tag:everyball.net,2013:/posts The never ending 'coaching' discussion 2017-06-23T06:46:25Z 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
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1166600 2017-06-22T19:51:19Z 2017-06-22T19:51:19Z Andy hits the practice courts today at Wimbers....

Nice to get a chance to watch Andy being put through his paces with his coaching team today...

 Simple drill we all do - following feed, first ball cross then play the point out. 

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1166380 2017-06-22T06:41:38Z 2017-06-22T06:41:38Z Jemima and Gemma talk 'respect'

The first of a four part mini-series where we talk about the 4 life-skills that we uniquely develop through the game with Everyball Tennis.

Not only to serve us in life outside tennis, developing Respect, Resilience, Responsibility, and Reflection help us become better competitors and players here and now!

Here, I ambush Jemima King and Gemma Elliott-Wetton as they have a quiet bit of lunch yesterday.

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1165911 2017-06-20T20:59:36Z 2017-06-20T20:59:36Z Knowing when to bend the knees on the serve...try this simple tip. ]]> Everyball with Mike James tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1165423 2017-06-19T14:51:42Z 2017-06-19T16:54:44Z Disruptions - could they be good for us?
Sometimes we have an experience that doesn't fit within our particular framework of understanding, beliefs, values even.

Call it a disruption.

New York Times Bestselling Author Rob Bell writes in his new book:

'It's disruptions that are often the catalysts for our growth.  You travel, you taste, you meet new people from other tribes, you read new things, you hear new perspectives, you see data or research you hadn't seen before - and you discover that your previous way of categorising and labelling and believing aren't adequate.

You have a choice in that moment: you either ignore or deny or minimise your experience, or you open yourself up to the very real pain of leaving that way of understanding behind.

This is often incredibly exciting and liberating, but it can also have a traumatic dimension to it, like the carpet in being yanked out from under you.  Like the stable ground you've been walking on for so long is now trembling.

And you you can't go back.

Once you've tasted, you can't untaste.

Once you've seen, you can't unsee.'
Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1164473 2017-06-16T07:20:30Z 2017-06-16T07:20:30Z Everyball Tennis parents (and beyond!)
This LTA course for parents may be of help and interest to you.

Kindest regards,


Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1164339 2017-06-15T20:19:04Z 2017-06-15T20:19:05Z Eyes up and looking forward...

Keep looking up and forward. Eyes ahead and on the prize (whatever you've determined that to be). What's the NSHJ (next small helpful job) to get you closer to where you want to be? One step at a time. Hope you're having a great week? (Thanks Chris Duffin for this pic!)

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1163564 2017-06-13T15:32:59Z 2017-06-13T15:33:00Z Check out our new 4R 5-day summer tennis camp programme! (What are the 4Rs??)
See this link for a short interview on the 4 Rs. What are they??

Our brand new 4R 5 day summer camps launching soon....

Posted by Halton UK on Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1163281 2017-06-13T06:15:50Z 2017-06-13T06:15:50Z A pattern is only a pattern when something repeats

It may be a single shot or combination of shots you're looking to execute on a regular basis and it's known in tennis as a pattern of play, relentlessly drilled in on the practice court so as to become second nature on the match court.

There are generic patterns that we see across the game and more personal individualised patterns that depend largely on a player's strengths/weaknesses and game style.

Laying down your patterns in a match brings about an increase in confidence by reducing the potential anxiety brought on by the uncertainty of what to do/shot to play next and generally means that you are in a position to dictate terms.  Knowledge of your opponent's favourite patters helps you to counter them with the objective of blunting their strengths.

An example of a generic pattern would be using the 'double opener' when serving.  A right-hander from the deuce court might look to slide the serve out wide and then attack the space into the open court.   Individualising this pattern could be linked to whether you attack the space with an early backhand or get around the ball to use an inside-out forehand (this of course could be determined by the speed of the opponent's return).  

What are your 'go to' patterns of play?  Can you write them down?  Are you drilling them consistently on the practice court so they become second nature on the match court? 


Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1163172 2017-06-12T15:05:03Z 2017-06-12T20:32:01Z Top 10 fine-able offences on the doubles court as agreed by the RAF Mens A squad

From RAF Mens 'A' Team training last week, here are our top 10 fine-able offences on the doubles court:

1.  Lack of communication between points, not having a plan

2.  Failure to close down the net on a kill opportunity

3.  Passive team movement - playing safe/not to lose

4.  Playing the 'blame game' - courts, umpires, opponents, conditions, etc

5.  Getting passed through the middle

6.  Failure to make opposition 'play' on break points, especially off 2nd serve return

7.  Hollywood hitting - going for the low % spectacular shot

8.  2+ doubles faults per game

9.  Backing off the net in any situation other than defence

10.  Lack of energy! (especially getting out of the chair at change of ends)!

Any advances on these??

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1161732 2017-06-08T06:51:47Z 2017-06-08T06:51:47Z Dens - Emergency food for local people in crisis - can you help?
Dear Friends

We are collecting for Dens over the next 2 weeks.  Can you donate any items from the high needs attached  and bring in to reception at Halton?
Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1161256 2017-06-06T20:06:02Z 2017-06-06T20:06:03Z Go with your humanity, your instinct, your hunches.....
So says Seth Godin in his blog today.

Got me thinking about coaching....

We talk a lot now about data driven coaching, the 'science' behind the art.  And for good reason.  Gives us facts, the evidence, often used to persuade and create that all so important 'buy in' our athletes.

But don't let it drive out your humanity, your instinct and your hunches as a coach - the things that come from deeper inside. They often carry more weight, meaning, and emphasis and can pack an equal if not greater punch.
Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1160493 2017-06-04T12:57:21Z 2017-06-06T12:37:22Z Want to get into the performance zone more often....?!!

Then perhaps it's time to explore this with Mike James - certified HeartMath Sports Professional and NLP Sports Psychology Practitioner as well as an LTA Master Performance Tennis Coach.

Athletes have long talked about 'getting into the Zone'. We know we play better when we are there and we want to be there more often. But what the Zone actually is has been hard to pin down, leaving it mysterious, sometimes unattainable and often fleeting.

Heartmath demonstrates that entering the zone is an internal process that can be developed and accessed at will. It reveals that the Zone is not a place – it's a state of consciousness where your higher motor faculties and intuition merge in liquid co-ordination. The key to accessing the Zone is coherence.

Research over the last two decades has let to new understandings on the interactions between the heart, brain and nervous system and how these interactions impact reaction times and performance. A measurable physiological state has been identified that underlies optimal performance and emotional stability called coherence – a state of synchronisation between the heart, brain and nervous system.

The Heartmath system is an innovative approach to optimal performance based on the fact that we can't just think our way there. Our minds may be thinking positive thoughts about the game and our performance, but our emotions are still linked to that sponsorship deal that fell through, that match point we just blew, and our ability to perform at our best is compromised. It is just about impossible to feel stressed and be in the Zone at the same time.

So whether it's increased productivity of work, overcoming the anxiety and stress of exams, or performing better in your chosen sport(s) please do get in touch for a free of charge consultation. 

Mike James, LTA Master Performance Coach, Certified HeartMath Sports Professional and NLP Sports Psychology Practitioner (+44 (0)7958 008312, mikejames@everyball.net)
Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1159888 2017-06-02T05:45:57Z 2017-06-02T05:45:57Z Just saying.....


Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1159265 2017-05-31T15:57:26Z 2017-05-31T15:57:27Z Never let significant moments become defining ones
Sport is full of significant moments.  I was bowled last week on 36 runs, having just got my eye in and scoring well.  It was a significant moment because I was in a great position to influence the outcome of a cricket match which we incidentally lost. I'm still annoyed and kicking myself 4 days later!

I've been supporting our junior competition players this week at the LTA 12/14&U Grade 2 National Tour event held at HaltonUK - not 'Nationals' by the way as many like to refer to these Grade 2 events as.  (The GB Junior National Championships is held in August of each year at Bournemouth and Nottingham respectively).

And here, just as in my cricket match last weekend, there have been some significant moments that have come in the way of wins, losses, come-backs and collapses.  

They are significant in that they mean something.  In that there is something to learn and gain from them.  In that they are a step further towards or away from your current goals.  But let's just leave them at that shall we.

These moments don't define who you are as a human being.

Your self-esteem and self-worth is not determined by them.

Allow this to happen and you lose sight of what sport is all about.

Never let significant moments become defining ones, especially in relation to who you are.
Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1159263 2017-05-31T15:37:24Z 2017-05-31T15:37:24Z Dom King - Tennis Files Podcast

Dominic King, Head of Athlete Development for Everyball Tennis and S&C Coach for Halton Health and Fitness Club, was recently interviewed for The Tennis Files Podcast. The episode has just been released.

