Making a change with the goal of improving your game...

Consider this: players make 'change' when the dissatisfaction of the current situation x the vision for the new + 1st steps toward the new and away from the dissatisfaction is greater than the resistance to change.

We resist change because we are fearful of the emotional discomfort that it often entails, but if we can help athletes paint the picture of a vision or future state 'over the fence' sparking a curiosity of 'how good can I become at this?', we're tackling perhaps the toughest part of coaching.

Everyballers Beth and Scarlett march on in Edgbaston and Nairobi

A significant win for Beth Grey yesterday as she took out top seed Melanie Stokke (NOR, world ranking 351) in the Edgbaston 15K 6-3 6-4. Beth goes on to play Klaartje Liebens (BEL, 572) in the 2nd round today. 

Beth also team up with partner Olivia Nicholls to win their first round doubles over Claudia Cianci (POR) and Sabastiani Leon (MEX) 6-3 3-6 (10-6).

Scarlett Hutchinson also backed up her first round win in Nairobi at the ITF G5 taking out Lana Brezanin (CRO) and moves into the quarter finals today against Lola Marandel (FRA).

Great job girls and all the best for today.  Backing you here back at base! Back yourselves and believe.

The foot-work informs the body-work, the body-work informs the racket-work...see this by Murray

Having recovered off the serve and now facing a good return back deep down middle to his forehand, see Murray's movement and use of his feet during the shot.  He loads in a semi-open stance, though his linear momentum is still at work taking him backwards.  He therefore uses a backwards hop step (take off on right foot, land on right foot), which enables him to maintain dynamic balance and in this case (determined by his choice of shot), limit upper body rotation which allows him a steeper racket path and closer contact point to play a heavier/higher neutralising ball.

Had he selected a more aggressive shot intention, he might have used a backward pivot or backward jump (ie: landing on his left foot) which would have distanced his contact point, increased shoulder rotation and body speed and flattened his swing path.

A nice example of how footwork provides the right environment for body work, and how body work creates the right environment for racket work.


Level high at Glasgow ITF Women's 15K

The ITF Glasgow Women's 15K ($) has attracted a strong field this year with top seed Arantxa Rus (Ned) ranked 174 in the world and Michaela Honcova seeded 2 (SLV) seeded 364.

Everyball's Beth Gray takes on 3rd seed Julia Wachaczyk (GER) ranked 368 in the first round at 10.00am this morning and then teams up with partner Olivia Nicholls in doubles against all German pair Katharina Hering and Luisa Marie Huber.

Iron sharpens iron

How true this is - the biblical concept of iron sharpening iron.  Proverbs 27:17 reads, 'As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.'

Training or working in isolation is tough.  Sharing ideas, bouncing off of and at times challenging each other only serves to sharpen us.  As players, we need practice partners and peers to train with on-court and as coaches we need each other to work alongside. 

My coaching over the last week has been sharper.  Why?  One colleague gave me a book to read with some great reminders in it, another challenged me on a particular area of serving technique, yet another inspired me with her forever positive attitude and work ethic. A further conversation today led to a new and better perspective.

Get alongside somebody with the right energy and attitude and a two-way sharpening begins, as long as we 'bring it' as well, otherwise we can become a parasitic blunting force.