Technique? It depends....

As we know, the technique we employ on any given shot depends

 on a range of factors such as:

- Opponent's court positon

- Our court position

- Ball we are receiving (level of difficulty - easy, medium, tough)

- Our shot intention (defend, rally, attack), and how to choose to do so.

Score, environment and court surface may even come into it.

See here a great example of Everyballer Amelie Brooks transitioning onto an 'easy' slower ball from a mid-court court position to play an attacking forehand volley into space.  Great example of good footwork, loading on right foot then then transferring through onto left foot through contact (note left foot lands after contact) to ensure weight has been transferred and Amelie is now in a great net position should ball come back.  This volley would be in contrast to her receiving pace, when already at net and defending.

Nice skills in this situation Amelie.

Does your environment speak to girls and boys equally?

So asked Jo Ward, former British number 1 in a presentation at Loughborough University to LTA Senior Performance Coach candidates (our own Ed Taylor being one!) earlier this week.

A great question which I've been reflecting on back at base as I walk around the club, browse our websites/social media etc.  This morning was delighted to answer this with an emphatic 'yes' within our Saturday morning mini tennis programme where we have a fantastic crew of 5-6 teenage girls faithfully helping with our coaching each week.  Great role models for our mini tennis girls showing how being feminine and being athletic go hand in hand as much as being masculine and athletic.

Thanks to all our coaches and helpers for a great start to term this week!  Club was buzzing this morning!

Levels of 'predictability' - how are your patterns of play?

1.  Your patterns of play, especially in setting up, executing and following up strengths, are predictable but you execute so well that you maintain control over your opponent (and/or your opponent is weaker so it doesn't matter)

2.  Your patterns are predictable and you execute poorly giving up control to your opponent

3.  Your patterns are so unpredictable you make a high count of un-forced errors, lack basic discipline but revel in 'shot making' even if it doesn't win you the match!

4.  You vary your patterns (up to 30% of the time), maintaining discipline in your shot selection but doing enough to ensure opponent has a degree of uncertainty making your 'go to's' even more effective.

Quote of the day

'On any long journey, detours can be expected' - unknown.

Especially when the destination is not a physical place but a dream of a moment in time, an idea/concept or vision of what could be.

Once you're 'there' it's so easy to look back to see how you got there, but the journey itself is full or stops, detours, and re-routes in which the learning takes place to inform us of our next steps.  (This, by the way, is called 'generative learning' meaning that the learner is generating the answer rather than recalling it.  Generation is another name for old-fashioned trial and error - 'Make it Stick' - Brown, Roediger, McDaniel).