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A SECTION DEDICATED TO TENNIS AUSTRALIA COACH MEMBERS

54 Burnout

Why coaches should be on the alert to the myths surrounding burnout.

56 Injury watch

A scientific view of tennis’ impact on a young player’s growing body.

57 What do you see?

Radek Stepanek’s solid volleying provides a strong example to any player targeting doubles success.

58 Coach Drills 60 Coach Talk 61 Coaches’ Corner

Australian Tennis Magazine | March 2012

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A SECTION DEDICATED TO TENNIS AUSTRALIA COACH MEMBERS Tennis Australia Coach Membership T: 03 9914 4191 F: 03 9650 1040 Email: coachmembership@tennis.com.au Website: www.tennis.com.au/membership Intense hours on the sidelines, as Marian Vajda experienced watching Novak Djokovic in Melbourne, can add to a coach’s stress levels.

Burnout:

Coaches to be on the Alert

It’s not simply players who can suffer burnout. As DR JANET YOUNG explains, coaches should be equally aware of myths surrounding the condition and it’s potentially critical impact on both their lives and their livelihood.

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ost coaches are aware that players who are over-trained, lacking motivation and stale are suspect to burnout. However, do coaches consider they might also be at risk of burnout in undertaking their own coaching duties? Research suggests coaches are prone to suffer significant degrees of burnout given the demands of their roles, including the ever-present challenges and pressures to communicate effectively with players (and parents, support persons, administrators etc) and guide players to improve and enjoy their tennis. As the concept of burnout is often misunderstood, it is important to understand the nature of the condition in

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order to develop a basis for prevention or, if it does occur, its early detection.

Myth # 1 Burnout is a new excuse for coaches to avoid work While burnout is a relatively new concept (coined by the psychoanalyst Herbert Freudenberger in 1974 to describe the stress responses exhibited by staff members in the mental health care field), it describes behaviour as old as the human race – psychological, physical and/or emotional exhaustion such that an individual gradually, or sometimes suddenly, stops doing what was previously a much sought-after and

enjoyable activity. To assume all coaches use burnout as an excuse to avoid work is obviously erroneous. This myth does, however, highlight the possibility that coaches may be unable to work as efficiently and effectively as they would like if suffering from burnout.

Myth #2 As long as coaches enjoy their work, they can work hard for long hours and not experience burnout No coach is immune from burnout if his/her work is continually stressful, with pressure, conflict or frustrations, no matter how much that coach loves his/her work. Burnout is not a reaction to occasional excessive stress, but a response to prolonged and chronic stress. In this context, stress occurs when a coach’s perceived level of challenges/demands of a situation substantially outweigh his/her perceived resources and abilities to handle it over a period of time. Enjoying one’s work does not therefore prevent burnout,


accumulative and potentially detrimental to a coach’s well-being and happiness. Stress at work therefore should not be examined in isolation to the other areas of a coach’s life.

Myth #3 Coaches know when they are burning out

Conclusion

Most coaches do not realise they are burning out, even in the final stages of the condition. Symptoms vary from individual to individual, but most notably a burned-out coach will experience fatigue, irritability and depression. Coaching is often no longer enjoyable or fun. The most usual physical signs are tiredness, headaches, sleeplessness, shortness of breath and weight loss. The behavioural symptoms include being easily angered and frustrated and loss of caring for others. Cognitively, there may be perceived overload, low accomplishment and helplessness in one’s life.

Burnout is a reaction to chronic stress that manifests itself as a psychological, emotional and/or physical withdrawal from an activity which was previously enjoyed and done efficiently. Coaches are prone to burnout as are athletes, administrators, sports trainers and other individuals involved in sport. As such, coaches need to be on the alert and equipped with coping strategies to prevent and combat this potentially debilitating condition. Coaches should develop self-awareness and be attentive to changes in their responses to conditions at work and in other aspects of their life. Burnout can be avoided, or its effects minimised, so that coaches continue to undertake and enjoy their profession over many years.

