, which seems to have a faster surface than the practice courts. I also did some on- court tactical “run and shoot” drills to get ready for the first match on Monday.

Getting to be time to put the game face on. But, in fact, it’s always on.

U.S. Open postcard: Meet Serena and Venus Williams' physical therapist |