tag:everyball.net,2013:/posts Coaching, the never-ending discussion.... 2018-03-19T09:49:48Z Everyball with Mike James tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1262289 2018-03-17T08:49:35Z 2018-03-19T09:49:48Z Amelie Brooks and partner Ellie lose out in finals of TE 12&U in Croatia

Great job by Amelie and partner Ellie as they lose a tight final at 12U TE in Croatia 5-7 6-2 5-10.

See Amelie pictured here with Everyball Coach Sam Kilhams who travelled with Amelie and her mother to Croatia this week.

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1262286 2018-03-17T08:24:59Z 2018-03-19T09:49:48Z Dan Dean and Jasmine Conway progress to quarters of 16&U Winter National Tour finals

Super job to Dan and Jasmine with first set tie-break wins in yesterday's opening round of the 16&U Winter National Tour finals at the National Tennis Centre, Roehampton.

Dan, seeded 4th, beat Noah Cutting 7-6 (6) 6-1 and plays Matthew Rutter this morning in the quarters.  Jasmine beat Natalya Ogunwale 7-6 (11), 6-1 (same score!) and her quarter-final opponent Alicia Dudney lies in wait this morning.

All the best to both of you!

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1259355 2018-03-10T11:55:37Z 2018-03-19T09:49:48Z 'Play-full, players of the game'

Our vision for player development at Everyball Tennis is to develop 'Players of the game, skill-full, competitive and athletic' 

The phrase encompasses and integrates the four performance factors:

  1. Players of the game (play-full) - tactical
  2. Skill-full - technical
  3. Competitive - mental
  4. Athletic - physical

For younger players, we believe this order is very important and here's why:

The concept of developing 'players of the game' early on is critical.  I remember the first time my kids went to football at 3 or 4 years old.  They 'played the game' right away!  This is tough to do in tennis due to the challenge of the sport, but it's vital we get little ones to a stage as quickly as possible whereby they can rally and play the game because this is what really hooks them in to the sport - playing like the big kids or the pros on telly!  One of the big barriers to this is the serve, due to it's technical complexity AND the requirements of hitting it accurately into the appropriate box in order for the point to start.

Recently, in our group sessions and internal 'play the game' sessions we've been experimenting with a 'serve anywhere' approach.  If the ball lands 'in' the court somewhere, it's in play.   Results have been fantastic.

  • immediate longer rallies and sessions are more 'full of play'
  • fear of missing taken away so children are more up for serving and for developing more complex aspects of the serve such as the chopper grip

Great job by coaches Alan Hutcherson and Neale Proud for leading this innovation/initiative for us.  See it in action this morning in our Red session 9.00-10.00 am!

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1258777 2018-03-09T07:16:45Z 2018-03-19T09:49:48Z The a-Mazing Mezzone run continues

After a 7-6, 1-6, 6-2 win yesterday over Sophie Williamson, Everyball's Sophia Mezzone finds herself today (9am match time) up against Staffordshire's Mae Mccutcheon (GB ranked 24, 16&U) in the 1/4 finals of the Loughborough Bristish Tour.

Keep it going Sophia - we're all backing you!

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1258411 2018-03-08T10:06:07Z 2018-03-19T09:49:47Z Mezzone marches on at L'boro Brit Tour

Great job Sophia in taking out 7th seed Aleksandra Topalovic 6-4 0-6 6-3 yesterday in the Loughborough British Tour and very best today against Sophie Williamson.

Keep the everyball flag flying!!

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1257921 2018-03-07T08:25:56Z 2018-03-19T09:49:48Z Everyballer Sophia Mezzone qualifies for Loughborough Brit Tour Main Draw

A battling performance from Sophia Mezzone (2003, GB ranked 75 16&U first year) against Caitlin Ward (2002, GB ranked 38 16&U) yesterday saw her qualify into the MD today.  Her comeback from 0-6 first set to win the last 2 sets 6-3, 6-3 showed great grit and resilience and has earned her a first round match today against 7th seed Aleksandra Topalovic.

All the best for today Sophia!!

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1257919 2018-03-07T08:00:38Z 2018-03-19T09:49:48Z Use of the basket to develop patterns, physicality, work into the legs

Was good to get outside yesterday for afternoon academy training in preparation for the outdoor competitive season beginning in just a few weeks time!

