[Thanks Andy Higham for this one!]
[Thanks Andy Higham for this one!]
It's what it really boils down to isn't it? We can either tear each other apart or build each other up. On a personal level but also on a wider cultural one.
As tennis clubs/centres/coaches/parents/players/volunteers, our ultimate success depends on the overall health of our industry.
The stronger the industry, the more jobs, the more resources, the more knowledge gained and shared, the greater the improvement both on and off the court.
A culture of back-biting, where players hope their mates/rivals lose, where coaches talk down other programmes or colleagues, where parents are less than complimentary towards each other.....we've all been there at some point, all played a part in this....
Don't get me wrong - healthy and respectful competition is good, it drives up standards, but competitive collaboration, recognising the strengths in each other, the great contributions made at all levels of the sport, the victories no matter how great or small - well, that kind of culture is just better for all of us.
It's quite hard though, goes against the grain and our human instinct.
Requires some real intentional behaviour and change in attitude.
Better to make NO intervention than an unnecessary one or an inaccurate one!
Child walks in the door having just been dropped off after playing a football match.
Dad: 'Did you win son?'
Son: 'No Dad.'
Dad: 'Did you score son?
Son: 'No dad.'
Dad drops his head. Son drops his, now having lost the excitement he had to show his Dad the 'man of the match' trophy in his bag, awarded for the best team performer that day.
(Thanks to Julie Blackwood [Chartered Exercise and Sport Psychologist, Loughborough University] for sharing this today on the LTA SPC L4 Course)
A superb reflection of Everyball's Aspire to Excel Academy Programme. This week's GB national rankings show 3 Everyball boys inside their respective age-group's top 10.
Joel Good - 14&U No.8
Miles Groom - 14&U No.10
Joshua Oakley - 12&U No. 8
Superb work and progress boys. You're not arriving at a destination, but continuing your journey into constant and never-ending improvement, where becoming is better than being, improving better than proving.
I heard a youth worker from Redthread (a charity aiming to support and enable young people in South London to lead healthy, safe lives) talking on the radio about 'teachable moments.' She mentioned that often the most 'teachable moments' come in the darkest of times when a youth is in hospital A&E having been stabbed (via gang invovlement) with no family, no friends and life in the balance. This can be the impact moment for the youth worker to seize upon to get that young person to consider making a change in their lives - if indeed, they survive.
As coaches, our teachable moments hopefully don't come in life/death situations, but they may well come in the low moments and tougher times that all athletes/performers experience. These are moments when dissatisfaction may well be at it's highest and the 'need' to improve/change is at it's greatest. These are the moments of revelation in and around the well used saying 'if I continue to do what I've always done, I'm gonna get what I've always got.'
As coaches and leaders, do we wait for the teachable moments to arrive, or are there ways in which we can orchestrate and create them, the creation of mini crises (the plural of crisis google reliably informs me!) if you will?
As players, do we come with curious and teachable attitudes, inquisitive, prepared to overcome fear of failure and the fear of the emotional/physical discomfort associated with learning.
Our very own Dom King, Head of EBT (Everyball Tennis) Athlete Development at Halton Tennis Centre, presented at the prestigious World Tennis Fitness Conference in Atlanta in July. Here is his write-up of the event. Great work Dom!
To win the World Cup in football or rugby you require the support of and selection by your governing body. It is essential.
To win a gold medal at swimming, you need the support of and selection by your governing body. It is essential.
To win a gold medal at athletics, you need the support of and selection by your governing body. It is essential.
In fact, to reach the pinnacle of most sports your require the support of and selection by your governing body.
Tennis, is an exception.
The support of the governing body is desirable, preferable and helpful but not essential.
Selection by the governing body for various programmes and opportunities is desirable, preferable but not essential.
You can reach number 1 in the world without your governing body.
Our governing body does a huge amount of excellent work building our sport and assisting top players along the pathway but if you don't fall into that support or the opportunities offered, can I please remind you that this is not a show stopper, it's not the end of the road and it is not an indication that you can't do it.
Wherever you are, whatever your situation be creative and exercise your 'ability to respond' by identifying, gathering and mobilising all your resources to focus on getting better. The first resource to identify and mobilise is your own beliefs, attitudes and mindset over what is possible. Perhaps it begins with the above today.
Nadal and Djockovic warming up at Wimbledon couple years ago. Forehands almost synchronised.
What can we take away and practice from these two great champions?