Fed Cup Foundation Blog

5:30am starts have their positives, says FCF scholarship winner Olivia Gadecki

By | Storm | No Comments

5:30 am starts have never sounded so brutally early until now. The very few positives that come with that is I don’t have to wait in line for the bathroom because my 4/5 brothers are still sleeping most of the time. I eat my breakfast around 6 am while sipping a cup of hot tea to warm myself up in the freezing cold. Then at around 6:25 my mum takes me to the train station for my 6:47 or 6:54 train (I normally just make the first one if the traffic isn’t too bad). It’s a great time to study when I get on the train and it makes the train journey seem a lot shorter than it is, the only time I don’t study is when I can barely keep my eyes open from either a long day at tennis or its just simply too early and I find that happens more towards the end of the week. I get off the train at Park road (after catching the Brisbane airport train) to catch a train that stops all stations to Yeerongapilly at around 8 am. I walk from the train station to the centre which is around a 10/15-minute stroll.

Fed Cup Foundation scholarship winner Olivia Gadecki.

At 8:30 am I start my mobility/flex session which includes stretching, foam rolling, triggering and all that. At around 8:45 our S&C coaches do some Monday morning testing that normally lasts 15 minutes. At 9 am I do my pre-hit activation exercises then at 9:10 I head upstairs to the courts for a 20-minute movement session. At 9:30 we start our group session and it normally lasts for around 2 hours.

At 11:30 I shower and heat my lunch up just in time to start school at 12. From 12 to 1:30 pm I do my schoolwork, then at 1:30 I have a study break for around 15 minutes where I play Jayden (pretty much every day) in table tennis and believe it or not I’m around 14 weeks into starting distance education at the NA and yet I still haven’t taken a victory. When 2:45 pm comes around it’s time to pack the books up and hit the gym for 70 minutes (Monday, Wednesday and Friday).

After I’ve finished gym I shower again before heading to the train station for my 4:25 pm train. Taking the train home is an even bigger grind some days because I have to change trains at Altandi so I can hop on the express Gold Coast train, I have to sit at the station for 25 minutes and if I’m lucky I’ll get a seat on the train. I normally get to my train station around 5:45 where my mum picks me up and takes me home. When I get home around 6 pm I do some more study and prepare my lunch and bag for the next day. Then at around 8-8:30, I head to bed.

 

 

How to eat around your exercise to gain the best results – by Jessica Cox

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Jessica is a passionate foodie and qualified, practicing Nutritionist with a Bachelor Health Science (Nutrition) and over ten years of clinical experience. Jess is the founder and business owner of the successful Jessica Cox Nutritionist Clinic based in Brisbane, Australia. The JCN Clinic treats all facets of health conditions, though specialises with ongoing digestive issues and food intolerances.

Jess is also the creator of the Jessica Cox website and blog, which is an expression of everything she loves rolled into one, including her passion for creating recipes that cater for food intolerances. Jess is available for consultations at her clinic based in Brisbane, along with Skype and Phone consultations for national and international clients.

Today Jess is sharing with us her favourite Post Work Out Pancake plus her top tips for eating well around training.

One of the most common down falls I see in clinic is clients not eating correctly around their work outs. More often than not people aren’t consuming the correct food (at the right time) leading up to their exercise session, and on top of this are not refueling correctly once finished.

Generally, the rule of thumb goes like this. Pre workout fuel should be carbohydrate based to provide readily available energy for your session. The majority of the time this can be something as simple as a piece of fruit, say a banana (natures perfectly packaged exercise fuel). We certainly do not need large amounts of sugars found in energy drinks and sports drinks. For the majority of us these drinks provide a surplus amount of carbs. The idea is to use your snack (or meal) prior to your work out as your fuel. In most cases this is more than enough as shown in this review study (2013) discussing nutrient timing around exercise.

Post work out should always contain some carbohydrates to refuel your depleted blood glucose (and thus energy) along with some protein, especially if resistance training has occurred. Furthermore, its best to consume these post work out snacks or meals within the 30 minutes to an hour (at the latest) of finishing up your session, otherwise we start to get too fatigued.

There are plenty of studies theorising the correct ratio of protein to carbs, and the relevant timing of the intake of these macronutrients. I can say confidently from experience however that it’s absolutely amazing to see clients get their nutrition right around training. Often just nailing the correct food intake around exercise is the key to kicking along weight loss and muscle tone that has plateaued. It is also often the key to seeing client’s energy levels pick up and sugar cravings alleviated.