Important to get some foundational work into the legs early on, develop some key movement patterns, and generating own pace which becomes more important outdoors.  

AGS student and Academy player James Weller demonstrates simple approach volley drill here (Guti, your spirit lives on even with you back in Barcelona!)

 with coach Seb Callcut.  Movement to get back behind the ball for the down-line approach followed by closing cross-court volley and repeat!

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1257075 2018-03-05T08:04:48Z 2018-03-19T09:49:48Z All serves are different, aren't they? (Part 2, power producing phase)

The power producing phase.

Forward swing

  • Legs/back hip drive 'up' as ball comes down, causing racket to drive down as racket drops as shoulder externally rotates; at point of full-external rotation (lowest part of racket drop, hips are still side-on to fence)
  • Elbow & hand stretch and climb throwing top of racket towards the ball
  • Ball placing arm begins to lower towards stomach area assisting in shoulder over shoulder rotation
  • Racket face turns underneath the ball prior to impact

Impact point

  • Both legs off ground at impact
  • Impact always as ball is dropping
  • Impact 12-1pm (in line with left foot RH)
  • Impact 10-50 cm in front of baseline
  • Both hips and shoulder parallel to net near pronation stage (just prior to impact)
  • Tossing arm tucked into stomach

Follow through

  • Pronation occurs after impact to help prevent shoulder loading
  • Front foot lands just inside baseline
  • Beck leg stays behind pointing to back fence
  • Ball placement arm moves away from stomach to a sideways on position

A few further notes

  • 40% power comes from internal rotation, 30% from wrist flexion, 30% from leg drive
  • Front foot drives 70%, back foot 30% BUT back foot is more important because it drives back hip 'up'
  • Pronation has nothing to do with power, it just helps ball direction
  • Chopper grip permits the best range of movement in external rotation (racket head drops down and away from body), internal rotation, elbow extension, pronation and wrist flexion
  • Grip pressure only increases just prior to contact

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1256184 2018-03-04T11:10:15Z 2018-03-19T09:49:47Z All serves are different, aren't they?

Yes, the cosmetics (form) of serve differ from player to player, but most top serves share a range of common technical 'points' or 'moments' throughout the action (function).

Let's look at the preparation phase (set up > backswing and ball placement > pre-throw position) demonstrated here by Beth Grey.


  • Relaxed continental grip
  • Semi-closed stance - front foot towards net post, back foot parallel to baseline
  • 'Palm-in' racket 'side-on

Backswing and ball placement (toss)

  • Both arms down together before separating
  • Ball placement arm goes up earlier than racket arm
  • Ball is released at eye level
  • Knees bend as ball goes 'up'
  • Foot up (if) after ball toss and before load position

Pre-throw position (often a moment in time with racket arm moving rather than a still/fixed position)

  • Elbow is stable at 90 degrees (elbow to trunk)
  • Elbow is stable at 90 degrees (elbow to hand)
  • Pre- throw position when ball is at the apex
  • Slight tilt from front shoulder, back shoulder and back elbow
  • Palm of hand facing side fencing (palm out)
  • Both hips facing side fencing
  • Knees at most flexed in pre-throw position
  • Hip dipped slightly into the court
  • Eyes and head are focused on impact area

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1256192 2018-03-03T07:58:19Z 2018-03-19T09:49:47Z Saturday morning tennis is on at Halton!

Fire on.

Coffees on the go.

Entry road and pathways cleared/gritted by Pete and Oli.

Court heating on, coaches ready.

If you can make it in, we'd love to see you.

Drive careful if you choose to do so.

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1255197 2018-03-02T14:44:55Z 2018-03-05T10:26:41Z ****WEATHER UPDATE**** Friday 2nd March - Everyball evening squads at Halton cancelled

With the current heavy snow fall which is expected to last for a few hours now, we have reluctantly decided to cancel evening squads tonight 2nd March 2018 as access into the club itself is now compromised despite all of Pete and Oli's amazing efforts to keep us going thus far.

At this stage we plan on being open tomorrow for Saturday morning squads but will advise of any change in this by 7.30am.

Many thanks,

Mike James, Director of Tennis

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1254159 2018-03-02T07:26:05Z 2018-03-05T10:26:41Z Unimaginative unrealistic goals

If you can't imagine or see yourself achieving your goals or if your goals don't really connect in a deep and meaningful way for you, you're going to de-rail when it gets tough, boring, painful, difficult.

