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...
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...
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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...
Over the years we have found the best ways to prevent tennis injuries and assess if someone is at risk of injuring themselves, this has saved us and our player's countless injury issues. Assessments are just one way of helping reduce the risk of tennis injury.
The main factors that play a role in the occurrence of injury are; Training volume (Acute/chronic), Rest and Recovery (between sessions), Duration of sessions (Length of a session), hydration/nutrition and technique.
These areas all need to be assessed and monitored to help prevent injury. In fact, a lot of our time these days is spent helping players and coaches get these areas right for the individual. Without doing so players end up with reoccurring injuries or new injuries.
So what are you doing to prevent yourself from getting injured?
The truth be told, most players do one of a few things; The same thing they have been doing for years, something they see on social media that looks cool or something that...
Nathan and Giselle operate their world-renowned Tennis Fitness brand and have trained five world number one players over the life of the business.
Through the journey of creating Tennis Fitness, they both developed a passion for the sport after learning the ins and outs of the game. “Being a tennis trainer, I think tennis is the pinnacle of sport because it is so complex in many ways,” Giselle explained.
Nathan and Giselle have built a breadth of experience working with athletes such as Lleyton Hewitt, Sam Stosur, Martin Navratilova, Jennifer Capriati, Svetlana Kuznetsova, and Monica Seles. The lessons learned have inspired them to create their own ‘Martin Method’ brand to achieve success with players of all levels.
According to Nathan, the success they have experienced has come from a unique focus on the mental resilience involved with high-level training. “As much as we use the physical aspect, you also start to realize how important training is to...
We all see so much of what people do physically in their tennis training. I still find it surprising, when I tell somebody I do tennis mental training people often laugh and say something like
“You are nuts” or "I don't believe in that stuff"
I always encourage people to try it, before they judge it.
Have you ever done a mental training session? “Why would you do that?”
In short, so you can play your best more often despite tough feelings and pressure. So you have strong routines, strong positive body language, have better tennis conditioning, are more aware of your thoughts and have the capacity to let go quickly, so you can select the right options and have a clear mind.
So, how do you practice mental training? You can start with the following exercises. Do 2-3 minutes of each one every day, the whole routine should only take 10 minutes, it is often best at night when your mind is more receptive (You can set a reminder alarm in your phone to prompt...
Janine Thompson is a highly regarded world class player and coach.
Playing career - #9 World Junior / #52 WTA Singles / #9 WTA Doubles / Fed Cup 3 times
Coaches : Tony Roche, John Newcombe and other world class coaches, helped shape Janine’s coaching methodology.
Janine has coached many top juniors and professional players.
As Tennis Trainers we appreciate Janine’s willingness to share knowledge and work together for the betterment of players. As you will also find Janine is candid and to the point, this something we also love about her.
Read Janine's blog on progressing a tennis player.
You wouldn’t take your car with an engine problem to a dietician or naturopath for some change of juice advice. OR if you had a racquet needing restringing to an alteration shop.
There are so many aspects involved in the progression of a tennis player. Each have unique stories with different beginnings and endings. Sometimes their road maps seem like directions to nowhere...
As a tennis fitness coach or trainer, it is important to be constantly learning and growing, without this approach, not much will change. We call this the “Growth mindset”. We strongly encourage everyone to have a growth mindset. We know as Tennis Fitness Coaches we need to be constantly looking for ways to benefit our players, this means being open, willing to try new things and being creative in what we do.
The past 6 months has seen some changes for us. One of the changes involved developing a structure that gave us clear guidelines on Tennis Footwork and Court Movement. We called this our “7 Tennis Movement Principles”
We did this to give us clear definition on what we teach our athletes. We have found it has given athletes more confidence in what they are doing and helps educate them on the importance of breaking down movement and focusing on weaker movement patterns.
To keep it simple, we highlighted 7 areas that effect overall movement, then...
In the year 2000, I was lucky enough to get the job as Physical director at the Sanchez Casal Tennis Academy in Barcelona, Spain. It was a huge responsibility for me at the time as I was young for the role, in such a world renown premier club.
It started me on a journey that has led to many many highlights in my life. But I am not here to talk about myself! I am here to talk about building relationships.
How when you communicate effectively, have mutual respect and care for each other, friendships are forged, results come and as you will see opportunities arise.
As a parent, coach or player, if you are not focused on these areas, there will be plenty of dead end relationships and no one wants to waste time and energy right?
I want to tell you about an experience I had with a player I worked with starting back in 2000.
Carlos Cuadrado was a young Spanish prodigy when I laid eyes on him, he was already labelled a top 10 player at the age of 16. He was on the rise and it was my job to...
I have long regarded the French open as the toughest grand slam to win. But to win it 10 times takes a Herculean effort.
We were fortunate enough to work over in one of the best Tennis Academies in Spain. During this time we were able to watch Rafa practice. You could see then he was a very special breed. His work ethic and focus to his training was amazing, even as a 14 year old.
Having spent years on the tour, we have been lucky enough to watch him evolve, we have seen his game progress and admire the risks and changes he made. He has become a lot more aggressive, changed his serve.... he has worked on becoming a more complete player. The one thing that hasn't changed, is his intensity he works at and the attitude he possesses. He has had the same people around him for a long time. Uncle Tony has coached him from the age of 3 and it wasn't too long ago that people told him he needed to make changes, I think we could all agree, we are glad he hasn't.
It was great to see him...