Head Coach and Co-Founder, Lasvit Tennis
Brett’s tennis journey began in the small town of Upper Beaconsfield. The Head coach, Lois Plowman, a former professional player took Brett under her wings. Years of hard work, dedication and problem solving gave Brett the tools to play across the globe at a ITF futures level. Quite an achievement considering Brett was born with only one finger on his left hand. Due to this challenge Brett has created a unique way of looking at the world, how he problem solves and how he approaches the entire learning process. He was and still is constantly finding new ways to learn ‘simple’ skills. To understand why the body moves in certain ways and even how the use of language changes the understanding of the task at hand. After a year of traveling and playing, Brett knew where he wanted to be and what he wanted to do. Coach. Not simply follow what other coaches were doing but create a way for each person to learn in the most optimal way. Mold the learning process and acquire knowledge in an enjoyable and rewarding way.
Brett initially started honing his craft at the Sanchez-Casal academy in Barcelona. Next at The High Performance Training Center of Melbourne Park, to founding the International Tennis School of Excellence at Beaconhills College. There was still more to learn and more to share.
From here Brett delved into the world of psychology, undertaking a degree with Southern Cross University and thirst for more knowledge continued. On court analysis, computer modeling of the ‘perfect’ program, perfect session and perfect coaching tools. Refine. Learn. Repeat. Lasvit Tennis is built from Brett’s desire to share this process, develop a deeper understanding of the pillars of growth and create the ultimate tennis platform for everyone to benefit.
Brett writes ‘If only my my Mum had these tools when I was younger, to know what aspects of training were most important and when to use them. What options are our there post 18 years of age and how to make it happen.’
Brett’s decision to build the Lasvit Tennis platform for every tennis player, parent and coach. The ultimate resource for all of the mothers like Brett’s mum who need that helping hand to give their child the greatest chance of success.
Brett lives by a motto and it is alive and well within the Lasvit Tennis team. Learn. Teach. Grow. A constant feedback loop that leads to constant improvement, enjoyment in the process and the power to achieve success higher than most people thought possible. ‘I don’t believe hard work is the only answer, it’s certainly an element but smart, hard, thoughtful work is the north star for me. When you surround yourself with people wanting more, learning more and love sharing the process you really stand a chance. We need to be around a team that drives towards this pursuit on the daily. Rare to find’
Rare indeed, that’s why we created it!
Why this book and course, who it is for and what I hope you will have a better understanding of when you finish it. For my Mum, this toolkit that would have come in handy a few years before. We had a special journey trying to work it all out and piece the puzzle together. May our experience and waddling through the world offer other parents and their children some valuable lessons. Thank you for everything. You and Dad had my back. You were the one on the frontline day after day, dealing with an incredibly stubborn child who was driven to be the best. I may not have become number 1 in the world but I have made a life from all of the puzzle pieces that came before. This book is dedicated to the time that you put in, the energy, the reservoir of emotions and love. It wasn’t easy but it was worth it. I hope for you as well. I remember listening to Triple M’s football coverage while we drove to Saturday competitions. Every Saturday all over Melbourne. Now as a parent and a coach, I know you had better things to do and places you could have been. I expected it and really didn’t appreciate it till later. That’s something we will explore deeper in the chapters to become.
This book will act as a guide along a spectrum. Those with minimal knowledge and those with experience in the world of tennis. Parents who don’t understand the rules of tennis to those who play and understand the game on a deeper level. The book will cover enough of the fundamentals to get the basics understood and go deep enough to paint an incredibly profound picture. It is manual of sorts for every parent that cares. That has the same passion as my Mum did. To those that have found this book, I wish you every success on your journey with your child and with the sport of tennis. It is truly a wonderful sport that can bring about so much joy, challenge and positive influence. I would like to start at the beginning, not the big bang but how it all began for me and my journey to this point.
Upper Beaconsfield Tennis Club is still my favorite tennis club to play at. The place where I had my first tennis lesson. I miss Upper Beacy and I hope to be fortunate enough to play there again one day soon. I always imagined finishing my coaching career there and buying a house close by, who knows what life has in store. You may see me in 50 years running around the hills of Upper Beaconsfield and playing tennis on the beautiful red dirt with my old mates.
