It often seems as though a Davis Cup team is five players and a captain, since they’re the ones who appear on the courts and promotional posters and at press conferences. But it takes more than players to make up a squad. Indeed, an entire army works behind the scenes. The Canadian Davis Cup team counts on a coach (Frédéric Fontang), strength and conditioning coach (Clément Golliet), physician (Nicolas Sauvé), physiotherapist (Taran Ohsen), massage therapist (Jeff Ludovic), manager (Alain Beaupré) and stringer (Yvon Gilbert)! Their sole mission is to use their expertise to make sure the athletes are at the top of their game when the weekend gets underway.
In our Behind the scenes series, you’ll get to know some of the people in the shadows and learn more about the supporting roles they play.
Clément Golliet – strength and conditioning coach
Originally from France, Clément Golliet moved to Montréal to pursue his studies. He earned a degree in kinesiology from UQAM and then relocated to Toronto to find a full-time job. He took an interest in a number of sports, including basketball—his passion—before gradually specializing in tennis.
He believes a strength and conditioning coach should aim to help athletes maximize their potential and minimize their risk of injury.
“It’s important to focus on more than the immediate performance and consider the technique and biomechanics that will prevent injury and improve results in the medium and long terms.
Clément has been with Tennis Canada for several years and played a key role in the development of quite a few athletes at the National Training Centre and regional facilities. He has worked closely with Bianca Andreescu and now spends 25 weeks a year on the road with Denis Shapovalov. He is also the strength and conditioning coach for the Davis Cup and Fed Cup squads.
“It’s so great to be part of these competitions and represent Canada. The players are proud to defend their nation and so is their support team!”
The Davis Cup tie between Canada and Slovakia is Clément’s first as the team’s strength and conditioning coach. The role does require certain adjustments since he’s called upon to work with athletes he doesn’t coach on a regular basis.
“I have to look out for the entire team, and each player has his own training program. So, I try to adapt to their habits and add a few new elements for variety.”
Tennis may not be a team sport but everyone agrees that it still takes teamwork.
“Frank has assembled a solid team with very good chemistry. We all speak the same language, and I know we all share the same philosophy.