Art Carrington

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Art was introduced to tennis by his mother when he was ten years old. She was a member of the North End Tennis Club in Elizabeth, New Jersey, one of the first Black owned tennis clubs in the country. In high school, Art was recognized as the All Century Tennis New Jersey 1900 player.

In 1965, Art was invited to attend Hampton Institute (now Hampton University) as the first student athlete to receive a full scholarship. In 1966, his freshman year, he was a finalist in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association, and though he lost that year he went on to win the CIAA tournament the next three years.

After graduating from Hampton in 1969, Art became the first head tennis pro hired to teach tennis at the Westfield Indoor Tennis Club which opened in 1968. Over the years, he has played exhibitions with many of the world’s top players, including Arthur Ashe, VItas Gerulaitis, Björn Borg, Rod Laver, and many others. Since 1980, Art has run the Arthur Carrington Tennis Academy based at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. Over two thousand players of all ages have come through the academy.

With his son Lex, in 1990 Art coached Vera Zvonareva, the Russian professional tennis player who in 2010 became the #2 women’s tennis player in the world.

Art has spent years recording the history of Black tennis. He co-curated the 2007 Exhibit, “Breaking the Barriers: Honoring the ATA and Black Tennis Pioneers,” featured at the International Tennis Hall of Fame Gallery in Newport RI, and in 2009 published Black Tennis, An Archival Collection: 1890 -1962. The book is an historical look at African American tennis pioneers, tennis clubs, and the American Tennis Association and its national championships.

Art  has been the recipient of Coach of the Year and Community Service Awards, and is currently President of the New England Tennis Association founded in 1925, one of the oldest black tennis organizations in the country.

As a teacher and coach, Art specializes in unlocking the physics of human movement to achieve beautiful, powerful strokes. He trains his students in whole-body integration using a variety of tools and techniques, some drawn from martial and flow arts. Courtside action with the bo staff, spinning poi, Indian clubs, rhythmic ribbon sticks, Filipono escrima, hulahoops, nunchaku, graduated medicine balls, and other items of Art’s own design yield beautiful tennis, as well as players with the whole-body integration, strength, and fluidity that refine peak performance and support long, injury-free careers.

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