Achieving anything worthwhile is going to carry a cost, be it physical, emotional, time and resources.  

Sometimes the day to day IS boring, repetitive, dull, but if your goals carry weight and meaning, are realistic, and you can actually visualise yourself achieving them you'll get the work done and you'll stay on track.

Everyball HaltonUk player and ambassador Beth Grey getting the work done this week.  High focus on day to day improvement & marginal gains in all areas will lead to significant performance improvement.  Results become the happy consequence of this.

Enjoy the snow!

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1254784 2018-03-01T18:58:43Z 2018-03-05T10:26:41Z Jasmine looking great but who's the guy in white?

Somebody help that coach - how not to role model sliding on clay!!

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1254577 2018-03-01T07:35:02Z 2018-03-05T10:26:41Z Responses to 'pressure' - how do we cope?

Pressure shows up when something 'matters' - simplest way I can put it.

Point in case.  The Bucks boys 18&U County Cup team, mainly made up of Everyball/Halton players, had 6 match points over the weekend to hold off relegation to group 4 next year.  They lost 'em all.

Naturally, there has been talk in the programme this week about the pressure of it, of blowing it, and of course.....wait for it....the dreaded word....choking!!

Yes choking, and I'm delighted to hear it, and here's why:

When pressure shows up, it's often accompanied by nerves, fear, anxiety, tension that express themselves both psychologically but also physiologically.  We don't always like these feelings.  They can be uncomfortable.

So, at an unsophisticated level we look to replace them with the following responses.

  • Don't show up - we actually 'flee' the scene, we make up an excuse, fake an injury or illness, do anything but be there
  • We 'tank' - tanking is withdrawing of effort.  Often done publicly to show that I'm not trying and if I really was I would win
  • Anger - a more familiar and comfortable emotion kicks in.  Not just a burst of anger (which from time to time can help release bit of tension), but sustained anger throughout a match

None of these responses are particularly helpful, but there is an improving order.  The anger response is better than tanking, and tanking is better than not showing.

Next in line then, is choking!!  Choking, and we've ALL been there (and if we're being honest have been there with all the others), is the closet we get to the ideal response to pressure.  Choking, when we get the 'elbow' or our legs go heavy/dead (Jana Novotna against Steffi Graff Wimbledon final in 1993 when she was up a set and 4-1 and blew it) is a sign of courage.  It means you're prepared to face up to the challenge, face the fear, tackle those feelings head on rather than run away from them with one of the above lesser responses.

And it means, that on this occasion the nerves/fear got to you.  We are human, it's normal.  You'll remember Novotna went on to win Wimbledon a couple of years later.

The bull's eye, the ideal response to pressure, is the 'challenge' response, where you feel buoyed and right 'up' for the challenge, where you look pressure in the eye, accept it's a privilege to be out there competing and come up with the 'goods'.  And the more you find yourself in those pressure moments, the more we can re-create them in the training environment, the better you'll get at coming up with this desired response.

You can see the responses to pressure as concentric circles, with the challenge response the bull's eye.  And you'll notice, that closest to the bull's eye is.....choking.

Well done Bucks boys - you put yourself in the position to win and this time it didn't work out.  You'll be better and more ready for it next year as you fight for promotion back up the divisions.  Great discussion with players about this last night in academy squads.

(Adapted from Dr. James Loehr - Responses to Pressure)

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1251915 2018-02-28T08:50:03Z 2018-03-05T10:26:41Z Want to start building your confidence today? Try this then....

At the end of each day, spend 5 minutes in quiet reflection. 

When ready, record in a notebook 3 true and positive things that you did.  The 'doing' is the important bit.

That's it. 

Keep it going for a few weeks and let your 'true and positives' build up like a brick wall.

A brick wall of confidence.  It starts with little things.  Define a goal.  Complete a few tasks.  Brighten someone's day.  Put in a solid practice session. Get that gym session done.  Say 'no' to a second chocolate brownie, run that first mile, go that extra step.  Making that phone call.  Have that difficult discussion.  Pay that bill. Try something you've never tried or one thing that's going to make you a bit uncomfortable.  

Go on, you keep going now....


Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1253673 2018-02-27T11:58:41Z 2018-03-05T10:26:41Z Everyballer Joel Good fights hard to get behind everyball on his backhand

Nice work here by Everyballer Joel Good.  

