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74 Holiday fun ...
and development School holiday programs not only help young players enhance their skills but also to experience a new level of enjoyment in the game.
76 Evolution of a serve
Comparing serves of a beginner, developing and professional player provides some key lessons for improvement.
78 Leading by example
Glenn Busby shows that the best way for a coach to instil a studentâ€™s work ethic is to demonstrate it.
79 Coach business
How coaches can capitalise on the success of the Australian Open.
80 Coach drills
Australian Tennis Magazine | January 2013
MLC Tennis Hot Shots makes the game enjoyable and accessible for beginners.
Holiday fun … and development School holiday programs not only help young players enhance their tennis skills but also to experience a new level of enjoyment in the game. By Jessica Teni
t’s the goal of every coach to captivate students’ interest in the long term – but that’s particularly true when it comes to school holiday programs, which are often a child’s first contact point into the game. A number of Tennis Australia Club Professional coaches have found their holiday programs have several points of difference to coaching throughout the school year. “Sometimes we find that kids who don’t do lessons during the term will join our holiday program,” explains Rufus Keown of the Victorian Tennis Academy. “There is more emphasis on ‘fun’, for lack of a better word.” It’s an informal approach that focuses not only on tennis itself but also on the engaging activities in and around it. “The holiday programs are different to our normal lessons,” says Matthew Limpus from Lifetime Tennis in Queensland. “The kids play ‘normal’ tennis throughout the school term and during the holidays there are a bunch of other activities.” Even so, competition remains an essential element of participation. Sarah Atkins of Select Sports Coaching, Mosman and Cammeray Tennis Club in New South Wales, explains that success is based not only on the culmination 72
Australian Tennis Magazine | January 2013
of fun and interaction, but also on equally enjoyable playing opportunities. “We offer a great range of competitions and activities that are not formal tennis competitions, but more a range of competitive games,” she says. Both Keown and Atkins use MLC Tennis Hot Shots in their holiday programs. “The
Hot Shots program incorporates a range of fundamental motor skill activities that support tennis skills and coaching development,” Atkins says MLC Tennis Hot Shots utilises lighter racquets and low-compression coloured balls, making tennis more accessible for
Building friendships through fun interaction is among many benefits of school holiday programs.
Early engagement can spark a lifelong love of tennis.
While activities can contrast from in-term coaching, participation remains a focus of every program.
weren’t as serious about it, it turned in to ‘just more tennis’,” Limpus explains. “We also have Xbox and Nintendo Wii challenges. And at our Cairns centre there is also a pool outside the court that the kids use.” Coaches find that interaction between friends or other children is often a key part of creating a fun holiday program that can contrast with regular term coaching. “In our programs kids are all put in with their friends,” says Keown. The Victorian Tennis Academy can welcome more than 100 kids during the summer holiday programs. With centres in regional areas of Queensland such as Cairns and Townsville, attendance figures for Lifetime Tennis holiday programs often top 70 students. Player-to-coach ratios will vary according to attendance, age and location. The Victorian Tennis Academy direct player-to-coach ratio is based upon age. “It’s usually a little higher [the ratio] in the holiday programs compared to our normal programs. We have as many as one coach to eight for the older kids and one coach to four for the younger kids,” Keown says. Lifetime Tennis and Select Sport Coaching both offer a similar player-to-coach ratio.
