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About the Video Clip:

Video Clip Synopsis:
Members of the 2000 Australian Davis Cup team, including Pat Rafter and Lleyton Hewitt, talk about their relationship with their coach, John Newcombe. For Newcombe, the role of the coach is to treat your team as you yourself would want to be treated.

1min 33sec

Even Tennis Stars Need Their Coach is an excerpt from the film The Fifth Set (55 mins), produced in 2000.

The Fifth Set: For a century, the Davis Cup has been one of the world's greatest tennis competitions. Despite the lure of big money on the professional circuit, the Cup continues to stand for sportsmanship, team spirit and national pride. For Australia, it has given us heroes like Norman Brookes, Ken Rosewall, Lew Hoad, Neale Fraser, Rod Laver, John Newcombe and Patrick Rafter. And it has helped define us as a nation, turning a rich person’s game into a country's passion.

The Fifth Set is a Film Australia National Interest Program in association with Media Giants and ScreenSound Australia. Produced with the assistance of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Study Module

Curriculum Focus: Health/PE
Year: 11-12
Strand: Biology, human biology
Theme: Health Work

Key Concepts

Coach; Team player; Identity

Curriculum Applicability Notes

ACT:Personal Development; Health and Physical Education; Factors effecting performance; Sport and Physical Activity in Australian Society
NSW:Personal Development; Health and Physical Education; Factors effecting performance; Sport and Physical Activity in Australian Society
NT:Physical Education Stage 1 and Stage2
Qld:Physical Education: Sport physical activity and exercise in the context of Australian Society
SA:Physical Education Stage 1 and Stage2
Tas:Sport science: Sport psychology
Sport studies: Involvement in sport
Vic:Physical Education Unit 4 Participation and performance
WA:Physical Education Studies Year 11: Outcomes 4, 8 and 9
Physical Education Studies Year 12: Outcome 2

Context / Background Information

Despite our relatively small population, Australians have a history of being well represented at high levels in many sports, including tennis. Often, tennis players compete as individuals representing their country. The Davis Cup is a team event, where tennis players work together to do their best for their country. The coach is an important part of the team. In this video clip, John Newcombe is coaching the Davis Cup team in 2000.

As the coach, Newcombe has the respect of the players and he is to them, a sort of father figure. His philosophy is to treat the team as he would want to be treated.

Discussion Pointers

Discuss the role a good coach has on the performance of his/her players.

Discuss the different coaching techniques that would be used in coaching a team or an individual.

Discuss whether tennis is an individual or team sport.

Discuss the relationship between sport and national identity.

Suggested Classroom Activities

Before watching the video clip discuss students’ understanding of the Davis Cup competition, who is involved and how it is conducted.

Write a brief history of The Davis Cup highlighting Australia’s participation, and include John Newcombe’s participation both as a player and a coach.

Using this video clip and your knowledge of tennis, discuss how a coach would use psychology to improve the performance of:

  1. An individual
  2. The team

How do you think Australian identity is formed through sporting achievements such as a win in the Davis Cup?

Australia first won the Davis Cup in 1907 and last won it in 2003. Discuss the different effects these wins would have had on Australian society, taking into account the age of Australia as a nation and the communication media available.

Modules That Use This Clip

Health/PE Year 7-8, Health/PE Year 11-12, English Year 9-10