Fighting hard with great attitude to get behind everyball.  Better to have time behind the ball rather than hit on the move.

Great use of slice to give himself time to recover court position.

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1251917 2018-02-24T08:02:43Z 2018-03-05T10:26:40Z Everyballer Emily talks about 'courageous purpose' and what it means to her on court

'We are committed to fight for everyball [perception & reception skills, right place, right time, best contact, beating bouncing of incoming & outgoing balls], to run down everyball [hustle everyball down, make my opponent miss by pressing too hard, let no ball go past me or bounce twice in front of me without very best effort to get to it] and to play everyball with courageous purpose [smart and brave decision making, overcoming our four fatal fears - fear of failure, rejection, being wrong, emotional discomfort].

We see everyball as an opportunity to explore our 'becoming selves' [growth mindset] our curiosity [healthiest place from where all learning begins] and our creativity [going as far as we can using all we've got].

We know that everyball extends beyond our sport as we learn the fundamental life-skills [respect, responsibility, resilience, reflection] that enable us to thrive in an ever-changing world. 

Mike James - Feb 2018

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1251689 2018-02-23T07:28:42Z 2018-02-23T07:28:42Z 15 Everyballers represent their Counties this week in the LTA's 18&U County Cup Event

All the best to our Everyball players representing their respective counties this week at the 18&U County Cup.  

Oscar Glenister (Bucks), Dan Dean (Bucks), Ben Smith (Bucks), Joel Good (Bucks), Miles Groom (Bucks), Isabelle Marshall (Bucks), Lauren Armstrong (Bucks), Lauren McKinlay (Bucks), Amelia Barton (Bucks), Alexa Wilson (Bucks), Sophia Ivansky (Bucks), Emily Honor (Bucks), Sophia Mezzone (War), Alexandra Hildreth (Herts), Scarlett Hutchinson (Mid)

Jemima King (Captain, Bucks Girls), Roy Knight (co-captain, Bucks Boys)

Teamwork, team spirit, play for your badge!  Allez!

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1245443 2018-02-10T07:55:59Z 2018-02-20T17:05:51Z Miles Groom into last 8 of 14&U WNT Tour Finals

Solid win yesterday for Miles Groom with a 6-4,6-2 win over Yujiro Onuma.  Miles playes 3rd seed Will Nolan in quarter-finals this morning.

Enjoy the battle Miles!

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1244933 2018-02-09T10:26:30Z 2018-02-20T17:05:51Z Everyball's Miles Groom competes today in the WNT Finals at the NTC

Best of luck to Everyballer Miles Groom who competes today in the Winter National Tour Finals at the National Tennis Centre.  He plays Yujiro Onuma first round at 16.30 supported by coach Ed Taylor.

Short clip of Miles in training.

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1244926 2018-02-09T09:31:24Z 2018-02-20T17:05:51Z Conquering the court(house) - words of wisdom from the judge

Great high school buddy Judge Roger Rogoff (we played set after set after set against each other for years!) has gone on to a super successful career, first as a trial lawyer and now as a Judge in Seattle, Washington.  Still swings the racket I'm pleased to say!

See here some great words of wisdom as he lectures on 'Conquering the Courthouse' - hugely applicable in all walks of life, especially for those of us wanting to conquer the court!

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1243946 2018-02-07T15:32:05Z 2018-02-20T17:05:51Z Everyball Tennis ITF Seniors Event - May 21st-26th 2018!!

Dear friends,

Please spread the word - it was a great event last year, attracting players from far and wide and we'd love to repeat and do even better this year!

Thanks so much,


Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1241757 2018-02-02T07:24:02Z 2018-02-20T17:05:50Z The enemy within.....(extract from 'The Grind')

Came across Nike's 'Welcome to the Grind' earlier this week. A great description of the inner battles we all face.  Hope you can be motivated by this today:

You are in a fight against an opponent you cant see but oh you can feel them on your heels can’t you, feel them breathing down your neck. You know who that is? That’s you. Your fears, doubts and insecurities lined up like a firing squad ready to shoot you out of the sky. But don’t loose heart. While they aren’t easily defeated they are far from invincible. Remember this is the grind. The battle royal between you and your mind, your body and the devil on your shoulder who is telling you this is just a game, this is just a waste of time, your opponents are stronger than you.