“We provide a one coach to eight player ratio in our regional centres with assistants that attend the programs as well,” explains, Limpus. “Our player to coach ratio is a maximum of one coach to 10 players, but no more than that,” Atkins says. The Victorian Tennis Academy also holds an Australian Open day program in January. “We run a tennis clinic in the morning and then we go in to the Australian Open in the afternoon,” Keown says. And even though Select Sport Coaching doesn’t exclusively design the holiday program around the Australian Open lead in tournament, the Apia International Sydney, it does include it in its holiday program schedule, arranging days out at the tournament and being involved in the Centre Court demonstrations of MLC Tennis Hot Shots. “As part of our holiday program, we regularly take groups out to the Apia International Sydney but its just part of the program’s activities,” Atkins explains. With such an all-encompassing approach, there is no question that school holiday programs are creating an entertaining alternative to term programs that could create a life-time love of the game. Australian Tennis Magazine | January 2013
beginners. Children are able to immediately experience enjoyment in the game as while finding it a lot easier to learn to play. Success in respective holiday programs can be attributed to flexibility of programs that cater to both children and their parents. “Our full day clinics at Lifetime Tennis see the most success in particular. They run from 8.30 am until 4.00 pm,” Limpus explains. “Parents can go to work, drop off their kids in the morning and pick them up again later in the afternoon.” Flexibility is also particularly important when it comes to school holiday programs, as Keown has discovered at the Victorian Tennis Academy. “We offer programs for children aged from four years old to 15 years old. Kids can sign up for morning, half-day or full-day programs. These can include tennis coaching, multi-sport activities and also a tournament for the more experienced kids.” Like the Victorian Tennis Academy, Select Sport Coaching also runs an age appropriate tournament at the end of one of their holiday programs. “Our junior coaching holiday program is followed by a tournament at the end of it,” Atkins explains. “The junior coaching program is for kids aged 11 years all the way through to 16 years.” Multi-faceted sports activities can lengthen participants’ attention spans. Lifetime Tennis found holiday programs held greater success when other activities were introduced in to the fold. “We used to run tennis clinics for four hours in the morning, but for kids who
Evolution of a serve – red Examining the evolution of the serve from a red stage player (Sasha Djurovic, seven years old), to a green stage athlete (Bianca Compuesto, 11 years old) and professional player (Sally Peers, 21 years old) provides several lessons. The development of the serve is a very sequential process, requiring a series of progressive steps from red to professional level. Increases in strength, size and motor coordination all help to facilitate this progression. The side
view allows us to more comprehensively highlight and comment on the similarities and differences in technique.
Swing Phase – Backswing
Swing Phase – Backswing (cont.)
Similarities: Stance ■■ Feet shoulder width apart.
Similarities: Backswing ■■ Shoulders rotate away from the net.
Similarities: ■■ Players’ elbows bend to initiate throwing motion.
Side on to the net. Front foot pointing at net post. Back foot approximately parallel with baseline. All players demonstrate a similar stance in preparation for the serve.
Australian Tennis Magazine | January 2013
Differences: ■■ Sasha displays a “down together – up together” rhythm. ■■
Sasha has minimal racquet trail, Bianca significantly more and Sally the most. The professional player, Sally, is the most powerful and will have the fastest arm to ‘catch up’ to the ball at contact.
Players demonstrate shoulder tilt.
All players have their eye on the ball.
Knee flexion for all players.
All release ball at approximately eye level.
Differences: ■■ Sasha’s shoulders don’t rotate further than her hips. ■■
Bianca’s shoulders rotate slightly further than her hips.
Sally rotates her shoulders significantly further than her hips. This stores elastic energy for a more powerful serve.
ball to yellow ball Geoff Quinlan Tennis Australia –Manager, Coach Development; Bachelor of Applied Science (Honours) Human Movement; Tennis Australia High Performance Coach
Swing Phase – Forwardswing
Similarities: ■■ Racquet displacement down and away from back.
Similarities: ■■ Shoulder over shoulder rotation.
Similarities: ■■ All players have their head up and show a balanced recovery.
Elbow flexed in preparation for extension up to contact. Non-hitting arm tucks in to promote shoulder over shoulder rotation. Vertical drive up to contact.
Differences: Bianca is more front on than Sasha and Sally.
Eyes focused on contact point.
Shoulders rotate parallel to the net.
Contact in front of the body.
Differences: Sasha displays a broken alignment of legs, trunk, arm and racquet.
Differences: Sasha has minimal displacement into the court, while Bianca displays slight displacement and Sally shows considerable displacement as she is most powerful.
