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Our Vision

To grow into the leading online platform for tennis coach education by delivering innovative, accessible, and relevant courses and learning materials.

 

Our mission

To provide tennis coaches with the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to help their athletes excel on and off the court.

Our values

Accessibility

Our platform aims to make coach education accessible to all coaches, regardless of location or experience.

Inclusivity:

We strive to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for
coaches of all backgrounds and levels.

Quality

We are committed to providing high-quality, innovative, up-to-date information
and resources to our users.

Continuous improvement

We are dedicated to improving our platform and resources to meet the evolving needs of tennis coaches around the world.

Our Purpose

Since 1996 I’ve had the opportunity to coach tennis athlete at all levels, from diverse backgrounds and with different needs. I’ve also spent the last decade mentoring coaches and delivering coach education around the globe. Over this time, I’ve realised most coaches face three main pain-points.

 

  1. Lack of formal training opportunities to back up experience-based training.

To become a secondary school teacher, you need around 4 years of higher education and about half a year of experience-based training. To become an experienced tennis coach that formula is flipped, with years of on-court experience supplemented with a few weeks of formal study that is often very basic and not very practical.

 

  1. Finding reliable, practical, and up to date information is hard, and can be expensive.

Coaches who have spent years building up their practice don’t want to give away trade secrets to competitors. Many also coach by instinct and gut feel, so can’t explain their process and methods, even if they wanted to. And the web is a mess of information - some good, most average or just plain wrong.

 

  1. Professional development is almost non-existent.

This means the onus is on the individual to try and keep up with the latest trends, information, and best practice. Which isn’t easy when you are on court 40+ hours a week.

This got me thinking about how I could share my knowledge and experience in a practical, effective, and accessible way to ease these pain points for coaches.

And that’s the core idea behind The Tennis Menu.

We want to provide coaches with a scaffold of information they can access when needed, that will accelerate their skills and knowledge. This knowledge must be innovative, best practice, born of expert advice and experience and backed by the latest science and data. 

We also recognise that great coaching is about connection, authenticity and fostering a positive learning environment. That’s why we aim to present knowledge and skills in a way that still allows coaches room to infuse their own unique perspective, personality, and experience. We aim to guide and encourage with data supported theories and science backed approaches. Not prescribe one way to do things.

We hope we succeed in our purpose, and you find what you need at The Tennis Menu to become the best coach possible and have some fun along the way. Welcome to our community.

We aim to leave you better than we found you.

 

Kind regards,

 

Marc Sophoulis

Our Team

Find out more about the people who help put The Tennis Menu together.

Marc Sophoulis - Director and Head Coach

 

What he does

Since 1996, Marc has coached athletes at the highest level in the sports of tennis and Australian Rules Football (AFL). He has also mentored and trained coaches in the art of coaching and athlete development for the past decade.

As head coach of tennis at the Maribyrnong Sports Academy and MITS Tennis in Melbourne Australia, Marc has been instrumental in developing a sustainable high-performance tennis program while working closely with a diverse group of talented young players.

Since 2007 Marc has worked at the Richmond Tigers AFL club in multiple roles as the coaching coordinator and assistant coach in the Victorian Football League (VFL) program.

He has led and facilitated Tennis Australia's Level 1 and 2 coaching courses since 2007, and regularly creates, develops and conducts coach development courses and workshops in both tennis and AFL.

Marc’s coaching philosophy is an innovative prac-ademic approach, where he uses science and data to support and create practical interventions within a holistic, team focused framework.

 

What he's done

Tennis Coaching

In 2011 Marc won the Victorian Rising Star Coach of the year award and he has been named in the top 3 Talent Development Coaches in Australia on multiple occasions.

Marc worked closely with the Bryan Brothers for 6 years during their Australian Open campaigns and with Victor Hanescu a former world number 26 and French Open quarter finalist. He has also worked with 2 time Olympian and Commonwealth gold medallist Anastasia Rodionova, who reached top 8 in the WTA world doubles rankings in 2014.

