The mark of a great sportsman......

This won't sound like a idea dripping with performance inspiration, but consider this.

Your success will not be determined by your very best performances and it will not be de-railed by your worst.  It will be determined by how good your 'average' is.

Your average of course is determined by the sum of your performance scores/the number of performances.  Mark a performance out of 10.

Here are five performances:  2/10, 8/10, 9/10, 1/10,4/10.   Wow, an 8 and a 9 in there, good job!  Let's sweep the others under the carpet eh?!!  The average = 4.8.

How about these five?:  6/10, 7/10, 5/10, 8/10, 7/10.  That's an average performance of 6.6.  Never quite hitting the dizzy heights, but pretty much just 'normal'.

The reality is that most of our performances will sit somewhere between 4/10 and 7/10, in the average to normal band.  It's tough to be right up there at your very best consistently (8-10) and its unlikely that you be at your very worst (1-3) that often, so most of your performances will sit somewhere in your 'average' zone.  This is your 'normal'.

The key then, is to raise the quality of your normal or even take it a step further as Martina Navratilova once commented:

'The mark of a great sportsman is not how good they are at their best, but how good they are at their worst.'

Quote of the day

In relation to Messi's recent exploits in single handedly ensuring Argentina qualify for the world cup by absolutely 100% coming up with the goods in a high pressure/stakes 'win and you're through, lose and you go home' match versus Ecuador:

Cometh the altitude, cometh the attitude

Love that.

Results follow improvement!

Great job to Everyball/Halton UK player/ambassador Beth Grey (ranked 777) who today beat 6th seed and world ranked number 300 Michaela Honcova (SVK) 6-2 6-0 in the Cherbourg 25k round of 16.

Great example of 'results follow improvement' with Beth making some significant strides forward in her game over recent months and working like stink in the gym to get fitter, stronger, faster!

Keep up the great work, onto quarters tomorrow!

The coach's job is to inspire change

Remember this one?

D x V + F > cost of change

That's Dissatisfaction x Vision + First Steps > Cost of change 

The job of the coach is to help promote in the athlete a healthy dissatisfaction with the current position (in relation to a skill, overall game, etc), then paint a picture of what 'could be' (know your outcomes), and identify first steps towards getting there. That equation must be greater and more compelling than the cost to change (generally the associated physical and/or emotional discomfort).

Your ladder to improvement

Energy spent worrying about someone else's ladder is a waste.  Focus on your own. Understand there will be periods where you may get stuck on a rung for a while or even take a step back, and there will be periods of harvest where you might accelerate by 3! Stop paying too much attention to the guy next door, it's unhelpful.

Understand also that the ladder never ends. Even after your sporting career is over, there will be something you can get better at but the attitudes and behaviours are acquired now for that!

It was a 'T' serve from the ad-court

The 'T' serve from the ad-court took a returning Shapovalov into the other half of the court, allowing Zverev the chance to go 'back behind' on ball 3!  A pattern of play we've been working on this week in the Everyball Aspire to Excel Academy programme.

Do you play tennis/sport for a noble purpose?

Dr James Loehr, world renowned Sports Psychologist, talks about having a 'noble purpose for why we are playing tennis' (insert your sport in place of tennis).

He goes on to say that some reasons for why we play tennis do not serve us well.

Achievement does not guarantee anything in terms of happiness.  Some of the worlds top sportsmen and women have been miserable and depressed, especially when they reach the top of the mountain and feel nothing but empty.

Society's answers for success - fame, money, power, status/position, materialism, beauty - do not make us happy.  

Re-purpose your reasons for playing

I am in tennis because.....

  • It helps me grow up (Everyball's 4R's of Respect, Resilience, Responsibility, Reflection)
  • I keeps me healthy and fit
  • I love it and love competing and testing myself
  • I love to learn new things and seek to master something that matters to me
  • It will help me raise the finances to open a school for disadvantaged children (Andre Agassi on re-purposing why he played, the happy consequence of which was reaching No. 1 in the world again)

Do you need to re-purpose your reasons for playing?


Everyball Tennis Aspire to Excel Academy Programme 2017/2018 kicks off next week!

We kick off next week with 35 players attending our Aspire to Excel Academy programme at HaltonUK - 17 boys and 18 girls respectively which is a coincidental but happy mix!

The objective of the A2E programme is to provide quality training opportunities and support for competitive junior players (12&U - 18&U) who are aspiring to excel in our sport.

To excel of course means different things to different people so in this instance we are referring to those players aspiring to progress within the junior County, Regional and National framework of British Tennis. We broadly measure this by number of players with top 150 age-group national rankings (12&U - 18&U).

Current statistics show that 57.13% of our Academy players sit inside this ranking band within their particular age-groups.

A big congratulations to all players for their progress over the summer competitive season, and a special mention to Joel Good who yesterday cracked the top 10 in the GB for 14&U boys with a ranking of 8.  Miles Groom, Joshua Oakley and Jasmine Conway are all ranked inside the top 20, with Dan Dean, Ben Smith, Izzy Marshall, Millie Day and DJ Mentiply comfortably inside the top 50!  Several players have just moved up into new age-groups and therefore fallen out of this band, but no doubt will be back up there very soon and we're looking forward to see our current AASE's players pick up their games once again after GCSE's this summer.

One of our key outcome goals for the year is to nudge all Academy players forward with their ranking.  Rating remains an important measure as well, though ranking is of course the true 'currency' within our sport (TE, ITF, WTA, ATP).

How do we do that?  2 key ways!!

  • Smart competitive planning
  • A relentless focus on getting busy getting better!
Looking forward to the new term with our re-designed Academy programme which includes a menu of early morning, afternoon and evening squads, brilliantly supported by our S&C programme delivered by Dom and Gemma.

All the best for a great term! 

Mike and the A2E Academy Team
07958 008312