Michael James's email account (email@example.com) has been compromised.
Please ignore a post on here just deleted and any email you receive, ostensibly from Mike, about a folder called 'Contract'.
Thanks and apologies.
I remember the first session I had at Living Tennis at Bisham Abbey was a fitness session at 7 am and all the younger players who had been at full time tennis a lot longer than me were outlasting me at everything and I was knackered to say the least even after just the warm up! This drove me to push myself more and more and within no time I had caught up and was also beginning to perform well on the court.
Countless early mornings and late nights on court and in the gym helped build my character and resilience. I kept telling myself every morning at 5:45 that I was getting up to pursue a life goal which helped my mindset for the morning sessions and for the rest of the day. Of course somedays I would struggle to motivate myself and I would lose hope but once I stepped on court I would lose myself in the hard work.
I carried on training full time whilst supporting myself with coaching work in the evenings. I would do one fitness and one tennis session in the morning then a second fitness and tennis session in the afternoon, a total of 5 hours of training a day followed by coaching in the evenings which ranged from performance squads to private sessions and schools.
I managed to travel abroad and play a few tournaments alongside domestic competition. I was clearly improving and it was all great experience as I learned so many new skills while being away, connecting to so many new people and being able to talk and communicate with different people from different countries.
A time has now come in my life where my goals and ambitions are changing and I am ready to come back home to Halton and pursue my career as a coach. I see myself continuing to stay close to the 'playing' side of the game by being able to travel with players and use my experiences that I have gained, whilst also coaching across all ages and abilities as I simply enjoy helping others get better and seeing the joy they get from the process! The relationships I have built and will continue to build over the next years are so valuable to me and I have already met some extraordinary people through our amazing sport!
I am very grateful to Halton for encouraging me to explore my dreams and ambitions and always supporting me and I am delighted to be able to say that I am coming back home to develop my coaching career at Halton and Everyball Tennis.
Everyball is our coaching ethos at Halton UK. In Everyball author Mike James brings alive his reflections, anecdotes and observations from a life in tennis aimed to tool you up for the game of life! It's no doubt a book for the tennis coach, parent, player and enthusiast, all of which Mike is, but also for anyone interested in learning, growing and thriving in the bigger game we all have no choice but to play.Buy the book.