radio interview

Pre-Wimbledon radio interview today with BBC 3 counties radio.  Visit their website and click on 'listen again' and look for Mike Naylor 'Summer Saturday'.  Interview with Nick Leighton and myself went out at 14.35pm.

Happy listening if you get to it - you'll need about 10 minutes.


A key mental skill for high performance, the England football team at the Euros is finally developing a greater sense of self-awareness - an understanding of who they are, what they can and can't do, and a growing ability to maximise strengths and minimise weaknesses.

Oliver Kay writes in The Times today, "As Joe Hart and Scott Parker faced the media in Cracow this week, both responded to questions about England's playing style by saying 'we are what we are' - and saying so not with an air of resignation, but with that of a group who has finally worked out what they are good at."

The temptation in sport (and quite possibly life) to be something we are not is huge, and most often to the detriment of our performance. Know thyself, what strengths you bring and put them to the best use possible. Oh yea, and commit to every ball!

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Wimbledon qualies

Bank of England, Roehampton, UK. Wimbledon qualies first round. Katy to play Italian Maria Camerin around 180 WTA. Sun shining, courts playing well, kick off 11am.


Nalbandian and holding ourselves accountable

See Jonathan Overend's blog on BBC Sport website this morning.  Totally agree with him.  Nalbandian's behaviour was indefensible and a shocking example to all young players learning to respect the game, officials, equipment and themselves.  Mistakes happen of course, and we apologise for them (which he did) but to then to go on and blame the ATP showed a real lack of accountability.  Shame, I'm a great fan of his tennis.

Katy gets it Dunne

Halton's Everyball International Academy player Katy Dunne won her final match in the British Wimbledon's pre qualifying event with an assured performance over Emily Webly-Smith (WTA world ranking of 397). The result will see Katy forgo an ITF Junior event in Halle next week as she takes to the courts at Roehampton on tuesday in her first senior Grand Slam event.

Katy played the big points in her 6-3 6-3 win with great conviction and courage showing off her ground stroke prowess and improved serving.

As Katy goes through her post match prep below, she begins to consider the opportunities to come on the grass courts next week. Great job Katy!

French open commentary

Murray, Federer and Djokovic come through stern tests at the French.  Surprised?

Djokovic saves 4 match points against Tsonga with the French crowd at full partisan strength.   Neil Harman writes in The Times today, 'What reserves of character this Serb possesses. The more he is questioned, the more dynamic his answers.'

Federer comes back from 2 sets down to beat Juan Martin Del Potro.  Ed Smith in the same newspaper comments, 'The manner of the victory - its resolve and resilience - suggests that Federer may still be adding new gears to his game.  Winning ugly has always seemed a bit beneath him.  It seems ridiculous, given all he has achieved and the 16 grand-slam titles already under his belt, but gritty wins such as this suggest that Federer may still be adding to his CV.'

Finally, Matthew Syed on Andy Murray:  'The Scot, who was competing against Richard Gasquet, found himself roundly jeered, and that was just when walking out to begin knocking up. Many commentators condemned the behaviour of the crowd, but Murray, for his part, welcomed it.  'That is the most fun I've had on court for a long time,' he said, 'I didn't shy away from the fact that the crowd wanted me to lose.  It was like a football crowd and I like football.'

Djokovic plays his best tennis when the biggest questions are asked.

Federer goes into the gutter to grind out a win.

Murray carves out a sense of fun with his taste for aggression and confrontation.

Come the hour, come the men.


Been wrestling with a few problems recently?  Personally, I get them thrown at me every day and they always fall into one of two categories.

1.  'First order' problems can be solved either by doing more or less of what we're already doing.  We work harder or we work less hard.  We put more resources against the problems or we put less.

2.  'Second order' problems can't be solved by first order solutions - doing more or less of the same thing.  They can only be solved by doing something differently.  

Perhaps it just comes down to this: do we need to work harder, or do we need to work smarter?