Jane was my very first tennis coach. Her sister, Lois ran the coaching business but it never felt like a business. It felt like a family. I started tennis at 8 years of age because my best friend at the time, Braden Michalik. After a couple of lessons I fell in love with hitting that fluffy yellow ball. No idea why, but it connected with me. I progressed fairy quickly and ended up on the top court with Lois.
Lois Plowman. An extraordinary woman. Known for her no BS coaching style that was filled with passion, filled with energy and full of love and care with everything she did. She would inspire us to work hard, to be honest and to be kind to our teammates. I learnt about tennis etiquette early on, understood that tennis had traditions and felt the magic that she would describe. We would create new ways of doing things (I’ll explain a little later) but mastered the basics. I worked hard with Lois and I believe we pushed each other to get more from tennis. It all started and grew from the love of playing and the love of coaching. I believe the seeds were planted deep in my soul back then. I guess one will never know but something tells me, every keystroke that I strike within this book began with my time at Upper Beacy Tennis Club and with my coach, Lois.
I was a solid little tennis player for the area, I could never win many matches at the bigger tournaments though. I’m sure there are statistics somewhere on the internet that show my results from junior days but from memory I lost countless matches. Every first or second round it seemed I was out. I did okay at our local tournaments and won a few here and there. It was when I headed out to play in regional events or national tournaments was where I sank rather quickly. Two challenges I had. First was self confidence and self belief. The second was my backhand.
The core issue was actually the same reason for both. I was born with only one digit on my left hand. A tiny little thumb that didn’t grow in the same way as my other hand. It was certainly a challenge. The biggest impact I remember it having was on my confidence. I would hide my hand, not play with others because I was scared of getting tormented. I stayed with my grandpa (Bob) most of the time at tournaments and when Mum wasn’t working, I would be with her. Lois always told me to hang out with the others, it will help me feel ‘part of the group’. I didn’t want to. I wasn’t winning and I was different to all of the others. The not winning largely centered around my lack of a backhand. I struggled to put the pieces together. Where my left hand would go on the racket, contact point was tough as I was small and the strength required to hit a good stroke. It took me from 12-15 years old to feel any sort of confidence on the backhand side. It did come, however it took a hell of a lot of work.
Under 16’s everything started to change. My understanding of myself was becoming stronger, I was becoming physically stronger too. My confidence was getting on the higher side and my training regime was pretty full on. I was always a ridiculously hard worker. It was starting to pay off. First year in under 16’s, when I was 15, was tough but rewarding. I started breaking through in some tournaments. Winning to third and 4th rounds. I had some big losses against some AIS (National level players who were sponsored by the Australian Institute of Sport) players and started to think I belonged. I had friends, I didn’t care about my hand and I was happy hanging out at tournaments. A switch had clicked. Second year of under 16’s I made some big gains. I won a couple of national points tournaments, beat one of those AIS players and was ranked 16 at the National under 16’s. This was held in a small country town on grass. Two tournaments over two weeks. It was nice belonging and playing well but I still had a long way to go.
I never really understood how to behave at tournaments. The on court stuff was ok, it was more the in between time. How to train between matches, how to recover, how to eat and how to prepare for matches. I was really, really lost and looking back, this was a huge aspect I never discovered on what to do. Well not until much later when I started coaching.
The next two years had me working at full speed! My school was really flexible and understood what I needed. They allowed me to attend school as a ‘part time student’. This gave me more time for tennis.I traveled a lot. Interstate and even went to New Zealand for 3 ITF junior tournaments. At 17/18 I started playing Senior ITF Future events. I wasn’t ready but I was after a baptism by fire. It was welcomed. I had some strong matches, admired the work ethic of so many players and worked harder than most off the court. Mentally I struggled with my performance from match to match but off the court I turned myself into a beast.
School is now finished, what comes next? I wanted to find out what I was made of. I was stubborn, listened to very few people and I wanted to be tested. My theory was, if I can win in the hardest places in the world (Europe, South America) and on the clay, I would have a real shot at becoming a pro tennis player. I had no intention of buying a ranking (will explore this more later). I left Australia for one year of travel. I started with the tennis hot spot, Barcelona. No plan other than a detailed tournament list, 2 nights accommodation booked at a hostel (I was on a massive budget) and that is it. In hindsight, what the hell! I must have been very convincing to my parents to allow this, like I said, I was stubborn.