Myth #4 Coaches who are physically and mentally strong are unlikely to suffer burnout Research suggests that those coaches most prone to burnout are the overachievers, the perfectionists. Typically these coaches work too hard, long and intensely and often are obsessive in completing the detail of their duties. While possessing physical and mental strengths can delay the onset, and lessen the effects of burnout, these attributes are not cures if a coach’s overall ability to develop and implement coping strategies to reduce stress is inadequate. Some of these strategies are outlined in the following section.

Myth #5 Coaches can recover from burnout by taking a few days off work Taking a few days off work may well be what is needed in cases of mild burnout,

German coach Patrick Kuehnenm understands how pressures can be transferred off-court.

however, more extensive treatment is frequently required. Potential treatment strategies require an individual approach, although an initial first step is often selfawareness when a coach constructively analyses and communicates his/her feelings to others (possibly to other coaches or family members). In these cases, burnout is less likely to occur or will be less severe. In addition to self-awareness, other courses of action need to be tailored to the coach’s individual circumstances and personality. These options may include a program to take a holiday, change jobs or sports, change one’s hours of work, revaluate one’s expectations of work, reset performance goals, commit to an exercise program, learn to say ‘no’ to excessive requests, maintain proper nutrition, learn to relax more and/or seek professional help. It is, however, possible for a coach to suffer severe burnout and never be able to function again at a level that equated with his/her previous capacity.

DR JANET YOUNG is a Tennis Australia Club Professional Coach / Sport and Exercise Psychologist. Reprinted with permission from the ITF Coaching and Sport Science Review www.itftennis.com/coaching/sportscience

Myth #6 Burnout is always work related

Positive interaction can highlight a coach’s job satisfaction, which is critical to avoiding burnout.

Each component of a coach’s life – work, family, social and personal – needs to be addressed in assessing, preventing and treating burnout as each is inter-related and dependent on the other components. Stress in any of the four components is

Fatigue and headaches are physical symptoms a coach or player may experience with burnout; irritability and listlessness are among behavioural ones.

Australian Tennis Magazine | March 2012

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however, doing so can act as a moderating factor. Indeed, a lack of, or decrease in enjoyment in one’s work may well be a signal of dangers ahead!


EVER WONDER …

How the loads imposed by playing tennis change the young player’s growing body?

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here cauliflower ears are synonymous with Rugby Union’s props, most tennis players have Popeye-like forearms. Indeed the difference in the girth of Pete Sampras’s right (or dominant-side) and left (non-dominant side) forearms has become part of tennis folklore. Obviously, these musculoskeletal adaptations do not occur overnight; rather they are the result of chronic loading to specific parts of the body over time. With this in mind, a growing amount of research is investigating how tennis play affects the physical capacities or characteristics of young tennis players. These researchers generally compare the development of tennis players to similarly-aged non-active peers or participants in other sports. They have recently unearthed the following: ■■ Among groups of 11-year-old boys, tennis players were reported to exhibit enhanced aerobic power and reduced total and regional adiposity (trunk and legs) compared to non-active boys. Tennis

players also performed significantly better in the jumping and sprinting tests than boys not involved in sport, although these differences were accounted for by the increased adiposity of the non-active boys. Of interest is that playing tennis more often (five days per week v two days per week) did not necessarily lead to substantive changes in body composition nor physical performance among the young tennis players. ■■

Practise of load bearing sports, including tennis, for at least three hours per week has been related to bowleggedness (a knee varus alignment) in adolescent boys. Often regarded as typical of soccer players, Bjorn Borg stands out among a number of high profile tennis players to have also displayed this distinctive characteristic. Although its direct relationship with tennis performance is unclear, greater knee varus is unfortunately thought to relate to a higher risk of knee osteoarthritis in later life.

FROM THE STANDS …

Why some tennis players suffer from Golfer’s elbow but not Tennis elbow?