The link for the episode is below or you can download it on ITunes or your chosen podcast platform.




The Tennis Files Podcast is hosted by Mehrban Iranshad in which he interviews top tennis pros and coaches to help you learn the best tips and advice to improve your game. Dom joins an impressive list of people within the tennis world to be interviewed for the podcast.


'It was really an honour to be asked to be part of this podcast, given those who have gone before me. I give Halton a few mentions so I hope I represent the Centre well in it! I hope you enjoy it. If you have any questions relating to it or your training, please do contact me;'

07779 023845 

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1157517 2017-05-26T06:45:47Z 2017-05-31T15:37:38Z Everyball Tennis Seniors (ITF Grade 5) at HaltonUK held this week
Our first ever ITF Seniors Event is being held this week at Halton.   We've been blessed with amazing weather, a super entry and the tournament has been superbly refereed by Bob Stone and directed by James Morgan.  Events have run across +35, +45, +55, +65 singles and doubles.

So proud of all our Halton club members who (for many) have taken on the challenge of a new competitive experience, laced up and put themselves 'out there'.  Love it!

A massive well done to Tim Gill, Matt Rogan, Ralph Holliday, Rachel Barnett, Dharshi Maheswaran, Colin Read, Danny O'Sullivan, David Evans, Martyn Ledbury (RAF), Ali Johnson (RAF), David Barnett, Rob Pain, Derek Mellor, Wendy Shute and Helen Stewart.

I have personally battled away over 3 rounds to find myself in the final of the Mens 45s today against No. 3 seed Charles Durham who took out No. 1 seed Steve Jones yesterday. Match is set for 12 noon, so if you're at a loose end and fancy some light entertainment watching me wilt in the sun do come down!

A different experience to my last ITF.  On the clay for one meaning some longer drawn out points and making it harder to attack and get in to the net.  Change of direction tough in these dry conditions, so matches have felt very chess-like and tactical.  Nice to play at 'home' in the sense of familiarity, support and ease of warm-ups and pre and post match, but not so easy to switch in and out of work mode!!

A really thrilling week in adding to our portfolio of events at Halton, and the club has very much been at it's best.

Thanks again Bob and James for your amazing contribution to the event's success.  Today's order of play can be seen here:

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1156601 2017-05-23T12:06:13Z 2017-05-23T12:06:13Z Definition of an adventure? Outcome unknown.
Here we are encouraged to enrol on the journey.

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1154163 2017-05-15T14:24:46Z 2017-05-15T14:24:46Z The 'new' T5 (TEAM5) tennis community
See here the new T5 Tennis community.

Looking for partners/collaborators/anyone catching a sniff of the vision.

Do get in touch.

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1149115 2017-04-25T09:15:12Z 2017-04-25T09:15:12Z Getting closer to the right answer for that particular athlete at that particular time
Seth Godin writes today: 

Science is a process. It's not pretending it has the right answer, it merely has the best process to get closer to that right answer.

Made me think that this can be said about coaching.

Coaching is very much a process.

It's not pretending to have the right answer, but on on-going process/discussion/experiment to get closer to that right answer for that particular athlete at that particular time.
Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1147113 2017-04-17T18:47:18Z 2017-04-17T18:47:18Z Is this too simplistic? Difference between girls and boys... Heard this the other day:

Girls need to feel good in order to win.

Boys need to win in order to feel good.

Too simplistic?  No doubt, but nonetheless does it strike a cord?
Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1146590 2017-04-15T14:06:56Z 2017-04-15T19:49:23Z Fila Senior Indoor English Championships (6) - Final post

Finals day.

Up at 7.00 am for a half hour mobilise, stretch, roll and cup of tea!  Out of the house by 8.30 to hook up with Chris for a 9.15 hit and was ready to go.

Nick started well and held to love first game making clear his intent to get to net, serving and volleying and sneak attacks from the baseline. Points were going to be relatively short and in some ways I was quite relieved that it wasn't going to be another long physical battle with drawn out rallies, although this probably would have favoured me.  

I held comfortably second game and then managed to pinch an early break followed by another hold to lead 3-1.  Nick's forehand was misfiring slightly and a few unforced errors from him off this wing enabled me to win the first set with relative ease, 6-2.