Conclusion The key take home message in comparing Sasha Djurovic, Bianca Compuesto and Sally Peers is that the technical fundamentals are critical and should be developed from the commencement of a player’s development. These fundamentals should stay with Sasha and Bianca throughout their careers. Australian Tennis Magazine | January 2013
MY TENNIS LIFE
Leading by example Enduring passion and a tireless work ethic have combined to create a lifetime of tennis successes for Glenn Busby, who is leading by example as he passes on those qualities to his students. The most memorable moment as a player was winning my first world seniors singles title. There was so much satisfaction in sitting down at the end of the match with the realisation of actually achieving a goal that that I had set out to achieve 12 months earlier. Knowing the amount of effort, time, sacrifices and commitment that I had put in was just so rewarding. It’s a feeling I will never forget and I have used that feeling continually to motivate myself ever since. I had my first coaching business when I was 17 and it was then I realised how much I enjoyed working with juniors both in a technical and social way. The relationship between a coach and a player is paramount for the player to achieve and the coach needs to enjoy and love what they do for the player to get the most out of their tennis.
I have been coaching for 37 years and have the Kooyong International Tennis Academy based
With world seniors’ tiles and recognition as Australia’s most outstanding 35+ player, Glenn Busby has many successes to share with students.
Australian Tennis Magazine | January 2013
out of Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club. We have 14 coaches and run MLC Tennis Hot Shots right through to full-time elite programs. The relationship between the coach and club is extremely important and must be a win-win for both parties. The support of the club is extremely important for the coach to achieve the best for its members. I am really proud of what Kooyong LTC has achieved. Most people aren’t aware of the amount of money they raise for charities, the amount of money to assist some of our top players travel overseas or interstate whether they are members or not, provide scholarships for players to train and financial support the underprivileged. The foundation was set up over five years ago to assist tennis in Australia and has been very successful. I have learned that to get the best out of students you have to find the method they learn best from. My qualifications include a Bachelor of Applied Science in Physical Education, which gave me a great understanding of biomechanics, the body’s physiology, exercise and fitness principles, as well as various methods of transferring knowledge for different student’s requirements. I also have the High Performance Tennis Australia coach qualification, USPTA credentials and a Diploma of Sports Psychology. I have been fortunate enough to work with some top international players. I lived in Florida for a couple of years, where I worked and travelled with players such as Aaron Krickstein a former top 10 player, Vince Spadea (top 20), Amanda Coetzer who achieved a career high ranking of world No.5, as well as several other Davis and Fed Cup players. In those two years I didn’t necessarily earn a lot of money but I learnt an enormous amount about coaching. I worked with Andrew Whittington for nine years and he is now with the AIS and had around 16 players achieve full scholarships with universities in the USA.
Na me: Glen n Bu
sby Qualifications : Tenn is Au st ra lia Club Profession al coach Venue: Kooyon g Internat ional Tenn is Academy, Kooy on g, Vic.
What I want players to take away from my coaching is the knowledge of how to play tennis. Australian players are technically as good as anyone in the world, however I believe the understanding of how to play percentage tennis within their own game style is paramount to their success. The use of slice, drop shots, lobs and volleying seem to be a dying art. These are shots that all players should have a mastery of if they are to achieve their full potential. I often get asked whether we have any good players coming through the system. What people have to understand is that when comparing Australia’s “golden era” of the ’50s and ’60s is that there are so many more countries and players playing tennis than ever before. There are also more sports competing for our best athletes. At the same time, Australian players may not be as hardened as those from nations like Russia, Serbia and Croatia where fewer opportunities exist. I believe in leading by example when trying to inspire athletes with their work ethic. I still enjoy training and achieving in my own tennis life and really love training with the players outside of their coaching. I want my players to take responsibility for where they are in their tennis – there is no substitute for hard work and learning to train smarter. Teaching players about the Law of Attraction and how to visualise with feelings is something that I am a big believer in.
Planning an Open Day Leveraging off the summer of tennis provides the perfect opportunity for clubs and coaches to create a buzz of their own.
1. Timing is everything If you are going to host a tennis open day this is the time to do it. While millions of dollars are being poured into marketing around tennis, this is the time you will get the best return on your advertising dollar. Be mindful that the day does not clash when any other big events in your community and always have a back up day in the case of bad weather.
2. Think big Today’s consumers have a wide range of entertainment options available to them. For a tennis open day to draw interest you must provide attendees with a valued experience – a carnival of tennis. Offering free tennis is a good start but try to think outside the box. Successful events in the past included: ■■
Hiring a big screen and providing live viewing of the Australian Open finals.