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et’s first understand some basic elbow anatomy and the mechanisms of injury for both elbow conditions. In short, Golfer’s and Tennis elbow present as pain on the medial (inside) and lateral (outside) of the elbow respectively. The pain that emanates from both conditions comes from the inflammation of the respective (medial and lateral) tendons that attach to the elbow’s epicondyles. So, what causes the pain? Well, herein also lies the answer to the above question. Golfer’s elbow (or medial epicondylitis) is borne out of the repeated loading that this area of the elbow is exposed to during the serve. More specifically, as a player’s upper arm externally rotates about the shoulder during the serve, the forearm also lags to stress the area. The faster that this happens, the more load that needs to be absorbed. Consequently it’s perhaps of little surprise that Golfer’s elbow presents more often in elite players. Tennis elbow (or lateral epicondylitis), on the other hand, has been shown as more common among recreational or social 56

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sub-optimal impacts. Off-centre impacts and gripping the racquet too tightly in the single-handed backhand are also thought to exacerbate the loading conditions linked to tennis elbow. References Thijs, Y., Bellemans, J., Rombaut, L., & Witvrouw, E. (2011). Is High Impact Sports Participation Associated With Bowlegs In Adolescent Boys? Med Sci Sports Exerc Nov 15. [Epub ahead of print] Sanchis-Moysi, J., Dorado, C., Arteaga-Ortiz, R., Serrano -Sanchezm A.J., & Calbet, J.A. (2011). Effects of training frequency on physical fitness in male prepubertal tennis players. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 51(3):409-16. players. It’s generally implicated in suboptimal single-handed backhand techniques (apologies to those suffering the condition whom think their backhands to be world class!), which require players to generate high eccentric wrist extension torques in an attempt to control the (forced) wrist flexion that often accompanies their

King, M.A., Kentel, B.B., & Mitchell, S.R. (2012). The effects of ball impact location and grip tightness on the arm, racquet and ball for one-handed tennis backhand groundstrokes. J Biomech. Feb 10. [Epub ahead of print] Machar Reid, Tennis Australia’s High Performance Manager


What do you see? By the Stroke Master

Radek Stepanek teamed up with Leander Paes to claim his first Grand Slam men’s doubles title at Australian Open 2012. Stepanek’s athleticism both at the baseline and at the net along with his mental toughness adds to his competitive nature. Below we break down his low backhand volley technique. Head is positioned low and close to contact with eyes focused on contact point.

Racquet head is positioned above the wrist for greater stability.

Lower body strength allows for a balanced and stable base.

Continental grip allows for a slightly open racquet face at contact.

Low court position is due to a great knee bend (rather than excessive bending from the back).

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Impact occurs well in front of the body.

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30-second lateral test – An extract from the MLC Tennis Hot Shots Delivery Manual

Stage: Purpose:

green stage (nine years plus) a warm-up to develop lateral movement, low centre of gravity

Instruction:

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• Players set up in the service box between the centre and singles lines. • On the coach’s “GO” they must shuttle between the side and singles lines, touching each line with their hand and face the same way all the time (i.e. they are not running in circles). • A partner can count how many lines they touch in a 30-second test (not counting if they don’t reach the line).

Coaching notes: Record your young athletes results over time and chart their improvement in this great agility test.

Trouble Stage: Purpose:

green stage (nine years plus) develop anticipation skills – specifically predict a weak return

Instruction:

Trouble

• Two players start a rally with an underhand feed. • During a rally they should seek to gain the advantage in the exchange and keep a keen eye on their opponent for signs of stress. • As soon as they see their opponent is: –– in poor position –– off balance –– likely to hit the ball at an awkward height –– stretched wide etc.

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They should call “Trouble”.

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Coaching notes: • As players progress and ball speeds get higher, the court is too big to cover. At the elite level players read cues from their opponent’s body position, preparation etc. to anticipate where the ball will go. • This drill will increase the young player’s understanding of their opponent and develop their anticipatory skills. 58

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Progression: i. Once “Trouble” is called – the attacking player can assume an aggressive court position and keep the pressure on the stressed opponent. ii. Once “Trouble” is called the point must be finished within three shots by either player.


