Unbreakable - Have you read the book? The tennis journey of Jelena Dokic.
What an amazing read.
We had the privilege of interviewing Jelena recently for our blog series
“In the Mind of a Tennis Champion”
The insight Jelena gave us into her tennis journey was both inspiring and unsettling.
After listening back to the interview and having read her book, we realized how much she had endured and how resilient she had become. Jelena copped years of physical and emotional abuse from her father, centered around her tennis and her success on the court.
Imagine playing a match and knowing if you lost it you would cop a flogging when you walked into your hotel room, by the person who should be actually stopping someone from flogging you.
Putting up with this for years on end and on top of it dealing with the pressures and demands of being a top tennis pro. Reaching number 4 in the world whilst all this was going, it was a herculean effort, seriously.
Jelena's story unfortunately...
Having been involved with tennis for over 20 years as a Tennis Trainer and a Tennis Mentor, I have realized how much I have learned from the game and those associated with it.
Having been involved with some of the best players in the world has meant I have also been around some of the best coaches in the world.
In my opinion, the role of the tennis coach is where a lot of the success and answers come from regarding a player’s career.
Outside the family dynamic, a coach should be someone of the highest influence for a player which when you think about it is a big responsibility. Think about this, how did Roger start out as a player?
He was coached by someone obviously very good and moved on to someone else very good. Along his journey, he worked out what works best for him from the knowledge and advice that was shared with him from; Coaches, trainers, and mentors.
As Tennis Trainers and Tennis Mentors, I have conducted 1000s of Tennis Workouts for players of all levels. I...
When we started our careers as tennis trainers, we never dreamed our journey would have gone as well as it has. We have met some amazing people along the way; Players, coaches, trainers, therapists, managers, tournament staff, fans, and everyone in between.
We have learned from the best in the business and now we thoroughly enjoy sharing our knowledge and experiences.
Working with some of the best tennis players in the world gave us the reality of what it takes to make it. We learned lessons not only about tennis workouts and everything tennis but more importantly about life. That is the beauty of sport, the lessons we learn from winning, losing, working hard, getting up after getting knocked down, learning to compete in a fair manner, transcend beyond the court.
As tennis trainers we believe it is as much about learning about the player;
This has always given...
The global Health and Fitness industry moves and changes at such a rapid rate, it can feel overwhelming for people to keep up. Having been in the industry for 20 years, we have seen lots of things come and go and the good news is, the bad things are the ones that go. Fads and gimmicks fade almost as fast as they come and in the tennis industry it is no different.
One thing that has always been at the forefront of any successful tennis physical performance plan is “Tennis Strength Training”.
Research shows strength training gives athletes more benefits across the board than any other training discipline.
This is a question we hear often. As tennis conditioners, we've worked with many top athletes. One thing that always stands out among professional players is that when they workout for tennis (off-court), they push even harder than they would on-court.
Lleyton Hewitt, Sam Stosur, and Martina Navratilova are great examples. When we trained them, they always knew when to bring a high level of intensity.
Training at high intensity is how players allow their bodies to work equal to and above the thresholds faced during competition.
Through rest and recovery, their bodies adapt and improve, allowing them to push more as they develop. Without this adaptation process, there are often minimal or even no physical gains.
When training out of competition you are basically preparing for competition and not just training for the sake of it. This is critical, as training is about preparing the body. It's imperative...
Being a parent (father) myself with very active kids, I am always wanting to do what I can to better their training and competition experience.
Having been lucky enough to have had experience in training young tennis players for a long period of time, I do my best to get the most out of them, although it is never easy when it is your own kids!
I am always one for outsourcing services with our kids. I play guitar, but I get my son and daughter guitar lessons with someone. Giselle is an ex swim instructor, but we put our kids in swimming lessons.
The one area we do not outsource is anything to do with strength training, flexibility, conditioning, etc. We do this for a living and do it well.
Not everything needs to be outsourced and there are areas of being a tennis coach or tennis parent that you can really capitalize on. Recovery and preventing tennis injuries is a big one.
One aspect, in particular, I would put high on the list, I recommend tennis parents,...
Ever wondered how the weather conditions of the place where you live affect your training for tennis? If you haven't, well... how can I blame you!
After all, whether you live in a country where it's warm the whole year or not, you probably got used to it by now and don't even think that somewhere else may be different.
But who knows, maybe now that you think of it, you're curious to know whether it's that different or not to train in a place where winter actually feels like winter!
Or maybe you're planning to move to the other side of the planet (or even only to the other side of your country) and wouldn't mind knowing what to expect!
Either way, keep reading because when it comes to cold weather and finding ways to keep training for tennis no matter what, I've got some experience!
Why you may ask? Because even though I'm Italian, I've recently moved from Côte d'Azur (France) to Finland, and guess what?
The shock (not only thermal, but that's another story! I wasn't...
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Over the years we have met some amazing people through tennis. Players, coaches, parents and Tennis fans. Some left a permanent mark on us.
During Giselle’s time working with Martina Navratilova, we got to see the impact contributing and giving back had on people, the environment and animals.
Martina was always willing to donate her time or a financial contribution if it was something she believed in.
We saw it daily with her, “Giving back” seemed to be a part of who she had become. She was extremely fair and stood up for what she felt was right, giving was one way she could express herself and do her bit.
It’s not an easy thing to do. Handing over hard earnt money or your precious time. Some people do it easier and more comfortably than others, I believe it takes a conscious effort to get comfortable with it.
It’s not about how much you earn or what...
It is not uncommon to see tennis players walking around gasping for air and taking short shallow breaths.
We call this " Shonky Tennis breathing" and if you are a shonky breather, we need you to change it. We will show you how....
Learning to breathe at optimal levels during practice and play is critical for;
Breathing is what we call an involuntary action, which means we do it without having to think about it or worry about it until it is compromised, then we freak out and so we should!
This for me is the problem around breathing for tennis because we do not need to think or worry about...
Effective tennis footwork doesn’t just happen. There are athletes who have more natural movement and co-ordination than others.
Take Lleyton Hewitt for example. I remember asking him one day if he ever did any tennis footwork drills when he was young, he said never.
It just came naturally to him. For most players, during their developmental phases, their footspeed and lower body coordination seem way off.
I cannot count the number of times I have heard a parent or coach say, their kid is slow to react, their footwork is bad and their coordination is out.
They look lazy on the court. Seen or heard that before?
If you are reading this thinking, yep that’s my kid or kids, you are not alone. To briefly explain this, it comes down to a few things;
Bones, muscle tissue, connective tissue, and neural pathways are developing. We cannot expect a half-built race car to fly around the track.
Most young players do not work at high enough intensities to encourage quick coordination...