This is just a reminder that the Great Missenden Tournament is closing on the 16th of July.
We are running a Tournament Support Training camp around this tournament, this involves a pre tournament training camp on the Saturday the 29th followed by tournament support each day at the event and a post tournament training camp on friday the 4th August.
if you would like more infomation or to sign up to the Tournament Training camp please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Even if you are unable to attend the training camp on Saturday you are more than welcome to access tournament support on the days. Again please contact Chris to arrange this.
A few nice pointers here from Timea Bacsinszky in her match against Agnieszka Radwanska on Saturday.
- well coordinated rhythmical use of arms - 'left arm up, right arm back' separation
- arrives at the pre-throw position as ball is at the apex of the toss
- when racket in fully cocked (dropped position) legs are at full extension. Note at this point hips are still 'side-on'
- Strong leg/hip drive 'up' with bend forward of upper body to contact
- the throwing action is finished whilst she is still air-born but due to her elevation she does not land so far inside court
- strong 'arabesque' position on landing
- quick recovery in preparation for ball 3
- early turn of shoulders to prepare racket to 'beat the bounce of the incoming ball'
- great 'loading' position - note how weight is stored on back foot before front foot hits the court; this will enable her to drive out of the back leg and transfer weight and racket speed into the shot
- turn of the back knee towards the net fires her hip and enables upper body to rotate through towards contact
- excellent head position, chin over right shoulder, level and still
- from a high cocked position, racket is successfully dropped below contact point to add topspin to the shot
- contact beautifully out in front of body, waist high and to the side, with a stable base (you can't fire a cannon from a canoe!!)
- great racket extension out towards target area followed by full follow through to complete body rotation
No wonder this combination of serve and backhand attack produced an error from her opponent.
By responsibility I mean an 'ability to respond' to the demands of the sport with a growing sense of ownership, autonomy and self-regulation
The concept of P.R.I.D.E is fundamental in this - a Personal Responsibility In Developing Excellence.
The basic equation is this:
The greater the personal responsibility we take in our own learning and development AND for the associated behaviours, outcomes and results, the greater the 'cause' we build to fight for when we step onto the match court.
Not only this, we build a much greater sense of self-efficacy, confidence and belief.
Examples of how you can begin to take more P.R.I.D.E:
- come to each lesson with your own agenda of what you'd like to work on with your coach
- set up your own practice sets/hits
- monitor your own levels of effort/attitude - don't alway rely on the coach to bring the energy/motivation!
- hit a basket of serves each day/week
- take care of your own 'at home' physical programme - stretching, rolling, core
- on a free weekend, go for a run/bike/swim
- develop your own competitive programme to present to your coach/parents
- take care of your own pre and post match/training prep
- set you own goals, pack you own bag, fill up your own water bottle in the morning, make your own lunch
- travel to a tournament on your own (when old enough) by train or bus
- reflect on your matches/training (use a whats app group with your team)
- research the internet for useful tips/information
- know your sport/industry - how does the ATP/WTA tour work? What are the levels? Get to junior Wimbledon and see!
- Research how to get into US/GB University tennis
The list goes on and on! Players, if you are fully reliant on your parents/coaches for these things, you are not developing Responsibility or any sense of 'becoming the captain of your own ship' and you're very unlikely to develop the GRIT required for top level sport.
Coaches and parents. A word for us. If we keep 'doing stuff' and 'rescuing' our players/kids we'll never give them the chance to take responsibility.
Invite CHOICE in your athletes/children. Telling does not engage any grey matter!!
Choice invites decisions. Decisions encourage ownership. Ownership encourages responsibility. Responsibility invites change.
And ultimately, each day we have the choice to take responsibility for our emotions/behaviours/results OR to place blame elsewhere and onto others.
'The man who complains about the way the ball bounces is likely to be the one who dropped it in the first place.' (Lou Holtz)
Next up - Resilience.
Happy first day of Wimbledon folks!!
Ok, I'm getting acronym crazy here but try A.C.E to challenge irrational and unhelpful thinking that may be impacting attitude in a negative way.
A - Accept that as human beings our emotions will more often kick in first and that our fight, flight, freeze responses (our animalistic 'chimp' responses) are there to protect us although they can often be irrational and unhelpful. Accept it's ok to have them, they are a part of us and one of the reasons we've survived so successfully as a species!
C - Catch them! We accept that they'll be there, but we got to become really 'tuned' in to our own thought patterns/behaviours to 'catch' anything irrational and unhelpful. Can you think of some situations that you respond irrationally to? Do a little pre-mortem on this to establish when you're more likely to go into unhelpful/irrational thinking patterns so your radar is on.
E - Erase (exchange might be a better word - thanks Emily Ineson) them by replacing them with a more 'human' logical/reasonable/helpful statement
I came up with this little checklist to run through in your hitting warm-up this past week. What do you think? Could be specially useful in a match warm-up to help focus your mind and body in the right areas.
Breathe out on contact. This will help your timing as well help you feel more Relaxed. Rid yourself of any muscle tension, especially in arms and shoulders. Then begin to bring some more Energy to the feet, whilst you check your Attitude for any unhelpful or irrational thinking. Finally, begin to focus more now on your ball outcome by hitting with increased Depth.
You may want to add a second 'D' for Detective at this point (thanks Jemima King for this one!). Are there any hints or clues you might be picking up from your opponent as to their physical and mental condition, strengths and weaknesses? My recommendation is not to get too bogged down with this. I've warmed up against guys who look amazing in the warm-up and turn out average in the match and visa-versa, but always good to focus a little attention to what your opponent is bringing to the match-court.
Warm-up with B.R.E.A.D to get you into the zone, whether for a match or training session. It will only take you 2-3 minutes but could be a useful addition to the tool-kit.
Finally, Tring School join AGS and Berkhamsted in the Aegon Schools finals. Everyballers Jake Williams and Sam Gough are members of this team.
Great to see our players so actively contributing to their schools and counties and British Tennis! Fantastic job all!