tag:everyball.net,2013:/posts Coaching, the never-ending discussion.... 2018-05-15T09:24:18Z Everyball with Mike James tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1283677 2018-05-15T09:24:18Z 2018-05-15T09:24:18Z Grit, resilience, determination to keep the dream of tennis supremacy alive! Check this out from a true Everyballer!

A delightful email this morning from one of my adult clients:

Went to the physio on Monday and got some interesting feedback:
  • Have a rotator cuff injury that has been there for a while which is increasing load on my elbow, forearm and wrists
  • Have tennis elbow
  • Have three pieces of metal left in my elbow one of which looks like a scalpel head  
So I have started rotator cuff exercises which apparently can only take 18 months to work!!  In addition, I guess I'll have to take a little further interest in my medical records.
The work we have been doing on the FH should support the exercises, as more of the load is being taken up by better mechanics

My plans for tennis supremacy by the age of 65 is still firmly on track!

A true Everyballer!!
Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1282353 2018-05-11T07:18:42Z 2018-05-11T07:18:42Z Beth and Oliva move into another women's ITF 25K doubles final!

All the very best for today's final ladies!

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1281681 2018-05-09T06:38:45Z 2018-05-09T06:38:45Z Halton excel in National Premier League of Doubles 2018
Halton have had an excellent first year in the National Premier League of doubles where winners of each region go through to a finals with 16 teams from all over the UK competing.

Over the year, the Halton team consisted of Roy Knight, Gavin McKinlay, Ed Taylor, Alex Barnes, Christian Colvin, Oscar Glenister and Calum McKinlay with Roy, Gavin, Alex and Ed making up the team for the national finals.

This year's standard was very high high, Marcus Willis played for the winning team, Jonny Marray played last year and Ed and Alex coming up against Dan Cox!

In the finals (qualifying through a regional play-off) Halton drew 2-2 with Thongsbridge, with Roy and Ed narrowly losing in a tiebreak shootout.  However Roy and Ed came back to win a shootout against Lincoln and had Lincoln won their shootout against Thongsbridge, Halton would have gone through on a count-back but Thongsbridge came through in the end.

It was a superb effort for the boys to come so close in our first year in the competition.

A special mention to Roy and Gavin who came through the whole competition with a 100% record (pictured below)

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1281525 2018-05-08T10:34:03Z 2018-05-08T10:34:03Z Is being consistently good, good enough?

There is something about aiming for consistently good that strikes a cord with me this week.

Some may say boring, dull, low risk, un-exciting.

But I say there is something powerful even honourable and that endeavour.  Day in, day out to be consistently good in all we do; our relationships, our work, our training, our studies, our general operating standards, and our performances.

And not only that, but consistently good over time.  This is really important, as the values of 'staying in' and 'sticking at it' in this 'insta' world are gradually being eroded.  The longer we are consistently good, ever-present, doing the job, the more impact we can have on others and the world around us.

And when we are consistently good, there will be days of brilliance, of insight, of innovation of high drama and excellence but finding a baseline of consistently good is, in of itself, not a bad aim.

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1281499 2018-05-08T06:29:15Z 2018-05-08T08:10:26Z Everyball's Head of Athlete Development Dom King part of The Tennis Summit 2018!!
Everyball Tennis's own Head of Athlete Development, Dom King, was recently part of The Tennis Summit 2018, the World's Biggest Online Tennis Conference

The Summit ran from April 25-30 and featured many great presentations. Dom's presentation,was titled 'Developing Rotational Power'.

The Tennis Summit brought together over 30 world­ class coaches and experts, including:
Paul Annacone, Gigi Fernandez, Craig O’Shannessy, Jeff Salzenstein, Dr. Mark Kovacs, Ian Westermann, Allistair McCaw, Peter Freeman, Emma Doyle, Feisal Hassan, Satoshi Ochi, Dean Hollingworth, Kris Soutar and of course, Dom and many more.