Alternates – Warm-up/Cool down activity 12 – An extract from the Cardio Tennis Activity Cards 2

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• Players set up as shown; spot markers will help the players keep position inside the service line. • Players will rally cooperatively, alternating with the person behind them after each shot e.g. pair number 1 swap after each shot and are rallying with pair number 2.

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Progression 1: Forehand only or backhand only. Progression 2: One team moves up a net position and they volley every ball. Progression 3: Make it a race to increase the intensity of the session e.g. first to 10 shots.

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Drop shot and lob – drill-baSed activity 9 • Participants start in a line as shown. • Move forward to hit a drop shot (player 2). • Move back to chase down a lob (player 1). • Exit through the agility ladder and join the line. Variation 1: Start from the backhand side. Variation 2: Start from the net and play the lob first, then the drop shot. Tip: For large groups, have players collect balls after every rotation.

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1 3 4 5 6

Whirl pool – play-baSed activity 19 3

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2

Coach feed

Ball direction

Player

Thrower/Catcher

Player movement

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Key

Spot markers

Buckets

Drop down Hoops • Participants setlinesup in a doubles formation as shown. • The coach feeds a short ball to player one who tries to hit cross court and move to the net. • After each point players rotates anti-clockwise one position as shown. • First team to 15 wins then swap ends.

Coach

Coach feed

Ball direction

Player

Thrower/Catcher

Player movement

Register as a Cardio Tennis Coach online by visiting www.cardiotennis.com.au and receive over 50 Cardio Tennis activities, an extra large personalised fence banner and many other benefits!

Spot markers Drop down lines

Buckets

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Key

Coach

Hoops

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Coach Talk

Congratulations to our recent course graduates W

e would like to congratulate Lisa Ayres (Qld), John Curzon (NSW), John Hampson (Vic.), David Hodge (Qld), Todd Larkham (ACT), Tony Polack (NSW), Joe Porley (NSW), Nicole Pratt (Vic.) and Andrew Roberts (WA) who have recently successfully completed the Tennis Australia High Performance coaching qualification.   A special thank you also to our High Performance mentors who helped these graduates complete their qualification. These included Troy Ayres, Rob Leeds, Chris Kachel, Bernhard Goerlitz, Michael Robertson, Craig Morris and Belinda Colaneri.   The High Performance coaching qualification is conducted over two years with the next intake for coaches being in July 2013. Application forms will be available in December 2012.  We would also like to congratulate Alison Scott (Qld), Laurie Geist (NSW), Ian Stralow

(NSW) and Stephen Day (NSW) who recently graduated from the Tennis Australia Master Club Professional coaching qualification. There will be a number of Master Club Professional courses taking place in 2012.

Is your First Aid training up to date?

Tennis Australia Trainee Coaching Course

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he Tennis Australia Trainee Coaching Course is designed to train coaches to develop the skills of junior tennis players aged four to 12 years, with a focus on enjoyment and learner success. The principal focus is to develop the participant’s ability to deliver coaching sessions rather than to plan or construct lessons. This course is therefore suitable for people who would like to begin working

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under the guidance of a qualified coach. The course is four days in duration, more than 65 percent of the course hours will be spent on court and there will be approximately six hours of practical coaching with kids. Well done to the participants of the most recent course in Victoria who spent two consecutive weekends training at Hisense Arena, Melbourne Park.

