The Everyball Blog

‘We are committed to fight for everyball, to run down everyball and to play everyball with courageous purpose. We see everyball as an opportunity to explore, with curiosity and creativity, our potential to be all we can be. We know that everyball extends beyond our sport as we learn the fundamental life skills & values of Respect, Responsibility, Reflection and Resilience that enable us to thrive in an ever-changing world’ - Mike James

Victory in the present shouldn't take precedence over improvement over time?

I get that.

We want to win today.

But winning today, even though that will add a spring to your step, shouldn't take precedence over your continued improvement over time.

The flip side of this coin is also true....don't excuse 'improvement over the long-term' for not 'using all you've got in your hand today to compete like hell to win'

Enabling a delusion or inspiring a dream

We want kids to dream.  In fact it's our job as coaches to inspire them to dream.

Dream of playing on Wimbledon's centre court.

Dream of being world number 1.

Dream of being a professional tennis player.

Dream of.....whatever it is or whoever they want to become.

And yet there is such a fine line between selling the dream (and quite possibly profiting from it) and 'enabling a delusion' that the kid is actually going to make it when we know the odds are so heavily stacked against them or that they are clearly not in the ball park.

Tough calls, decisions and conversations that require honesty, integrity and sensitivity.

Top competitors 'bring their best' at the end of a contest

Top competitors are able to 'bring their best' at the end of a contest because they've learned more and more through the contest about the opponent, environment and conditions and are able to put that knowledge into practice at critical moments in the closing stages.

No better example of this than Lewis Hamilton yesterday at the Portuguese Grand Prix in which he broke Michael Schumacher's all-time Formula 1 win record.

Hamilton said, 'It is no secret that today was about tyre temperatures, I felt through the race that I was learning lap on lap more about the circuit.  I was trying lots of different lines and discovering new lines that worked well.  The wind direction was very tricky, lots of head winds and cross winds and tail winds.  There are some you can use in your favour and others get in the way.  The key is minimising the loss through the tail winds.'

Clearly a master-tactician and competitor at the height of his powers.

Everyball Junior Summer Tennis Camps at Halton Tennis Centre and Junior Performance Training for competitive players

Hello all,

We are absolutely delighted to be in a position to run our Junior Summer Tennis Camps again this Summer, running for 6 weeks beginning the week of 20th July.  Please view our July newsletter for all relevant information in the link below (please ignore that it says 'December' in the link!)

Also, in the absence of junior competitive play this summer (all tournaments off until end of August) we are also running 6 hours per week (2 x 3 hr sessions) of Junior Performance Training for tournament players on a weekly basis.  Do feel free to contact Mike James ( for more information on this as this will be run on an invite-only basis.  A great opportunity to continue to develop your game through this period!

Mike James featuring on the Kris Soutar Tennis Journal podcast

Hi friends of Everyball,

I had the privilege of being a guest on the Kris Soutar Tennis Journal podcast last week and below is the link if you'd like to give it a listen.

We covered quite a wide range of topics including the impact of lockdown on how player's might 'own' more of their development going forwards, the merits of the UK and US University and College Tennis systems, the journey of Halton from a ground zero start back in 2002 to what it is today and a little about our evolving vision and culture at the club.

Hope you enjoy it!

Are you a 'upper' or a 'backer' (when it comes to foot placement on the serve!)

Wish life choices were so simple but on the serve we've got two choices as what to do with the feet!

What are you?  An upper or a backer??

In case you're undecided I explore reasons for each in this post that might help.

Using the legs....

'Use the legs more!'

A fair bit of advice often heard in many a coaching session, but using the legs can mean a number of different things. 

Here, I look at how you can use the legs (specifically the back leg) on your groundstrokes to release the kinetic chain (body segments) through the shot.

What happens when you turn too late?

Too early?

Not at all?

and bang on time?!