These top coaches and experts had never been together at one event before! It is estimated that close to 10,000 tennis enthusiasts from across the world signed up!

Although the free access to the presentations has passed, The All Access Pass to the Summit is still available to buy, but will be taken down very soon so you'll need to be quick!
This will give you access to all the recordings for you to watch anytime. Please see the link below for more information.


Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1279878 2018-05-03T06:36:36Z 2018-05-03T06:36:36Z Aylesbury Grammar School tennis success powered by Everyball players

A fantastic result in the 2nd Round of The Senior National Tennis away at Watford Boys School on Tuesday with AGS coming away with a 10/2 victory. 

Daniel Dean won 6/0 2/0 40/15 retired against Ali Habib who is an internationally ranked junior.

Joel Good played extremely well to beat Tom Watts 6/0 6/0. Joel made very few mistakes and was just too good for his older opponent.

James Weller carrying a shoulder injury and forced to serve under arm beat Patrick Evans 6/3 6/2 a great result in difficult circumstances

DJ Mentiply (Yr 8) playing his first Senior match at AGS found Dhillon Dodhia just too strong at No 4 and lost 1/6 2/6 but a great effort for DJ.

In the doubles Dean/Good beat Habib/Watts 6/3 6/2 and Watford then conceded the second doubles with Weller/Chintamreddy playing Evans/Dodhia.

Great job AGS and Everyball!


Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1279153 2018-05-01T15:54:09Z 2018-05-01T15:54:09Z Mission impossible!!

Great fun in squad last night bringing out these 3 beliefs:

  1. No ball bounces twice!
  2. No ball gets past you!
  3. You touch it you make it!

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1277445 2018-04-27T06:40:44Z 2018-04-27T09:00:22Z Beth moves into quarter-finals of Obidos 25K in Portugal

Great work by proV3 http://everyball.net/halton-tennis-centre-halton-uk-and-everyball-tennis-launch-prov3http://  and Everyball player Beth Grey as she marches into quarter finals of the Obidos 25K ITF Women's event in Portugal today.  She'll play fellow Brit Katie Swan (315) in a bid to push on into the semis.

All the best to Beth today.  First on at 12.30pm.

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1277101 2018-04-26T10:22:43Z 2018-04-26T10:24:01Z Halton Tennis Centre (Halton UK) and Everyball Tennis launch 'proV3'

We are delighted at Halton to launch a new charitable initiative called proV3.  

The objective behind proV3 is to support the careers of aspiring but vulnerable* professional players currently ranked outside the WTA/ATP top 250.

Such vulnerabilities include:

  • high rates of burn-out, drop-out & injury
  • high stress/anxiety due to lack of resources (principally financial) as well as access to first class facilities, coaching and sparring partners
  • low to nil income due to small prize money purses at lower tier events
  • potentially ill-equipped and/or unprepared for life after tennis

Our strategy to achieve this objective comes through the pursuit of our HaltonUK definition of winning - to 'identify, gather and mobilise all our resources to go as far as we can'.  In this our behaviours will be driven by 3 key values (the V3 bit!): 

Excellence - the quality of being outstanding in all we do

Community - shared learning, experience and support.  A sense of 'belonging'

Team-ship - actively willing each other on, celebrating success, working together with other coaches & organisations [The image of a lone piece of charcoal struggling to stay alight versus a glowing bed where each piece heats and is heated]

Our tactics involve (and not limited to this list):

  • Provision of free court time, coaching, strength and conditioning, planning and competition scheduling
  • Redistribution of financial investment 
  • Periodic coach support on the road
  • Professional support and further personal development opportunities that experts in their field 'give' to proV3 players
  • Accommodation options
  • Training weeks to access

Current proV3 players

22 year old Beth Grey has been training under the HaltonUK/Everyball Tennis banner for the last 15 months and is our HaltonUK and now proV3 player ambassador.  She is currently ranked WTA 613 (rise of over 300 places during her time with us) in singles and 289 in doubles having just won two 25K events with her regular doubles partner Olivia Nicholls (Loughborough Tennis).  Beth plays in the main draw second round in Obidos, Portugal 25K event today after beating fellow Brit Freya Christie (524) yesterday.  (Beth and Olivia pictured below)

Toby Martin has been using Halton as his training base through the winter and spring whilst recovering from injury and he looks forward to progressing back up the ATP rankings over the remainder of 2018.