When we consume the correct ratio of nutrients pre and post training this initiates the rebuilding of damaged muscle tissue and restoration of energy reserves, whilst enhancing both body composition and exercise performance for the future. Additionally, when we fuel our body correctly it is not left yearning for more energy later in the day in the form of quick, sugary snacks.

We are of course all different in our make up and needs, especially when it comes to exercise and the intensity that we decide to train at. Consuming large amounts of simple carbs and amino acids prior and after workouts is not the goal here. It is about using your meals wisely (consumed as part of your daily food intake), and maximising the key macronutrients (carbs, protein and fats) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) in these meals to gain maximum benefits.

Keeping the above in mind, you could choose to recharge your tired and depleted muscles after a work out with the ever popular (and definitely convenient) smoothie made with protein and carbohydrate based ingredients. However, you could also choose to fire up those muscle cells with this scrumptious protein pancake topped here with melted peanut butter, fresh passionfruit pulp and gooey fried banana. I know which option I prefer!

Jessica’s Post Workout Protein Pancake
Serves one
Preparation time 2 minutes
Cooking time 3 – 4 minutes or 6 -7 minutes with added fried banana

Ingredients

  • 1 heaped dessertspoon plain protein powder (I used brown rice protein)
  • 2 heaped dessertspoons of buckwheat flour (or oatmeal if gluten tolerant)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 small mashed banana (or 1 heaped dessertspoon of apple puree)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 dessertspoon rice syrup or honey
  • plant milk of choice to bring to a thicker style batter

Optional toppings to serve

  • 1 banana
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of nut butter of choice
  • 1 passionfruit
  • 1 dessertspoon walnuts
  • 1 dessertspoon goji berries
  • barley malt for drizzling (or maple syrup or honey)

Method
In a small mixing bowl combine the protein powder, buckwheat flour (or flour of choice) and baking powder. Make a little well in the center and mash in the banana with the back of a fork. Crack in the egg and then add in your rice syrup. Stir well till combined, then add in a splash of milk a little bit at a time until you reach a thick batter (similar to a cake batter).

Heat a small frying pan to medium heat and add a small amount of olive oil. Pour in your pancake batter and allow it to gently cook. Once bubbles begin to form on the top of the pancake you know it is time to flip it over. Once flipped, allow the underside to cook for a minute or two before removing from the heat.

If serving with the suggested toppings above, slice the banana down the center and then place it in the frying pan with a little bit more olive oil. Allow it to brown and caramelise on the underside, then carefully turn over and repeat.

When ready to eat, spoon the peanut butter on to the hot pancake, then top with the fried banana, passionfruit pulp, walnuts, goji berries and finish with a drizzle of barley malt.

ps. I also like to cut this pancake in half, smear it with peanut butter, honey and then add some chopped banana. I then wrap it in alfoil and take it with me to eat on the go after a work out.
nutritional information

  • This protein pancake has a higher amino acid content than a normal pancake due to the addition of the protein powder in the flour mix. There is also amino acids available from the egg (around 5 – 6 grams of protein), although some of you may choose to omit this for dietary purposes. If that is the case I would suggest increase the protein powder slightly to compensate. In place of the egg you could use a chia egg (1 tablespoon chia seeds + 3 tablespoons of warm water).
  • The heaped dessertspoon of protein powder in this pancake will provide around 12 – 15 grams of protein.

Contact Jess with any queries or questions at here or email reception@jessicacox.com.au. Source great food ideas and more by following Jess on: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest.

“It is great to know that we have the support from the Fed Cup Foundation” – Storm Sanders

By | Storm | No Comments

I have had a lot of fun over the past few weeks blogging for the Fed Cup Foundation during the Australian summer of tennis and I hope you have all enjoyed reading them. The summer of tennis here at home has just finished, but for all us players, it is only the beginning of the 2017 season. We will all go on our own different paths depending on our rankings and goals. For some, its back to winter in Europe, others, its to a Fed Cup tie where they will play for their country on the weekend. For me, it’s Burnie Tasmania, to play some challenger events.

Jaimee, Destanee and Storm at Fed Cup Foundation’s Breakfast with the Stars

 

The season can be gruelling, long and very lonely at times so it is great to know that we have the support from the Fed Cup Foundation. They are always behind us whether it be through functions, social media or emailing and I know they are always keeping track of how we are going throughout the year. I had the opportunity to speak at the Breakfast with the Stars function that was held during the Australian Open and it was great to see so many people there supporting women’s tennis in Australia. I absolutely love the fact that the Fed Cup Foundation not only supports the players, but also coaches, officials, and administrators, and they celebrate the success and contribution that women in Australia have made to the sport. Not only does the Fed Cup Foundation support players at the Fed Cup level, but they also really support junior players with a scholarship fund and the Australian Made Foundation Cup which brings together the best 13/U players from regional Australia.

