tag:everyball.net,2013:/posts The never ending 'coaching' discussion 2017-09-14T09:18:19Z Everyball with Mike James tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1191142 2017-09-14T09:18:19Z 2017-09-14T09:18:19Z See the new 'Everyball Active' magazine!
We have recently launched a new quarterly magazine!  Please have a read here:

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1189927 2017-09-09T11:26:49Z 2017-09-09T11:26:50Z 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
Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1186299 2017-08-24T18:57:19Z 2017-08-24T19:08:06Z Kicker out to BH and look to dictate with FH on ball 3
Seeing this pattern of play loads this week in New Haven. 

Historically owned by the men, the women seem to be using the kick serve from ad court (righty) and looking to run around the cross-court reply to get on top of point with FH on ball 3 more and more?
Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1185916 2017-08-23T07:34:22Z 2017-08-23T07:34:22Z How open are you as an athlete to feedback?

Champion Minded Athletes Crave Feedback! Want to know what the very best athletes do better than the rest? They are...

Posted by McCaw Method on Monday, August 21, 2017
Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1185617 2017-08-22T08:01:07Z 2017-08-22T08:01:07Z Rolling back the years! Kindly forwarded onto me by an old friend.  The 1984 USTA SWTA (South West Tennis Association) 16&U boys rankings....

Players and around the cities/states of Tucson, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Fountain Hills (Arizona), El Paso (Texas)  Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Farmington (New Mexico).

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1178527 2017-07-30T07:45:16Z 2017-07-30T07:45:16Z Young Athletes Who Specialize Too Soon Risk More Injuries : Shots - Health News : NPR
Young Athletes Who Specialize Too Soon Risk More Injuries : Shots - Health News : NPR

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1178524 2017-07-30T07:32:02Z 2017-07-30T07:32:30Z Everyballer Millie Day has a royal start to her summer!
Windsor G3 12&U champion and 14&U r/up. Superb job Millie.
Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1177675 2017-07-27T13:00:36Z 2017-07-27T13:00:36Z The tipping point in young athletes - Allistair McCaw

Couldn't agree more with this morning's post by Allistair McCaw.  How often to our country's top 10-14 year olds fade as they get taken over by their hungrier 'back in the pack' peers who have been playing tennis alongside at least 2 other sports.

The tipping point in young athletes:

In my experience with kids who've been playing a sport competitively, it's at the ages 13-15yrs of age, where you usually can best tell if they actually really love it or not. If it was their choice and dream, or that of their parents. In many cases, up until this point, they've been doing it more to please the parents and because they were good at a young age. At these ages, you also begin to notice if they've developed athleticism through other sports and skills. If they've developed grit and resilience, a growth or a fixed mindset. It's also at these ages where you see the most dropouts occur due to burnout and a lack of passion for the game.

The athletes who go on to better things, are the ones who were intrinsically motivated and nurtured in a way to love the game more and more, year by year. Nurtured by the right coaches & parents who rewarded behaviors, discipline, work ethic and effort, and not outcomes. They were encouraged and motivated by fun, and taught how to embrace success and failure at an early age. 

- Allistair McCaw

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1177251 2017-07-26T12:33:16Z 2017-07-26T12:33:16Z A key ingredient to developing greater grit and resilience...
Could nimbleness and unscripted agility be a key ingredient to developing greater grit and resilience. 

Not nimbleness and agility of the physical kind (although of course on the field of play this helps!) but of the psychological and emotional kind.
Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1177188 2017-07-26T06:57:05Z 2017-07-26T06:57:05Z Beth and DJ post good results yesterday

Great job DJ Mentiply who won the Essex Open Grade 3 Doubles yesterday, pairing up with Kyran Magimay from Surrey (pictured below).

Also, great progress by Beth Grey on the ITF Pro Women's Circuit 15K in Dublin as she moves into the quarter finals with wins of Tereza Svecova (CZE) and Amanda Rogers (USA).  She takes on another American Quinn Gleason today.  Best of luck Beth!

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1176813 2017-07-25T06:40:13Z 2017-07-25T20:50:45Z It's Day 2 of Summer Tennis Camp 1 at Halton - 'Resilience' day
Who are the most resilient kids in this video?? (see video number 4)

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1176805 2017-07-25T06:20:10Z 2017-07-25T06:20:10Z Fascinating blog from Craig O'Shannessy - Roger Federer reveals the deficiencies in the games of the next generation
Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1173074 2017-07-14T06:14:31Z 2017-07-14T06:14:31Z 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)


Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1173070 2017-07-13T07:56:40Z 2017-07-13T07:56:40Z 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.

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1172726 2017-07-12T09:58:41Z 2017-07-12T09:58:41Z '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.
Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1172363 2017-07-11T09:37:00Z 2017-07-11T09:37:01Z 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!
Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1172173 2017-07-10T15:04:26Z 2017-07-10T15:04:26Z 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.  

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1172092 2017-07-10T06:49:59Z 2017-07-10T06:49:59Z 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.

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1171334 2017-07-07T14:40:51Z 2017-07-07T14:40:51Z Great to welcome our Spanish friends to Everyball Tennis and HaltonUK ]]> Everyball with Mike James tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1171266 2017-07-07T10:06:31Z 2017-07-07T10:06:31Z 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.