Drown out the voice of uncertainty with the sound of your own heart beat. Burn away your self doubt with the fire underneath you. Remember what we are fighting for and never forget momentum is a cruel mistress. She can turn on the dime with the smallest mistake. She is always searching for the weak place in your armor; the one little thing you forgot to prepare for.

So as long as the devil is hiding the details, the question remains is that all you got? Are you sure? And when answer is yes and you have done all you can to prepare yourself for battle then it’t time to go forth and boldly face your enemy. The enemy within.

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1241237 2018-02-01T10:04:38Z 2018-02-20T17:05:51Z A few days at Les Petits As, Tarbes, France - Tennis Europe Category 1 tournament

Last week I had the pleasure of taking a group of LTA Level 4  Senior Performance Coach Candidates out to 'Les Petits As' in Tarbes, France with colleague Simon Jones.

Les Petits As (English: small champions) is a premier junior tennis tournament, often considered the unofficial 14&U world junior championships, or at very least, the European equivalent of the junior Orange Bowl in Florida, U.S.A.  It is held in Tarbes in the South of France, very close to the Pyrenees and Spanish border.

With a main draw size of 64 and 48 in qualifying, roughly 7,000 players enter the pre-qualifying tournaments held across France, with that number being narrowed down to 350 for the final qualifying stage.  Surface is Green Set hard courts and the event is held in the Parc des Expositions in the town.

Due to the relatively restrictive age range, few players have won the title more than once, although Martina Hingis and Timea Bacsinszky have both done so.  Also upcoming Spanish player Carlos Boluda recently became the first boy to do so.  Previous main draw players in the event went on to make up a 'who's who' of current Grand Slam champions and top-10 ATP and WTA players.

A few observations

  • Pretty much all recent Grand Slam champions and top 10 ATP/WTA players were main draw Tarbes players, not necessarily winning it, but getting through to quarters and semis.  Take the 4 finalists of this year's Australian Open: R. Federer 1/8 Finalist, Marin Cilic 1/4 finalist, Simona Halep 1/4 finalist, Caroline Wozniacki 1/4 finalist.  This gives us some pretty strong indicators that to become one of the very top players in the world, you need to be pretty darn good by 13/14 years old!
  • In the main, both boys and girls showed great commitment to coming forwards, finishing at net with volley/drive volley combinations
  • There was plenty of variation, change of pace, slice
  • The best players had weapons, very clear idea of how they wanted to 'win' points
  • A wonderful example of one highly competitive girl who got to the semis with a slice FH only, average serve and loopy backhand, but was a fantastic athlete, ran like mad and absolutely maximised what she had!  A great example of FAWTW (finding a way to win!).  On evidence, perhaps not one for the long-term but certainly re-enforced that tennis is a game and within it's rules we can choose to play how we like!
  • Performer (mental and physical) first, tennis player (technical and tactical) second.  For semis and finals, centre court was packed with what must have been over 2000 spectators making all sorts of noise.  The ability of 13 years olds to handle this was incredible to see.  Superb resilience, emotional control, maturity.  Top performers, delivering the goods under pressure.  Technique not perfect, especially the girls (serve) and breaking swing lines on ground-strokes, but absolute performers who managed themselves fantastically well.  
  • The French can put on a tournament! Great buzz, whole town came out to support, hundreds of school children baying for autographs of the players at end of matches!

Girls winner

Alexandra Eala (PHI) beat Linda Noskova (CZE)

Boys winner

Victor Lilov (BUL) beat Mikhail Gorokhov (RUS)

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1232668 2018-01-16T08:28:11Z 2018-02-20T17:05:50Z Doubles Mondays launched this week in our Aspire to Excel programme
In preparation for the summer season where doubles really kicks in, whether it's club, county, or in tournament play, we launched Doubles Mondays in the Aspire to Excel Academy programme this week.

Both Jemima King and myself were recently involved in a 2-day course with world doubles guru Louis Cayer (coach to Jamie Murray) on the British Doubles system that has generated a huge amount of success over the last few years and we are bringing this learning back to the programme every Monday night.