What a year of adventure, learning and meeting of incredible people. There were many weeks of loneliness and depressive times. There were triumphs and there were some moments of young love. Traveling on it’s own is a beautiful thing, combining travel with tennis and the goal of becoming a professional was a really special mix.
Back in Australia after my travels I played a few tournaments and found I was completely burnt out. After a loss in Adelaide I called my Dad. I didn’t normally do that after a match but felt the need this time. I told him how disappointed I was, how frustrated I was coming back here and not performing like I had done earlier in the year in Argentina and Spain. Why! I was tired of traveling from club to club and just needed a little bit of a break. I was also frustrated that I had no money after the travels, spent a bunch of my parents money and felt like a loser. It was a tough place to be and I was trying my best not to let down the team. Me, my coach and my parents.
I took a two week break from tournaments and training. I never returned to tennis as a player. Not in a serious way anyway.
I took odd jobs around where we lived. Picking lemons, working in a restaurant, pulling beers and I also started playing football. I played when I was 12 and it was so much fun playing with a team. That’s something that really differentiates tennis. Very solo. Very demanding in different ways.A few months later I was talking with a friend Miguel. Miguel helped me out at a few of the Australian tournaments the previous year. He was traveling and coaching a few mates of mine. He was a good coach and I found a heap of value with the sessions we were doing. Miguel had spent his junior years training and playing at The Academia Sanchez-Casal in Barcelona. He was planning on going back the following year and thought I would like to coach there for the Summer. Why not!
Barcelona was the first trip I had taken that was not focused on me playing tournaments. It was filled with massive days of coaching. I had a problem with saying no and would coach 10 hours a day. I enjoyed the grind. The moment I stepped on the court it felt like I needed to be there. To be a coach. Odd feeling but the right feeling
I wanted to know as much as possible, learn as much as possible and train the best players in the world. Four days into my coaching there and Head Coach, Antonio, asked me to get a visa and come back and work full time. Wow! After a long visa process in Australia I was back living and working at the academy. My time there was really special. Working with amazing coaches and players, seeing how a program with (at the time) 150 students worked. The facilities, the passion. I do love that place and it was the start of my dreams to eventually own and manage my own academy. I wanted to create the most incredible place for students, juniors and parents and of course countless professional players. Build the full package that drives coaches daily to bring out the best in all of our students, bring out the best with all of the team. We are moving closer and closer every single day.
The main reason for sharing a little of my story is to highlight a couple of things. Firstly that I was not a very good junior tennis player, I struggled and it took me years to find my place on the tennis court. My Parents had no tennis experience and together with our coaches, did our best. My passion and work ethic were obsessive. My journey as a semi-professional (failing perhaps) led me to the Academia Sanchez-Casal. It gave me a chance to see the world of tennis and the world of learning and teaching in a different way. For me it moves in this direction and for others in other ways. What tennis was able to provide was opportunity and growth. Sure, there are many sports that offer these but I think tennis can in a deeper way. Let’s explore that together. You and I are about to go on a journey. My experience, my parents’ compassion and care, and my coaches’ understanding will act as fuel to guide you. This book, this course was created for the future versions of my parents. To be the resource you need to guide your child to becoming their best and giving them the best possible life that tennis can give.
I look forward to this journey with you and hope you will reach out to me personally and share your story with me.
10 days trial on every coaching package with Brett. We are sure you will love your coaching with Brett but, if you’re are not (no matter the reason) you have a 10 day trial. Then it is simply month by month. Off season, place the membership on pause. Going-away, same thing. We believe in flexibility and providing a solution that works best for you and your child.
Note* we believe everyone deserves a chance to play the sport they love and have access to high quality education and information. If you are financially in no way able to join Lasvit Tennis, please contact us directly. We will create a program that will fit your needs. We believe in value for money and fair pricing, yet we also understand that life can be challenging from time to time. We will always take the time for you if you take the time with us.