Trainee Coaching Course dates NSW – Homebush Bay & North Strathfield – 10, 11, 18 & 19 March Qld – Queensland Tennis Centre – 17, 18, 24 & 25 March Qld – Kawana Tennis Club – 17, 18, 24 & 25 March Qld – Charter Towers Tennis Club – 29, 30, 31 March & 1 April WA – Victoria Park Drive, Burswood – 14, 15, 21, & 22 April SA – War Memorial Drive Adelaide – 14, 15, 21, & 22 April

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For more information about courses and qualifications or to view the course calendar please visit tennis.com.au/coaches/ education.

ennis Australia is committed to improving the quality of coaches at all levels. To ensure the safety and integrity of our sport, the Coach Development team are in the process of streamlining certification into Coach Membership. This began with the requirement of coach screening in 2009–2010. The next development for coach members will see First Aid introduced as a compulsory requirement of Coach Membership from 1 July 2012. This requirement is applicable to all active coaches. If you have a current First Aid certificate, please forward a copy to coachmembership@tennis.com.au or to Tennis Australia Coach Membership, Private Bag 6060, Richmond, Vic. 3121.


Coaches’ corner

Building a bigger, better base

Michele Krause presents Cardio Tennis to a large group.

Local and international coaches gained world-class insights from high-profile presenters at the 2012 Australian Grand Slam Coaches’ Conference.

Spaniard Jofre Porta explained the importance of intensity and specificity.

The five-day program kicked off with a workshop for Talent Development Coaches followed by three full days of world-class presentations held at Hisense Arena, Melbourne Park. For the first time there was an Official Conference Dinner at Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club where coaches had an opportunity to relax and network with their peers. During the dinner delegates had the chance to hear from AFL great James Hird, who presented on his coaching philosophy, career highlights and experiences. For those coaches who wanted more, Maribyrnong Secondary School opened its gates for 80 coaches to get on court with selected speakers in an interactive practical workshop on Sunday 15 January. “Our role in Coach Development is to develop quality coaches for players at all levels and our conference stayed true to this with presentations from Toni Nadal and Jofre Porta who have coached Rafael Nadal and Carlos Moya respectively to world No.1. The conference hosted Mike Barrell, Judy Murray, Craig Jones and Butch Staples all internationally renowned specialists in modified tennis programs for children, the conference truly has something for everyone,” Quinlan said. Jofre Porta, long-time coach of Moya was a late addition to the conference program, which thrilled many of the delegates. Porta covered the importance of intensity and specificity, dispelling the myth that Spanish coaching is just hand feeding and also

Toni Nadal was among the highprofile coaches providing insights.

touched on his experiences coaching some of the world’s well-known names Moya and Nadal in his formative years. “Jofre Porta has had a fantastic career as a coach developing many of the great Spanish based players and we hope to have him back in the future,” Patrick McInerney – Manager Coach Education for Tennis Australia said. Kenneth Bastiaens, physical trainer of the Flemish Tennis Federation, Robby Sukhdeo, Manager of the Pavilion Sports Club and Cafe London, Frank Giampaolo, Director of Mental/Emotional Tennis Workshops USA and former pro player and Tennis Australia Manager of Developmental Tennis, Scott Draper were amongst some of the other key note presentations. Michele Krause of Cardio Tennis USA, Aaron Kellet Tennis Australia’s Strength and Conditioning Manager and Australian Institute of Sport Psychologist Ruth Anderson were among the other presenters. Save the date! The 2013 Australian Grand Slam Coaches’ Conference is confirmed for 9–12 January 2013 in Melbourne. For more information contact coachesconference@tennis.com.au Australian Tennis Magazine | March 2012

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he 2012 Australian Grand Slam Coaches’ Conference, which was held at Hisense Arena on 11–15 January, welcomed a record number of delegates, speakers and participants. Over 350 coaches, industry professionals, speakers and athletes participated in Australia’s premier professional development event for coaches. Not only were delegates from every Australian state and territory represented but there were also coaches from across Asia, New Zealand, United States, United Kingdom, Scotland, Turkey and Sweden. The conference boasted a line-up of more than 30 world-class speakers including Toni Nadal, Judy Murray, Vic Braden, Jofre Porta and James Hird. “This was our fifth year we have run the Australian Grand Slam Coaches’ Conference, and it was a record breaking year with over 300 people participating in the event,” said Geoff Quinlan – Manager Coach Development for Tennis Australia.


My Coach - March 2012 issue