Marc Sophoulis

He has spent time as a hitting partner to many players at the Australian Open, including Simona Halep, Sabine Lisicki and Anastasia Pivovarova.

Other players he’s worked with include:

  • Arina Rodionova (Australian Olympian and Fed Cup Representative), 
  • Indian Davis Cup representative Karan Rastogi, 
  • Australian ATP professional Dane Propoggia.
  • Romania's Nicholas David Ionel, who won the 2020 Australian Open Boys doubles under Marc's guidance.
  • WTA professional Lulu Sun

He has coached athletes who have represented their countries in the Olympics and Commonwealth games and worked with the Romanian Hopman Cup team. He also coached the Victorian state team in 2014.

Under his tenure as head coach, Maribyrnong College was named Most Outstanding Tennis School by Tennis Australia in 2012. They have also won the National Secondary School Championships five times, most recently in 2022.

 

Coach development and public speaking

Marc has developed and facilitated numerous coaching and development courses for Tennis Australia. He has presented for the Australian Open grand slam conference multiple times, at the ATP Cup coaches conference alongside, Chris Kachel, Scott Draper and Wally Masur and at the Adelaide International coaches conference alongside Judy Murray and Nicole Pratt.

Marc has presented at coach education conferences in China, Singapore, Japan, Vietnam and Hong Kong.

He was also a keynote speaker for ISHA hip convention 2018

 

Media consultant

He has been a tennis analyst on SEN for the Australian Open and has appeared on the weekly tennis show, The First Serve for years.

Marc has hosted four podcasts:
The Coach’s corner, On the baseline, Crunching the numbers and The Coach.

 

Australian Rules Football

Marc joined AFL club, the Richmond Tigers in 2007 and assisted in the player development section alongside Craig McRae and Jade Rawlings, where he learnt the craft of skill acquisition, developing young talent and structuring development programs.

Marc Sophoulis

This followed with a role as an assistant coach in 2014 and 2015 in the Richmond VFL team under Head Coach Tim Clarke, where his roles included midfield coach, backline coach and director of coaching. In 2019 they won a VFL premiership.

The Richmond AFL team also won premierships in 2017, 2019 and 2020 and Marc played a key role in the development of some the most decorated players in those winning sides.

 

Why he does it

Seeing players achieve their goals drives Marc’s passion - whether it be a 30-year-old teary over her first tournament win in 8 years, a 15-year-old ecstatic to achieve her first WTA ranking, or twins from the US winning a doubles grand slam.

Elite sport is hard and from personal experience he understands how important it is to build a strong team around an athlete and to have someone fight alongside them and believe.

Over the years Marc has had many amazing experiences and learnt from a huge amount of people. It’s left him with a real passion for coach education and a desire to share what he’s learnt.

Which is why he created The Tennis Menu.

The Tennis Menu is a chance to share, give back and create a legacy for the sport he loves. A sport he’s spent a lifetime learning.

  • Tennis Australia Tennis Coaching - Level 1 (Junior Development) 2001
  • Tennis Australia Tennis Coaching - Level 2 (Club Professional) 2002
  • Tennis Australia Tennis Coaching - Level 3 (High Performance) 2007
  • Certificate 3 - Sports Coaching 2013
  • Certificate 4 - Training and Assessment 2013
  • Global professional tennis coaches Category A Coach
  • USA Tennis Association Professional Coach
  • Australian Football League (AFL) level 1, 2 and 3
  • Australian Sports Anti Doping Authority (ASADA) Level 1

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Nick Busuttil

Nicholas is a PhD candidate at La Trobe University who specialises in biomechanics and skill development for tennis. He has a strong background in sports science, having worked in tertiary education, training future sports scientists in the crafts of Research Skills, Exercise Physiology, Advanced Biomechanics, and Advanced Skill Development. Nicholas has applied his trade in many different settings, having experience and working collaboratively with institutions including La Trobe University, Tennis Australia and the Boston Red Sox (Sports Biomechanics Consultant).