Gosling Tennis' Katy Dunne coached by Richard Hawkes (WTA 242) who grew up as a junior at Halton between ages 12-18) also continues to use facilities and sparring partners from time to time at Halton.

For further information on proV3 and to get involved in the project either as a player or in a support capacity, please contact Mike James, mikejames@everyball.net

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1276356 2018-04-24T08:28:42Z 2018-04-24T08:28:42Z Chisel the forehand too many times and it's bound to catch up with you!!! SENIORS clay court event at Halton coming soon!!

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1273763 2018-04-17T06:45:45Z 2018-04-17T06:50:18Z Everyball Tennis P.R.I.D.E Programme winners recognised

At Everyball, we believe in P.R.I.D.E - Personal Responsibility In Developing Excellence

During our first training session back yesterday following the easter break, we recognised winners of our P.R.I.D.E programme which challenged players to go out a do a series of activities 'off their own back and outside of the recognised/scheduled training environment' over a period of 6 weeks.

Finn Lester, DJ Mentiply, Millie Day, Amelie Brooks (pictured right to left) and Natalie Bell (not pictured) racked up some serious hours and in doing so no doubt further developed their games, fitness, confidence, and sense of responsibility in that they are the captains of their own ships!!

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1273384 2018-04-16T12:40:09Z 2018-04-16T19:57:10Z Beth and Olivia win 25K doubles title in Obidos, Portugal

Everyball HaltonUK player and club ambassador Beth Grey wins 25K doubles in Obidos, Portugal today with partner Olivia Nicholls (Loughborough Tennis)

Great job ladies!!

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1273123 2018-04-15T20:09:42Z 2018-04-15T21:37:14Z A super busy Easter period for Everyballers with many highlights - here are a few....

Alexandra Hildreth - winner of girls 18&U Rickmansworth Grade 3 (pictured below)

Miles Groom - winner of boys 14&U Doubles Nottingham Grade 2

Jasmine Conway - winner of girls 14&U Doubles Nottingham Grade 2.  Jasmine also reached the semis of the girls 14s singles and quarters of girls 16s singles

Ethan Taank - winner Stony Stratford 12&U Grade 4 singles

Ashton Taank - winner 9&U Grade 3 events at Paddington and Bishops Park

Michael Broner - winner 16s G4 Stony Stratford, runner-up 16s G3 Finchley Manor

Joshua Oakley - runner up 12&U boys doubles Sutton Grade 2, semis boys 12&U Nottingham G2, 

Millie Day - runner-up Leverstock Green G4 16&U girls

Tegan Stockdate - runner up 9&U girls singles Stony Stratford Grade 4

Ben Spencer-Jones - runner up 14&U singles Stony Stratford G4

Jospeh M-Brown – ¼ finals Rickmansworth G3 beating seed 4 along the way

DJ Mentiply - semi finals Boys 14&U singles Rickmansworth G3

Oliver MCcay-Brown - semi finals Mens Singles Berkhamsted G4

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1268384 2018-04-03T09:28:15Z 2018-04-03T09:31:49Z Can tennis become more promiscuous??

Great article in The Times yesterday by Matthew Syed on why English football's reluctance to embrace 'idea sex' is stopping the game from evolving.

A few excerpts:

'And this brings me to English football, where there is precious little sex - at least when it comes to ideas.  The game is insufficiently promiscuous.  The walls between football and the rest of the world, far from being porous, are often high and unbroachable....