The importance of doubles:
  • Doubles makes up 25% of singles ranking on the ITF tour, but also influences singles rankings at junior domestic level
  • Being successful in doubles keeps you in tournament play longer
  • Doubles often decides the tie, whether Fed Cup/Davis Cup, County, Club or University tennis (both US and GB)
  • At pro level the money is increasing - a viable option to singles
  • Its a destination we all share - majority of competitive tennis in adult life is doubles
  • Social aspect - it's fun playing as a team and with friends
  • Skill development - confidence and competence in net-play especially increases as only 1/2 court to cover.  Development of lobs, passing shots, reactions
  • Nice variation from singles

As an overview the British Doubles system is about making players lose because they:

  1. Attempt low % shots due to our positioning
  2. Feel pressured through our movement
  3. Feel uncertain because of our variation

This week we are looking at 'When serving and staying back'.  Currently on the WTA tour 10% of players serve and volley in doubles and 66% of men serve and volley, so you if you serve and stay back, you are playing proper doubles!! Don't be made to feel inferior!

Key points:

  • Serving position that gives you access to both wide and T serves
  • Repositioning after serving based on servers territory to cover and use of the forehand on ball 3
  • Engaging the cross-court battle (breaking doubles sideline)
  • 3/10 times go down-line to create uncertainty

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1232031 2018-01-14T19:36:29Z 2018-02-20T17:05:50Z Keeping their dreams alive! (KTDA)

Fun times and smiles had by all at our KTDA (Keeping their dreams alive!) session with members and performance players fun doubles afternoon at HaltonUK on Saturday.

At least 50+ club members invest a monthly sum into a fund that we use to support our Everyball performance players, effectively keeping their dreams alive, whether that's competing on the lawns of SW19, going to the U.S to play college tennis, or simply performing as well as possible at their next event! Thanks members for your support and for Izzy Marshall, Beth Grey, Oliver McCay-Brown, Erika Dodridge and coach Ed Taylor for playing!

Pictured below are Izzy Marshall and Beth Grey having just trounced Mike James and Rob Pain!! 

For further involvement in KTDA and how to contribute, please contact Mike James on mikejames@everyball.net

Soon to come, our PRO AM with our club members and performance players - watch this space!

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1230150 2018-01-11T08:32:18Z 2018-02-20T17:05:50Z Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.  Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.  Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.  Education will not; the world if full of educated derelicts.  Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

- Calvin Coolidge (US President 1923-1929)

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1229610 2018-01-10T10:22:42Z 2018-02-20T17:05:50Z The glory has got be in 'getting there'

Yep, the old cliche is true: 'you find when you arrive that the journey was the prize.'

It's happened to me and I'm sure its happened to you.  There's a thrill when you achieve the goal, win the tournament, get into the top 10, win promotion.  But that thrill, that moment, is fleeting and then you realise that the real joy, the real glory was in the journey to get there.

So revel in the 'glory' of today.  It may be just another practice, another meeting, another email, phone call.  But when you get there, wherever there is for you, it's days like today that got you there.

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1227397 2018-01-06T08:32:44Z 2018-02-02T13:35:49Z Responsibility keeps you in the 'cause' side of life

Staying in the 'cause' side of life is an incredibly powerful mental tool.  Both on and off the sports field.

It promotes autonomy, the idea that you and you alone are the captain of your ship.  Slipping into 'effect' means leaving yourself open to be blown around by the vagaries of life and it's easy to slip into 'victim' behaviours and attitudes.

That why we hold 'responsibility' up as such a key life-skill at everyball, and one we can continue to develop through our unique sport, it's scoring system and structures.

Take these two statements;

'I lost the match because my opponent hooked me (cheated) on a line call at that key moment in the third set'

'I lost my concentration when I thought my opponent made a mistake on a call in that key moment in the third set.'

Practice staying in 'cause' today - there will be plenty of opportunities I can promise.

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1226585 2018-01-04T18:43:49Z 2018-02-02T13:35:48Z The push-you, pull-me battle.....

The push-you, pull-me battle.  

As parents, how much do we push/nudge/shove our children toward sporting involvement and achievement.  Can this be measured against how much the child pulls the parents towards what they want to be involved in and the goals they want to pursue?

I was once told by a very wise man, 'pay attention to what your kids are passionate about'.

Ok, but this begs a few questions among many others I'm sure:

Does passion come as some lightning bolt out of the blue, or is a parental push towards things part of the 'developing passion' equation?

Is there some sort of sequential order that moves a child from interest to passion?

Is the mark of true passion an intrinsic motivation that is demonstrated by what an athlete is prepared to do alone in pursuit of developing their skills - an excellence happens when no-one is watching phenomenon?

Everyball with Mike James