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1170917 2017-07-06T07:45:49Z 2017-07-06T07:49:34Z 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.
Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1169623 2017-07-03T06:20:47Z 2017-07-03T15:56:13Z 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

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1169618 2017-07-02T08:09:16Z 2017-07-02T08:09:16Z Use B.R.E.A.D in your match warm-ups

I came up with this little checklist to run through in your hitting warm-up this past week.  What do you think?  Could be specially useful in a match warm-up to help focus your mind and body in the right areas.

Breathe out on contact.  This will help your timing as well help you feel more Relaxed.  Rid yourself of any muscle tension, especially in arms and shoulders.  Then begin to bring some more Energy to the feet, whilst you check your Attitude for any unhelpful or irrational thinking.  Finally, begin to focus more now on your ball outcome by hitting with increased Depth.  






You may want to add a second 'D' for Detective at this point (thanks Jemima King for this one!).  Are there any hints or clues you might be picking up from your opponent as to their physical and mental condition, strengths and weaknesses?  My recommendation is not to get too bogged down with this.  I've warmed up against guys who look amazing in the warm-up and turn out average in the match and visa-versa, but always good to focus a little attention to what your opponent is bringing to the match-court.

Warm-up with B.R.E.A.D to get you into the zone, whether for a match or training session.  It will only take you 2-3 minutes but could be a useful addition to the tool-kit.

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1169073 2017-06-30T06:40:11Z 2017-06-30T08:07:44Z Who are your favourite picks for Wimbledon? It's Groom and Mezzone for us....!
Will Murray win his 3rd title this year?  The bookies have Fed as favourite and many are talking up Joanna Konta's chances, especially as she looks to be hitting grass-court form down in Eastbourne this week.

Our picks, however, come in the forms of Miles Groom and Sophia Mezzone who last weekend qualified for the HSBC Road to Wimbledon International.  Seven venues across England and Scotland hosted qualifying events alongside India, China  and Hong Kong who.  4 boys and 2 girls from each of these events have won through to the HSBC RTW Finals held at SW19 between the 14th-19th August.

This is a fantastic achievement for both Miles and Sophia and no doubt they'll be watching The Championships over the next couple of weeks with a little extra interest knowing they'll be competing on the very same courts in just 6 weeks time.

Congratulations both of you and a great representation for Everyball Tennis and Halton UK!
Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1168136 2017-06-29T06:39:05Z 2017-06-29T15:54:18Z Further honours for Everyball players
The Bucks 12&U County Cup team is 100% made at Everyball.  Congratulations to Josh Oakley, Calum Fairey, DJ Mentiply, William Mottram, Fraser Reeves and Ben Perkin on your recent selections.

Berkhamsted School Girls reach Aegon Schools finals beating Bancroft School in the final round.  Finals are being held in Nottingham from 11th to 14th July in Nottingham.  Again, the squad consists of all but one Halton player. Great job Sophia Mezzone, Amelia Barton, Lauren McKinaly, Emma Savage (Chesham 1879), Bethan Miles, Alice Taylor and Sophia Wise.

Finally, Tring School join AGS and Berkhamsted in the Aegon Schools finals.  Everyballers Jake Williams and Sam Gough are members of this team.

Great to see our players so actively contributing to their schools and counties and British Tennis!  Fantastic job all!

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1168390 2017-06-28T06:42:27Z 2017-06-28T06:42:27Z Chris and Sam talk about our 4th 'R' at Everyball - Reflection

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1168125 2017-06-27T15:48:23Z 2017-06-27T15:48:23Z Aylesbury Grammar School's 'Everyball' boys reach National Finals...
Big congratulations to the AGS Senior Tennis Team of Oscar Glenister, Dan Dean, James Weller and Joel Good (all Halton players) who qualified for the National School Finals last Friday 23rd June by beating Cooper's Coborn School, Essex in the regional qualifier. The Finals are being played at Notts Tennis Centre 11th-14th July.

Very best of luck to the boys as they take on some of the top tennis schools in Great Britain next month!

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1168019 2017-06-27T08:25:50Z 2017-06-27T08:25:50Z Come eat Pizza with the coaches tomorrow night at Halton!!
To all our players, parents, members and friends,

No need to cook dinner tomorrow night!! Come and join this Wednesday evening between 6.30 and 8,30 pm for some pizza!!

Chris, from Mozzarella Nation (his mobile pizza business) will be cooking pizza down at the club.

Margherita £6.00
Pepperoni £7.00
Chili and Chorizo £8.00
Veggie £8.00 

(all 10 inch pizzas)

Bar open as usual for refreshments!!

Please 'like' and 'share'

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1167052 2017-06-24T08:54:17Z 2017-06-24T08:54:17Z Resilience - Beth shows us the way! (Our 3rd 'R' at Everyball Tennis) ]]> Everyball with Mike James tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1166738 2017-06-23T06:46:25Z 2017-06-23T06:46:25Z Responsibility - Mike explores the second of our 4 R's at Everyball

Everyball with Mike James