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Stroke Master My Tennis Life
Eugenie Bouchard showed the world her aggressive style of tennis in a stunning Australian Open semifinal run. A shot that was successful throughout the entire Australian summer was her powerful forehand, which is analysed below by the Stroke Master.
What do you see?
Racquet face is vertical at contact with minimal wrist adjustment. Contact position is located in front of the body and between the hips and the shoulders. Right hip has extended forwards and initiated the shoulders to rotate towards the net. Body weight has transferred from the back to front foot in a linear direction to maximise power output. Baseline position and forward weight transfer has encouraged an aggressive mind set and the potential of a short ball or drive volley on the following shot.
www.tennis.com.au/coaches FebruARY 2014 AUSTRALIAN TENNIS MAGAZINE
MY TENNIS LIFE
Combining his passion for the sport in a career wasn’t something Rufus Keown thought was possible. But 18 years later, he knows coaching is serious business.
y parents introduced me to tennis as a very small child. I attended my first tennis clinic when I was seven. I decided to become a coach when I realised I could make a career out of it. Until that point tennis had been a fun way to earn some money while at university and looking for a ‘real’ job. When it became apparent that running a tennis business could be a serious job I threw myself into it. Eighteen years down the track and I still love it. Working in the sporting industry has turned out to be a fantastic career choice. I feel tennis in Australia is in such a positive state that there are many opportunities out there and this will only grow in the future. Tennis is a game for life. This is the most important thing for my students to take away. Another invaluable lesson is learning to compete in a positive environment. Our club has grown so much. At the Victorian Tennis Academy we are very proud that our MLC Tennis Hot Shots program has over 900 students, our Cardio Tennis program has grown to four classes per week and our Community Tennis program has attracted up to 50 people per week. The new programs have been a very positive
AUSTRALIAN TENNIS MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2014
addition to our business, which we are always trying to evolve and improve. We are proud that we are providing full-time employment for many coaches so that tennis can become a real career and not just a parttime job.
skill and athleticism are worth aspiring to. I also like to promote role models from within my own coaching program. To a seven-yearold, a 12-year-old can be a great and realistic role model. Encouraging young athletes to ‘buddy up’ and be ‘future leaders’ within our programs is great for their own development.
Being a role model for a young person is a great responsibility. It’s not something you stop and evaluate for how it feels; rather I find athletes will work hard it’s something you work at when you create a great being better at every day. environment. When they are You spend a lot of time with rewarded for effort, when they your students on court and are challenged physically sometimes lessons you’ve and mentally and completing learnt in life can help them. purposeful activities it gives By caring for everyone you them that extra edge. When coach and believing that all they have like-minded your players can grow, you teammates who are pushing provide a foundation for them them to higher levels it can to prosper. Kids especially can only have a positive outcome. sense when you really believe in them and will respond positively to that confidence. A BIG RESPONS There is great transfer to be achieved from most other sports. Kids should be encouraged to experiment with as many sports as they can in their early years before deciding to specialise in a sport … tennis of course (laughs). Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal are of course great role models. Their sportsmanship,
IBILIT Y: Being a positive role model to young players is one of the most important aspects of Rufus Keown’s job.
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I love working with young people who are keen to learn, both young players and coaches. I love working with families and making tennis a really important part of their lives. I love feeling like our coaching program is a really positive part of the community because it promotes a healthy and positive environment. I love working with other coaches and sharing ideas and successes. I want to keep growing and leaning the craft of coaching and teaching. I also want to continue running a successful business. I have some great fellow coaches and mentors who are helping me get better, but I feel there is much more to be achieved. DANIELA TOLESKI