Organising an exhibition match with local celebrities and top players from your region.
Having a dedicated ‘Kids Zone’ including mini tennis, jumping castle, face painting, tennis clown
Getting some local bands to play at the event.
Getting police to come measure service speed with a radar gun.
Get sponsors to provide giveaways.
The buzz of the Australian Open can translate to club participation.
3. Growing exposure through partnership There is no point organising a spectacular tennis open day if nobody knows about it. While standard marketing practices are important (flyer drops, newspaper adverts etc) don’t underestimate the benefits of getting a wide range of community groups involved in the event. Linking up with local community groups will increase the reach, resources, network, available to you and increase the status of your open day. Groups you may consider involving include: ■■
Culturally diverse communities
Lions club/fire brigade
Other tennis clubs in the region
Not every young player will enjoy a personal meeting but heroes like Rafael Nadal will inspire many.
4. Converting attendees to customers Getting people to attend your tennis open day is the first step; however the real measure of success is how many attendees are converted to customers. Here are a few must-dos to ensure you have the best chance at getting your attendees coming back for more. ■■
Great presentation of the venue – you don’t get a second chance at first impressions Capture email addresses and mobile numbers of attendees for next day follow up. Make sure there is plenty of staff on hand to provide information on services and mingle with attendees
Give attendees a taste of tennis by conducting structured activities and program demonstrations
Provide a value proposition on the day e.g. waive joining fee, offer first Cardio session free for you and friend, give away a junior racquet with every sign-up
Make it easy to sign up there and then e.g. have an EFTPOS machine there on day, signup sheets and forms etc.
Lastly don’t forget to let your member association know what you are planning. They may have resources available to help you plan the event and equipment to use on the day. Australian Tennis Magazine | January 2013
t’s that time again where for two very precious weeks in January the nation spirals into a frenzy and coaches and clubs need to ensure that they get their piece of the action. Hosting a tennis club open day is an ideal way to capitalise on the hype and buzz the Australia Open creates. While most coaches would have mixed experiences in hosting tennis open day here are a few tips that will ensure a great event.
School holiday skill development [8 x 3 m courts = 16 players on a court]
1 – Tap ups
Author: Alex Jago
Focus: Skill development, cooperative, competitive
• To work on accuracy, racquets face control (guided by palm and knuckle guidance), cooperation, and time and space.
Stage: Red 3
Equipment: Drop down lines, 3m nets, red balls, racquets, spot markers
• In pairs, with racquets, players are to create their own court size using throw down markers – a net is not required. • Let the players take ownership of their court space (not to exceed a quadrant of the court). • Players can go from corporative to competitive.
Coaching Point: • Ensure players are focused on palm and knuckle guidance. • Have an understanding of the court dimensions they have created • Encourage players to explore all of the space in their created court. • Ensure regression options available. i.e. Bigger ball, smaller racquets, use hands to replace racquet.
2 – Create your own court Objective: • Introduce net for perception and reception skill development. Players will create courts that will enhance their exploring of skills i.e. shorter v longer swings, cross courts v down the line.
• In pairs, with racquets, players are to create their own court size using throw down markers. • Each player can create a different side of the court. • Court size cannot exceed the three metre court dimensions (3 m x 8.23 m). • Players can change court dimension after 10 rally attempts. • Players can go from cooperative to competitive.
Coaching Point: • Check correct grips are being used. • Lots of questions and answers to guide desired skill outcome. • Let the players explore the courts.
3 – Dice competition Objective:
• A competitive skill development environment.
• Coach sets up six different court dimensions/constraints i.e. (forehand cross court only) – draw on whiteboard/chalk board to provide a visual for players. • One of the six courts must have no constraints to let players explore the full dimensions of the court. • Players pair up and roll a die. The number on the die is related to a court dimension. • Kids set up court and play points. • Play points first to five points, then switch opponents or provide new court dimensions.
Australian Tennis Magazine | January 2013
Drop down lines
• Players to be aware of the correct shot selection for the court dimension. • Players to shake hands after each match – encouraging sportsmanship in players.