Melbourne Park, 6 February 2012 | Tess Middleton

The 2012 Australian Grand Slam Coaches’ Conference welcomed a record number of delegates, speakers and participants.

Over 300 coaches, industry professionals, speakers and athletes participated in Australia’s premier professional development event for coaches at Hisense Arena from 11 to 15 January,

Not only were delegates from every Australian state and territory represented but there were also coaches from across Asia, New Zealand, the US, 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.

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 one of the AFL’s greats, 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 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 among some of the other key note presentations.

As well as Michele Krause of Cardio Tennis USA, Aaron Kellet Tennis Australia’s Strength and Conditioning Manager and Australian Institute of Sport Psychologist Ruth Anderson.

Save the date – the 2013 Australian Grand Slam Coaches Conference is confirmed for 9–12 January 2013 in Melbourne.

For more information contact [email protected]