An immediate break first game second set and I was now in the drivers seat, but I played a poor service game (not positive enough) and we were back on level terms.  With confidence now building in my opponent his game picked up and he began to find the spots on his serve and came up with some really very impressive volleying.  We each held serve but a 4-5, 15-30 I was in some trouble.  A couple of clutch points including an ace out wide and a diving cut off volley helped with get through this sticky patch, and from there the momentum seemed to shift back my way and with a break and and a hold the job was done, 6-2 7-5.  A good match played in great spirit against a very worthy opponent - well done Nick Boys on a great tourney if you read this!

It was great to see the Bright family and Calum and Kevin Fairey there to support - thanks so much guys and for the excellent charting Josh!  You guys helped loads and thanks Chris Evans as well for all the encouragement over last few days and sorry you couldn't quite make it over the line today - all development work for those Inter-Services this summer Chris!

The thing that struck me the most this week has been the expenditure of 'emotional labour' during a tournament, both on and off-court and how much of a journey into oneself this game really is.  The simple fact of not really being able to talk or engage with anyone but yourself through 2 hours of play leads to a whole range of emotions and thoughts, often in that order.  The emotion kicks in very quickly, and it's a question then of whether one's self-talk can take you to a better place when those emotions are less than helpful or just downright chimp-like negative! There have been times over the last few matches where I've just wanted to give up, stop fighting and go home but another voice kept tugging away saying, 'no, stick at it, hang in there and it could just turn.'

Been a great few days.  A super reminder for me as a coach what our Everyball players go through on a regular basis and hopefully my coaching will be sharper and more insightful as a result.  Thanks also for all the support via text/social media etc...makes a massive difference.

Match point, filmed by Chris attached below.

Until next time, Mike.

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1146396 2017-04-14T15:14:55Z 2017-04-15T19:44:38Z Fila Senior Indoor English Champs 2017 (5) - update on semi-finals
Ok so on to semis today.  Opponent Stephen Jones ranked 37 in the world 40s and 44 in the world 45s (he can play both as turns 45 this calendar year), so felt like it was always going to be a tall order and not quite sure how the legs would respond after long 3 setter in the quarters.

Arrived for 10.45 hit with Chris Evans who was also playing his semi in the Mens 35s (Well done Chris on another routine win and into the finals tomorrow and thanks for your fantastic support today, once again my match outlasting yours for time!) and felt surprisingly good.

Took this feeling onto court and although I could see Stephen's pedigree he was missing enough to enable me to get a couple of breaks up and close out the first set 6-2.

0-40 on his serve in the first game of the second and had I converted one of these break points I might well have been away but it was not to be and we each held serve over the next several games.  He was playing much better, finding the corners with his backhand and I had gone a little passive, not coming over the ball enough to take time away and was more or less hoping that he'd just go on and 'lose' the match for me! Oh how the mind works!  At 4-5 me serving, Stephen came up with a couple of great passing shots (he liked the target of me being at net) and ended up breaking me to win the second set.

So into the third and a good hold from him first game which was replicated by me.  By now I had got rid of the tension I was feeling in the second set and began to play with a little more authority and freedom.  Again, rightly or wrongly, I also felt I was just that little bit stronger than him physically and was feeling more and more comfortable in the long rallies, soaking him up with my slice and then changing the pace to be more aggressive to force the required errors from him.  A couple of key points where I chased just one more ball down and I could see him beginning to wonder what he had to do to put the ball away!  Truly living it out and fighting for every ball!!

This extra bit of physicality and belief helped me across the line to take out the number 1 seed 6-1 in the third.

Final tomorrow 10.00 am against unseeded Nick Boys from Beds who has played a cracking tournament so far and took out 2nd and 3rd seeds.  Should be fun!!

Plenty of hydration, re-fuelling, rolling and stretching ahead this afternoon/evening and hope the legs have it in 'em tomorrow!
Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1146281 2017-04-13T22:19:51Z 2017-04-14T07:39:07Z Fila Senior Indoor English Champs (4) - today's quarter final update
So, poor preparation my end by assuming that I'd be playing 4th seed Philip Worsdel today.  WRONG.  He was soundly beaten by Andrew Cresswell yesterday, so my scouting and homework on Philip was rendered useless!!

So Andrew and I took to the court at 1.00pm today, half an hour earlier than expected but I was grateful as whatever the outcome I could meet the family in time at Wembley Arena for a meal and the fantastic Harlem Globetrotters!

