Manly Seaside Tennis Tournament

Manly Seaside Tennis Tournament

The Manly Seaside Tennis Championships is one of Sydney’s longest running tournaments. It is held at the Manly Lawn Tennis Club on Boxing Day every year, concluding with a finals day on New Year’s Eve.

During the 40s, 50s and 60s the Manly Lawn Tennis Club was used as the venue for the Australian team in the Davis Cup Challenge Round, also held on Boxing Day and the two following days. Many overseas players played in the Seaside Tournament marking the first tournament in the Australian tennis calendar at that time. The season finished with the Australian Championships (The Aussie Open).

Today, the tournament is still going strong and is an important part of the Australian satellite tennis circuit.

Over the Christmas period, when most people are away from work on holidays and my practice is less busy, I choose to help the players of the seaside tournament by setting up an outdoor treatment station behind the main courts of the club.

For many, this time of year is a time to take a break from work, rest and recharge for the new year. As everyone knows however, tennis is my absolute passion, and spending boxing day through to new year’s eve watching tennis, playing tennis and treating tennis players is hardly work for me at all.

The most common injuries I saw were arm pain (shoulder, elbow, wrist), lower back and hip pain. As tennis is an asymmetrical sport, it comes as no surprise that the racquet arm is likely to whinge at some point. It is not uncommon for players at these sorts of tournament to have two to three matches per day. The tournament has always been of a very high standard and so playing six to eight sets per day can be very taxing on the playing arm, not to mention the rest of the body.

Treating at these sorts of events has reminded just how little upcoming players know about their sport and their bodies. Much of the injuries, particularly arm injuries, can be prevented through proper set up or customising of the racquet frame and strings. Weight, swing-weight, string type and tension are all fundamental factors of the racquet that determine the body’s reaction to hitting tennis balls. I believe many injuries could be prevented by understanding how the physics of a ball colliding with the string bed during a tennis shot might be affecting your arm in tennis.

Most young tennis players believe the route to becoming as good a tennis player as possible, simply revolves around hitting more and more tennis balls. Whilst I believe repetition is the mother of skill, it is also the age-old granddaddy of repetitive strain injury. Players need to insure against such injuries by investing valuable time in the gym and on the track. In layman’s terms, players need tailored resistance and speed work programs, not just tennis lessons and squad sessions.

Players wanting to learn more about playing and training like a professional should read further, here and also here.

The Manly Seaside Championships is easily my favourite Australian Money Tournament of the year. The location of the courts, close to the beach with many locals and tourists walking by, makes the tournament well spectated and thus always alive with atmosphere. The tournament regularly attracts top Australian players and often many overseas players as well. Below you can see familiar sights of the tournament including the record of past champions – some great names feature here.

Marc Dragan (yellow shirt) – a man who really needs no introduction. Marc was was Australia’s first professional triathlete and in 1985 became the first Australian man to win a full length Ironman distance triathlon. Marc was also an accomplished tennis player reaching the qualifying draws of both the Australian Open and Wimbledon Tennis Championships. He has been one of the tournament directors for many years and can be heard regularly throughout the tournament over the club PA system (when it works).

From left – Tom Tyrrel and Scott Blackburn. These two Manly legends work in the engine room of the Seaside tournament. Tom in the pro shop, or outside having a smoke, and Scotty on the bbq playing with a different sort of smoke.

Seated left – Max Ward has been the tournament referee for decades. He is that committed to his job at the Seaside that he sleeps in the club house for the duration of the tournament.

If you have never come to see the action at the Manly Seaside Tennis Tournament before, make sure you come down this year – it’s always a cracker of a tournament!

*DISCLAIMER: This discussion does not provide medical advice. The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained in this discussion are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this discussion is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this blog.

The 3As of being a Health Practitioner

Before I started Cartwright Physicaltherapy, I spoke to one of my mentors seeking advice. Starting any business involves a certain amount of risk and an enormous amount of confidence in yourself and your skills. I felt I needed a push from someone who had taken their own leap of faith, someone who could provide me with some words of wisdom in starting and sustaining a business venture.

This mentor of mine is a pathologist who started one of the largest pathology franchises in South Africa. Aside from the day-to-day challenges of running a business, he offered me some wise words which he felt every health practitioner should remind themselves of each day in practice.

The 3As

1. Ability.This is where it should start for every health practitioner – you have to be good at what you do. It is vital that a health practitioner add to his or her skill set each year. A practitioner will become more and more experienced every successive year in practice, but this is not enough to remain at the top of your game. There are hundreds of treatment modalities, medicines and research journals available to study. It is important to engage in further readings and extra study so that you may continue to offer the best available treatment to your patients.

For me, working in health is a passion of mine, and living a healthy life has been something Ive practiced since a young age. In my opinion, unless youre passionate about helping others, you are starting on the wrong foot. It is also important to lead by example. If you are not living by the ways you advise your patients to, you are not doing your job. As an example, my own experience in practice and competing in high level sporting events, has enabled me to fine tune my skills to offer patients a refined and effective brand of physical therapy.

2. Affability.If you hope to make a living through caring for others, it should go without saying that one needs to show warmth and friendliness. One of the things I love most about my profession is the chance to learn about and interact with the range of wonderful personalities that flow through my practice.

For some people, seeing a health practitioner can be an uncomfortable experience. This may not necessarily be restricted to the nature of their complaint, but also because they may simply dislike the process of having a full history, examination and treatment carried out on them by a stranger. The ability of that practitioner to make their patient feel comfortable and trusting of them will facilitate better communication between the two, and thus hope to see a quicker resolution of the presenting complaint.

Today, I feel privileged to have formed many strong, yet professional, relationships with my patients. I enjoy the fact that I can walk around my local area and have some of my patients come up to me with a friendly greeting.

3. Availability.Another great benefit to being a health practitioner is, to some degree, having the ability to pick and choose your own working hours. The challenge here for practitioners is finding the balance between how often and how little to work. Essentially, if your patients always find it tough to make an appointment with you, no matter how good you may be at your craft, they will find someone else who is prepared to treat them.

I am certainly guilty of working long hours, but as I consider it something I love to do, I get through these hours with relative ease. Fortunately for my patients, this has meant they can often expect to see me on days like Christmas or New Years Eve. I also happily receive regular emails from my patients where I can often troubleshoot their complaints through cyberspace.

Of course, not everyone is expected to go this extra mile. The point is that if your patients know you are available to them most of the time, they are more likely to find you a reliable source of help and demonstrate longevity as patients.

Clearly, there are many other facets to running a successful health practice, but from a practitioner point of view, I try to keep the 3As at the forefront of my mind. When I am in consultation with my patients I try to deliver the best possible treatment I can for that person at that particular time present time consciousness. Once they leave the practice, I urge them to contact me if they have any concerns between appointments, and endeavour to respond to their inquiries the first chance I get.

It is these minor extensions of oneself which I feel attracts more people to a health practitioner. I look forward to building stronger and more rewarding relationships with both my current and future patients.