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Mathilde Briens

Hertfordshire, UK

Yoga Sports Coach™

YSS Graduation Date:  July 2012

I have worked for 10 years in Research as Scientist and Project Manager and have learnt yoga with many teachers over the last 7 years. I have trained in NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) and my interest in people has led me to train as yoga teacher and develop my coaching skills with YSS. I also teach french conversation to adults which gives me a great platform to study how people learn and develop new skills.



Since graduating I’ve continued to work with one of my case study athletes who is currently in the top 25 international players on the International Tennis Federation (ITF) ranking. I am also starting to coach a new tennis player and am looking to develop my coaching skills in different sports and bring the benefits of yoga to anyone seeking a better health and wellbeing.



YSS Case Study Research:  Tennis

During my training to be a Yoga Sports Coach™, I worked with two tennis players.
With the first athlete, the objective of the case study was to establish whether breathing techniques could improve the concentration and focus of a tennis athlete following a Sport-Specific YSS intervention being introduced to their training. With the second athlete, the aim was to establish whether a Sport Specific YSS intervention introduced to their training could improve their stability and balance on the tennis court.

Athletes Profile: A 49-year-old tennis player competing in doubles and a 42-year-old tennis player competing in singles.

Results:  At the end of the 9-week YSS intervention, with the main emphasis on improving respiratory patterns and strength, the benefits experienced by my first athlete were: an increased strength in the upper body, a better rotation mobility of the torso and a better overall stability. They also developed a better awareness and knowledge of their breathing.

After the 10-week YSS intervention, the second athlete felt they had gained a greater understanding of their body and were able to detect and release a lot of tensions in their body. This allowed them to address and reduce muscular tensions and achieve a better quality of relaxation. They also gain mobility in torso rotation and developed better breathing patterns.

Conclusion: Both tennis athletes benefited physically from the YSS intervention but both stated that breathing awareness was one of the main benefits they had experienced. They commented that they are now very conscious that breathing is a crucial aspect, very often disregarded by tennis players, and is critical on both the physical and mental level.


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