An inside look at the life of one of the world’s top tennis coaches

Though Italians have long been fascinated by their own small island, they have only little known about the many celebrities who have called Sicily home, including American beauty queen-turned-playwright Missy “Mama” Elliott, and actor Andy Garcia, whose father was Italian. Among their newfound peers is Federico Alba, who used his celebrity life to help train some of these famous faces while trying to broaden his pool of potential clients, now and in the future.

It’s a struggle for our most famous Sicilians to make it in Hollywood, as from Cybill Shepherd to Paul Newman, the Irishman has taught a number of Hollywood stars how to hit the ball in. But just as important as their on-screen experience with Alba is how they can use it off-screen.

“I was the first coach who showed Jim Carrey how to hit the ball,” he told BBC. “I was the first coach who showed them that they can play this game without the movie in front of them.”

His tactics were just as targeted on the English contingent. “I showed them that they can play at the highest level,” he said. “If you have film and stage people, we want them to go to the Mediterranean and play this game. They are not only normal pros, they are the best in the world.”

That’s a challenging challenge when you consider that Sicily may be more known for rock concerts, the Mediterranean or its legendary isle of Formentera, but, according to Alba, it’s where the true magic lies. “I know what I’m doing, and I tell them that because it’s clear,” he explained. “They accept me, and it’s very different, because when they are at the club, they’re not who they are in the movies.”

Read the full story at BBC.


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