This prudishness can be seen in other ways too.  The same old managers, with the same ideas circulate from club to club.  Conferences are too often led by the usual suspects.  Virtually no women operate in coaching roles anywhere in the Premier League.  With each passing World Cup, there is a rush to copy the latest success story with scant recognition that innovation is not about mimicking the status quo but transcending it.  Many coaches teach in the way they they themselves were taught, as if the world could be changed by standing still.

The power of cross-pollination of ideas can even be seen with many technical innovations pioneered by elite athletes....Novak Djokovic learnt his famous 'slide' footwork by leveraging insights from his love of skiing, Indian cricketers improved the reverse sweep by integrating techniques from tennis.  Other innovations, from Dick Fosbury's flop to Jan-Ove Waldner's hidden serve, follow this pattern.  They reveal the power of 'idea sex.''

What can tennis learn from this? Are we (coaches & players) constantly learning from other sports and sharing our own ideas, constantly innovating, trying new things, failing fast and trying again?  Can we be, dare I say it, more promiscuous?

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1267987 2018-04-02T12:19:54Z 2018-04-02T12:19:54Z Goffin doing it for the small guys at 5 feet 11 inches tall!

Is this a serious trend or just a coincidence?

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1267264 2018-03-31T08:09:42Z 2018-03-31T08:09:42Z Everyballers in action today at the Sutton Grade 2

Supported by coaches Ed Taylor and Seb Callcut, 8 Everyball players take to the courts today at the Sutton Easter Grade 2 competition.

Miles Groom, Sophia Mezzone, Amelie Brooks (withdrawn as in final of TE in Portugal!), Millie Day, Jasmine Conway, Emily Ineson, Dean Dean, Alexandra Hildreth.

All the best and fight for everyball!!

No ball bounces twice in front of you.  No ball goes past you.

Everyball is played with courageous purpose!

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1266872 2018-03-30T08:49:52Z 2018-03-30T08:49:52Z Super job Amelie in reaching singles semis and doubles final in the Braga 2018 12&U Tennis Europe event

Happy hunting grounds for Amelie in Portugal as she wins through to play in the semis today of the Braga 12&U Tennis Europe event.  She is playing Isabel Waring from Spain this morning (9.30am).  Amelie and partner Indira also through to the doubles final.

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1266397 2018-03-29T07:40:06Z 2018-03-29T12:18:14Z Coaching versus teaching

The attraction of telling or dictating (traditional 'teach' model), besides being quick and easy, it provides the dictator with the feeling of being in control, says John Whitmore in 'Coaching for `Performance'.

There is yet another problem with the dictating end of the traditional management (coaching) spectrum: the problem of recall.  Quite simply we do not remember very well something we are told.

Coaching is more about engaging the learner in his/her learning, in bringing out the 'oak tree-ness' in the acorn rather than our athletes simply being empty vessels into which we pour our knowledge and information.

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1265420 2018-03-26T14:42:57Z 2018-03-26T14:57:24Z The confidence walk - the power of body language!

The power of body language - how we carry and hold ourselves - is immense in influencing how we then feel and behave!

See this fantastic example from everyballer Amelie Brooks out in Braga, Portugal today where she won her first round TE 12&U match.

Confidence (not arrogance) oozing from her.  Shoulders back, head up, strong gaze down the court as if to say, 'I own this stage'.  Position of the racket head is key - up and in the left hand (non-dominant for Amelie).  Got a bit of swagger going there Amelie, love it!!

Also big congrats to Jasmine Conway who has qualified through to main draw of a category 1, 14&U TE event in Portugal and went on to win her first round match today.  Great job Jasmine and keep going!

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1264552 2018-03-23T19:07:32Z 2018-03-23T19:07:32Z Everyball's Joshua Oakley wins through to 1/4 finals of Boys 12&U Winter National Tour finals

Great job Josh on today's victory in the first round of the 12&U Winter National Tour Finals at the National Tennis Centre, Roehampton. All the very best in the quarters tomorrow morning!

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