Staffordshire's Andrew Cresswell loomed pretty large opposite the net at several inches over 6 ft, but just a genuinely lovely guy, sporting and totally calm throughout what turned out to be some battle.

Andrew played a big serving front footed game, no hanging about and it was to be a contrast in style with me hustling balls down mixed with some serve and volley and attacks at net off the backhand slice.  The first set was tight, I was tight and so was the score but I managed a break mid-set which led me to 5-3, 40-15 only to dump a sitter of a forehand volley into the net.  Feeling the pressure of not being match tight, it was a classic choke and led to a mini collapse with Andrew reeling off 4 straight games to win the first set 7-5.

After giving myself a stiff talking to I found my game and rattled off the second 6-1 and felt pretty confident of rolling on through the third in the same way, but Andrew had other plans and played 3 games of super tennis to break me twice and take a 3-0 lead.  It was do or die time for me and I dug deep from somewhere in the memory bank and slowly started to put some points together with a hold followed by a break back.  Still, I was in deep trouble as Andrew, though it seemed visibly tiring now, stepped up to serve out the match at 5-4 but I managed a couple of clutch passing shots to break back and even things up for 5-5.

I felt pretty strong down the stretch (Hutch, I thought of our 'hill' many times!) and managed to hold for a 6-5 lead and then hustled like my life depended on it to force a final break and won the match 5 in the third.  Length of match 2.5 hrs.

Superb match.  Went through every emotion and feeling, amazing that the sport still conjures this all up at the age of 49!

Number 1 seed Stephen Jones tomorrow at 11.30 am in the semis.

Evo, I'll be there for a hit at 10.45 (no sign in until after this time!)

Just back now from the basketball, had a good stretch and foam roll, a few ibuprofen to hopefully do a job overnight and back at it tomorrow.

Hope to be able to take it on through to Saturday, let's see what tomorrow and this crazy sport throw up.
Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1146006 2017-04-12T20:21:12Z 2017-04-12T20:21:13Z Fila Senior English Indoor Champs 2017
So, a tighter match today against Robert Slack. 

Started well and broke early to go 3-1 but then I played a few loose points, lost a little confidence and tightened up as he came back to even things at 3-3.  A tentative hold by me and followed by another break took me to 5-3 only to be broken again, this time with some good returning and passing shots from my opponent.  I managed to force another break to take the set and began to relax a little to take the second set without loss of a game.

4th seed tomorrow - was scheduled for 9am but Philip Worsdell still on court playing doubles so may well be later.

Keep you posted and thanks for the support ;-)
Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1145873 2017-04-12T07:19:44Z 2017-04-12T07:19:44Z Match preparation - conducting a pre-mortem
Came across this expression yesterday thanks to Northchurch Cricket Club 1st team captain Tom Vila in an excellent players meeting last night in preparation for the upcoming season.

We've called it inoculation in the past, but it's around the idea that prior to a season or a match you conduct an inventory of what could go wrong and develop strategies to combat them when they do.

When they do.

Because things will go wrong

No match or season ever goes, 'good, very good, great, shake hands.'  There are ups, downs, mishaps, mistakes and just plain bad luck.  That's the nature of competition, that's what we've signed up for!

As I prepare for my own match today I know that:

  • my opponent could play lights out tennis
  • he may hit a let-cord winner on a key point
  • I may break a string on a key point
  • he may make a mistake or two on line calls and he may well accuse me of the same!
  • the lighting may be poor and the balls not to my liking
  • my match may be delayed for some-time
  • I may pick up a niggle/injury 
  • I may struggle for timing/form or start badly
  • I may lose a set from a winning position
  • I may find myself getting really nervous/chocking and slow on my feet
The list goes on.

Of course, my strategies to cope with these possible scenarios are mainly mental and geared fundamentally to my self-talk.  Remember how important your self-talk is, primarily because you are listening!

Key phrases I'll be using:

  • "It's ok I can handle it'
  • Hang in there and wait for your moment
  • Who's doing what to who?  How and why are points being won and lost?
  • Slow down, relax, breathe
  • It's ok - I knew that could happen.  This is competition.
  • I can turn this around, keep working.
  • Ok, accept this and move on
  • Use what you've today - stay competitive
  • C'mon; expect good things to happen
Conducting a pre-mortem sounds a little negative I know.  The argument is that we should be staying positive and looking for good things to happen.  I agree, but conducting a pre-mortem should be an integral part of great preparation and being 'real', understanding the nature of competition and the challenges it will present.