Nick Busutil

Education is a passion of his and wishes to continually support coaches and players to apply key biomechanical and skill acquisition principles to tennis development. Having been in the coaching industry for 10 years, Nick has supported many athletes (grassroots, academy, and professional), providing proactive services in movement analysis, coaching, and strength and conditioning. 

  • Doctor of Philosophy Candidate (PhD) 
  • Exercise and Sport Science Honours (First class) 
  • Bachelor of Exercise Science 
  • Anthropometrist – ISAK level 1 
  • Tennis Australia Junior Development (in progress) 

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Lauren Skopal

Lauren Skopal - As a national medalist in her sport, Lauren understands the dedication it takes to be an elite athlete at the top of their game. Following her rhythmic gymnastics career she went on to perform as an acrobat in over 10 countries around the world. This journey led to an abundance of experience on how to maintain your body at different ages, manage injuries and adapt to performing in varying international environments.

Lauren Skopal

Lauren is an accredited Exercise Scientist specialising in Flexibility Training and she is currently completing her Masters of Applied Sports Science at Deakin University in Melbourne. Through her business Limber Sports Performance, Lauren has assisted a wide range of athletes achieve their movement goals in sports such as Tennis, Soccer, Football, Martial Arts, Climbing, Gymnastics, Dance, Ice Staking, Calisthenics, Sports Aerobics and more.

  • ESSA Exercise Scientist
  • Exercise and Sport Science Honours
  • Bachelor of Health Science
  • NSA Associate Nutritionist
  • Gymnastics Australia Advanced Coach
  • Certified Stott Pilates Trainer

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Shane Liyanage

Shane Liyanage - Shane has extensive experience in performance analytics, working in multiple sports as a player and coach analytics consultant.

With roles in multiple professional sporting organisations, tour level tennis players and sports media, Shane has the experience and passion to turn complex, robust analysis into simple, easy to understand, actionable insights for players, coaches and teams.

Shane Liyanage

  • A decade of experience in Data, Financial and Business analytical roles
  • Analytics Lead in community cricket - Cricket Australia, sitting on the Strategy & Insights working group
  • Data visualisation and statistical contributor to media including FiveThirtyEight, Last Word on Tennis
  • Co-host of 'Crunching the Numbers' in the SEN First Serve podcast series
  • Completing Masters of Sports Analytics
  • Bachelors of Commerce/Law with specialisation electives in finance, accounting and statistics - Australian National University
  • Executive Data Science Specialisation Certification - John Hopkins University
  • Tableau Data Science and Data Visualisation Certification

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Ola Luczak

Advanced Sports Dietitian

Ola competed in Division 1 US college tennis at the University of Central Florida. It was here she discovered that eating pop tarts and free pizza on campus was NOT an optimal fuel choice for performance.

Over the past decade Ola has devoted her energy towards adolescent sports nutrition – where lifelong habits form.

Shane LiyanageShe was alarmed to discover:

~65% of athletes were dehydrated (Game Day Nutrition testing with 300+ athletes)

~75% of female athletes were under-fuelling (in line with AIS research)

Many athletes were underperforming with low energy levels, poor concentration, slow reaction times and decreased motor skills (largely due to the above two reasons)

This fostered a passion to create a program to support athletes on a consistent basis throughout their adolescent years. She quickly noticed that sports directors, coaches, parents and athletes wanted more resources and advice in the nutrition space.

Nick Ferrier

Sport Psychologist

Nick Ferrier is the founder of Cede Nullis Psychology. He is a registered psychologist (AHPRA) and former national swimmer having competed internationally. Over his professional career, Nick has worked in occupational rehabilitation settings and Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) for the Australian Government and private companies. 

Shane LiyanageNick is passionate about working with high performing individuals from both the public and private sectors, having previously worked with a broad range of clients including professional athletes, ASX200 companies and company directors, high net-worth individuals, and senior Federal Government executives. 

With a particular interest in men’s mental health, Nick uses a naturally direct and honest approach to assist his clients to improve their lives. Nick also enjoys presenting custom workshops to organisations and businesses on mental health including stress and resilience, assertiveness, and well-being.