Harry Glenister- an inspirational story

This is a great story about a former Everyball tennis player and now rower.

Harry Glenister (brother to Oscar) played tennis at Halton until he was 17.  He was coached by Jemima and was in Danny's Tuesday squad.  He made a decision to stop playing tennis (sad for us and tennis) in order to concentrate on his rowing.

Four years later he has won numerous medals at Nationals, has represented GB at the world championships and won 4 Henley Royal Regatta cups. He is off to the World under 23 rowing championship next week in Bulgaria.

We're really proud of you Harry and great to hear about all your success.  Keep up the great work, you are a great example to all our players in terms of living out the Everyball ethos of 'exploring your becoming self with courage and creativity' in your chosen sport.

All the very best in Bulgaria!!  (See Harry pictured below with proud Mum Flo who also plays tennis at Halton)


Fed - first serve and FH approach - what can we learn?

I love how early Federer is onto the shorter ball here in his match against Mischa Zverev last Saturday.  

He sees it so early and makes contact whilst ball is still rising taking time away from his opponent and enabling him to establish fantastic court position to make his split step and cover the volley.  Notice how low and wide his base is on the split step.  Boringly brilliant once again from the maestro.

'You can't take people where they don't want to go'

That's a fair old truth.

Where people currently are most likely provides them with meaning and security even if it's unproductive, unhelpful or even unhealthy place to be.  It's likely they are conforming to a dominant consciousness that dictates what's acceptable and what's not, what to believe in and how to behave.

Pull gently on the rope.




Be patient.

Once they 'see' they can't un-see.  Once they 'taste' they can't un-taste.

But they've got to do the seeing and the tasting.  You can't do that for them.

The value of keeping the training environment fresh! Spanish boys bringing the energy!

Last night we integrated our Spanish guests into our Aspire to Excel Strength and Conditioning sessions.

Here is a great quote from Coach Gemma Elliott-Wetton.

The Spanish boys worked hard and were great additions to the squad. They give off real positive energy, look like they love to train and it was great to see Sophomores practicing their Spanish as they began to engage with the players!

Reminder to Everyball Players - Great Missenden G3 deadline approaching....

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: christiancolvin@everyball.net


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.  

Serve and backhand attack - from Radwanska v Bacsinszky 8th July - Centre court

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.

Responsibility - increasing the 'cause' to fight

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 IDeveloping 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.

Choose Respect as the foundation in your journey to becoming a grittier, tougher competitor.

Whilst I believe that the game of tennis is unique in helping us develop a set of key life skills that are defined by the Everyball 4R's (Respect, Responsibility, Resilience, Reflection) these same 4 R's serve as a developmental model for helping us become psychologically more robust, grittier and tougher to beat.

Much like the kinetic chain is a sequential transfer of energy through a system of body parts (knees, hips, shoulders, elbow, wrist - loosely speaking anyway!) so mental toughness follows the sequential embodiment of the 4R's.  I'll be exploring this over the next few days.

It all starts with RESPECT.  

Our ability (yes respect is a skill) to respect ourselves, others and our differences, officials, the game and it's uniquely brutal yet also forgiving scoring system. As competitors it's our ability to respect our opponents and what they bring to the court.  

So often I'll hear junior players, having just lost a match, say: 'oh, he/she was such a hacker!'.  They clearly failed to respect their opponent's qualities and in doing so, never game themselves the opportunity to compete.  Failing to respect is preparing to fail!

Respect is closely linked to humility and you don't have to look any further than Rafa Nadal as a role model for this.  In his book Rafa writes:

Another thing about watching my matches again closely, dispassionately, is that in appreciating and respecting the skill of my opponents, watching them hit wonderful winners, I learn to accept losing points against them with more serene resignation.  Some players rage and despair when they are aced, or when they are the victims of a magnificent passing shot.  That is the path to self-destruction.  An it is crazy, because it means you believe yourself to be capable, in some kind of ideal tennis world, to subduing your opponent's game from start to finish.  If you give your opponent more credit, if you accept that he played a shot you could do nothing about, if you play the part of the spectator for a moment and generously acknowledge a magnificent piece of play, there you win balance and inner calm.  You take pressure off yourself.  In your head, you applaud; visibly, your shrug; and you move on to the next point, aware not that the tennis gods are ranged against you or that you are having a miserable day, but that there is every possibility next time that it will be you who hits the unplayable winner.

He goes on:

Understanding the importance of humility (born out of respect) is to understand the importance of being in a state of maximum concentration at the crucial stages of a game, knowing you are not going to go out and win on God-given talent alone.

Rafa respects his opponent's by bringing 100% energy, effort and focus to every match he plays, sincerely believing that if he doesn't he'll end up on the losing end.

Choose Respect as the foundation in your journey to becoming a grittier, tougher competitor.

Next up, Responsibility.

Back to the 'A' in B.R.E.A.D - when checking our 'attitude' how do we challenge unhelpful or irrational thinking?

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