The flip side of the coin of course is being intentional about what you would like to happen, visualising success, having a clear plan and processes to follow.  
Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1145749 2017-04-11T17:37:44Z 2017-04-11T17:37:45Z Fila Senior English Indoor Champs (3)

Well there was supposed to be some text in front of that video!

Job done today, good to get on and feel the speed of the court.  Opponent played some good points but just lacked the some rally tolerance which enabled me to control things and ultimately deny him a chance to post a game on the score-board.

Game felt pretty good.  Came in whenever possible but also felt pretty good moving at the back.  Struggled to find the slider out wide and down the T although the video courtesy of Matt Rogan watching on caught a good one on match point!  Thanks for the support Matt and best for tomorrow!

No doubt sterner tests to follow but good to have first round out of the way and feel my way into the event.

Also had a smiley Sarah Tricks as referee just to make me feel right at home ;-)

More tomorrow.

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1145745 2017-04-11T17:27:58Z 2017-04-11T17:27:58Z Fila Senior English Indoor Champs 2017 (2) ]]> Everyball with Mike James tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1145506 2017-04-10T19:31:34Z 2017-04-11T06:15:27Z Fila Senior English Indoor Championships 2017, Gosling Tennis Centre (Blog 1)
Well hello fellow sports fans,

Last year I blogged (some may say blagged) my way through to win the Fila Senior English Indoor Championships, although it must be said that I was a set down in the final when my opponent pulled up with a torn calf muscle and I'm not sure I was the fitter man on the day!

So, this year I thought it only right that I should attempt to defend my title and so begins this year's blog on the event.

A different feeling this year.  Not an unknown bandit in the draw, but seeded 8 with my lofty world ranking of, err, 424.  It must be said that it got as high as 346 after last year's event, but alas I have failed to play since!  Still, posting a 5-0 Senior ITF record gives me some hope for the days to come.

I've prepared well physically.  A lot of time in the pool and on the mountain bike with my great training partner Hutch, 5 or so weeks of Barre Sculpt with the excellent Harriet Moran-Smith and a class of 10 ladies (yes, only bloke and its ballet), so hoping the old body (back, knees, shoulder) will hold out! 

Whilst doing what I can physically, I must admit I'm a little under-cooked on court time, though my players will have noticed a little extra intensity and footwork down my end in their lessons of late and a heightened motivation to play a few points at the end! A big thanks to pal and RAF maestro Chris Evans for the couple of sets today and best of luck in the 35's mate - oh to be so young!  Still, looks like there are a few whipper-snappers in the 45's and I'm shocked to think that next year I'll qualify for the 50s!!!

So, the campaign begins tomorrow 1pm against 45 year old (yes excuses already, he's much younger) James Fiordelisi.  Is there some Italian clay court mastery in that name....I don't know??

I'll report in, daily.  Well, at least tomorrow for sure ;-)

Finally, quick shout out to Halton's own Matt Rogan who takes his place in the Men's 40's event this year.  Great prep over the weekend Matt in your Team Aegon victory and all the best.  That coaching with Danny West will surely see you through!
Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1145345 2017-04-10T09:36:32Z 2017-04-10T09:43:04Z Play more doubles and team tennis to develop a 'team' ethic/mentality
I constantly bang on about the 'life-skill' virtues of tennis.  Even written a book about it.

The 'team ethic' however, is one that can easily become an under-developed life-skill in our youngsters as they pursue their competitive tennis journeys.  The 1:1, individualistic nature of our sport can quickly lead to a 'all about me' mentality where it's all about the player's wants/needs/ambitions.  Not a great quality out in the workplace....or anywhere really.

Doubles and 'team tennis' at least puts the break on this and helps players:

  • put needs and ambitions of the team/organisation ahead of theirs
  • play a 'role' in the team that may be one they wouldn't normally play and one in which they might not be the star
  • encourage and motivate others even after an bad loss themselves
  • lead by example
  • to be prepared to accept a tough decision and support from the bench/sidelines
  • communicate more
  • see the bigger picture
  • take responsibility when the 'time' comes
So some advice for our players.  

Play your County.

Play your Club.

Play for your school.

Enter the 'dubs' whenever you can - put your 'fatigue' and 'what's best for me aside' and learn to be a team player.
Everyball with Mike James