As a player who has been supported by the Fed Cup Foundation as a junior and throughout my career, I would like to say a huge thank you to all the members and sponsors who have contributed to the foundation and helped a lot of payers make a career out of tennis and play the sport that we all love so much. If you aren’t a member of the foundation just yet, make sure you look into it as we would love to have you on board and supporting women’s tennis in Australia.

– Storm Sanders

“The journey of a tennis player can be a roller-coaster” says leading Australian tennis player, Storm Sanders

By | Storm | No Comments

Whether you are an avid tennis fan, social player, or a junior aspiring to be professional, I am sure you have all being glued to the TV during the past week. I know I have been. Watching the best tennis players in the world every day and night has continually inspired and motivated me to keep working and improving on being the best tennis player I can be. But the journey of a tennis player can be a roller-coaster, which is definitely what I have experienced so far, and what I’m sure every other tennis player has and will experience too. Injuries would have to be the hardest thing I have dealt with so far. Ongoing issues with my back, ankle, elbow, and some random injuries in between have been very, very difficult. It got to a point that after playing just 1 match, I was scared of how I would pull up the next day, thinking that my back would lock up, or I would get a new injury. Another major hurdle I had to deal with was being diagnosed with Coeliac Disease. I was always feeling lethargic and bloated so we decided to get tested. Before being diagnosed, I had no idea what gluten free was so it was a massive life changing moment for me and it wasn’t easy believe me.

Dealing with these lows are very hard, and sometimes you will start to question yourself, but they are worth it and they make the highs ever higher. Beating Genie Bouchard in Sydney, notching my first top 40 win and being selected to represent Australia as part of the Fed Cup team are the most memorable and amazing experiences of my life. Even as a junior player you experience highs and lows, and I am sure junior players reading this can relate. Being through some of these experiences, I wanted to share a few key messages that I believe are really important:

Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

 

Nationals don’t mean anything. I know that results at nationals is probably what you are training for and you definitely want to go out and compete and play well, but honestly they don’t mean much in the scheme of things. I don’t think I ever got past the first round at 12s nationals, and I remember losing in the first round of 16s when I was a favourite to win it. I thought the world was going to end and I never wanted to play tennis again. If you were to ask me who were the national champions when I was younger, I wouldn’t be able to tell you. Some of the girls who were the best in our age group at 16 don’t even play tennis anymore. So yes its great to really want to do well and it is a great feeling to be a national champion, but honestly in the scheme of things, they don’t mean anything.

Support each other. For me this is a huge one for girls in tennis in Australia. Tennis is such an individual sport and travelling the world can be so lonely. It is so important that the Australian girls really support each other and be happy for each other’s success. We didn’t have a great supportive culture as players when I was a junior, and even though it has improved so much over the years, I still think this is an area we can all improve on at every level of the game.

Enjoy the journey and enjoy the game. If you can take one thing out of this blog, this is it. Enjoy the journey and enjoy the game. When things don’t go your way on the court and the journey starts to get tough, you really have to remember why you are playing tennis. For me, it’s because I just absolutely love the game. I really love playing tennis and sometimes I need to remind myself that I am so lucky that I get to make a career out of playing my favourite sport. Whatever your reason is for playing, you have to enjoy the journey, including all of its ups and downs. If you can enjoy the journey and the game, you will have a very successful career.

– Storm Sanders

Summer of Tennis

By | Storm | No Comments

When I think of the Australian summer of tennis I think of the bright blue courts at Melbourne Park, the 40 degree heat with water bottles melting on court, playing country grass court tournaments as a 12 year old, tennis being on the TV all day everyday, the Aussie Fanatics getting behind every Aussie tennis player competing and a dream breakthrough from an Aussie like Casey Dellacqua a few years ago and Dasha Gavrilova last year. I may be somewhat bias being an Australian player, but I believe the summer of tennis in Australia is the most energising and exciting time of the year.

(Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

 

My first memory of the Australian Open was watching Andre Agassi on the TV when I was 6 and that’s when I decided that I wanted to play in the Australian Open. The Aussie summer of tennis for the professionals begins in the hot and humid Brisbane, but for majority of the Australian players, it begins in December with the ‘December Showdown’. During this time at Melbourne Park there are the Australian Championships for every age group from 12/U to 18/U. There is also the prestigious Australian Open Wildcard Playoff in which the winner of this receives a wildcard into the main draw of Australian Open. The WTA tournaments in Brisbane, Hobart and Sydney are great opportunities for us Australian girls to really make a mark and show the world what we are made of. It was awesome to see Destanee Aiava and Ash Barty doing us really proud in Brisbane and it really inspires the rest of us Aussie girls to aspire to beat the top players. I have been lucky enough to play each of these 3 WTA tournaments and my favourite one is definitely Hobart International. I have had some great memories in Hobart. I really love playing on the court there and the staff and fans are amazing, they make me feel at home.

(Photo by Storm Sanders)

 

The buzz around Melbourne Park right now is exciting, electrifying and inspiring. For me, currently ranked around 280 in the world, it’s a great opportunity to be around and compete against the best players in the world. It makes me even more determined to keep working hard and to push myself to see how far I can take my career.

– Storm Sanders

Hello from Storm Sanders!

By | Storm | One Comment

Hello and welcome to the Fed Cup Foundation. My name is Storm Sanders and I am currently competing on the professional tennis tour, ranked 292 in the WTA singles rankings. I will be writing some blog posts for the Fed Cup Foundation over the next few weeks about all things tennis, but before we get to those I would like to give you all an insight into who I am and where I have come from. I hope you all enjoy these blog posts just as much as I had writing them!

HOBART, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 07: Storm Sanders of Australia celebrates winning match point in her first round match against Shuai Peng of China during day three of the Moorilla Hobart International at Domain Tennis Centre on January 7, 2014 in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

(Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

 

My tennis career began in Rockhampton, Queensland when I was 6 years old. I was watching the Australian Open on TV and asked my dad if I could start playing tennis so he enrolled me in lessons. I fell in love with the game right away and knew that I wanted to win the Australian Open one day. I am a left-handed player, but when I first started playing tennis I was so embarrassed about being the only left-handed player in my group that I would play right-handed. My family relocated to Perth when I was 7 years old due to my Dads job in the navy. We found a local club in Rockingham, WA for me to continue my tennis lessons, coached by Verne Klein – the father of professional tennis player Brydan Klein.

I was never the best junior player and was always ranked 4th or 5th in WA, so I missed the opportunity to represent my state in team events. That didn’t bother me though, because I would always be trying to work hard and believed that if I worked hard enough then the results would come. Things started happening for me when I won the Mildura 14/U National Championships. I proved to myself that I could beat the best girls in Australia and finally started believing in myself.

My first experience playing at an international level was when I received a wildcard into the Australian Open Junior Championships at 16. I was so excited until I saw that I drew Daria Gavrilova first round, the number 3 ranked junior in the world. I spent the night before the match watching YouTube videos of Dash playing and burst into tears thinking that she was going to beat me 6-0 6-0. Turns out it was a close three setter and we still laugh about it now.

I moved to Melbourne by myself at the age of 17 to be a scholarship holder in the National Academy Melbourne where Nicole Pratt coached me for a few years. My first real success on the professional tennis tour was at age 19 when I won the Launceston 25K ITF Pro Tour tournament as a qualifier. My goal for that tournament was to qualify and I ended up winning the whole thing, which was a real confidence boost for me. I had been working hard the past few years and finally the results started to come through. I had a pretty good year that year, making the qualifying of US Open and reaching a career high of 202 WTA singles ranking. I was starting to get some media attention and usually the first question I would get asked is why is my name Storm. I wish I could tell you some crazy story about how my parents and I survived a wild storm when I was born, but the truth is my parents drew inspiration from the Courtney novels by Wilbur Smith and named me Storm Courtney after one of the characters, sorry to spoil the fun!

Over the past 4 years playing on the professional tour, I have experienced some amazing highs and some terrible lows which I will talk about in upcoming blog posts, but my proudest moments are when I have been selected to represent my country in both Junior Fed Cup and Fed Cup teams. There is nothing more special than playing for Australia and I feel very honoured to be one of few that have had the pleasure of being in the Australian Fed Cup team. I am still on the journey of becoming the best tennis player and person that I can be and I feel that I still have so much to learn. Even though I am 22 and have been playing tennis for a long time now, this is still only the beginning for me, so stay tuned.

– Storm Sanders

 

Fun facts:
Age – 22
Currently Living – Melbourne
WTA Singles – 292
WTA Doubles – 140
Favourite Country – Italy
Favourite Band – Red Hot Chilli Peppers

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