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.

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!

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 Tennis welcome two new coaches, Christian Colvin and Sam Kilhams, to the TEAM!

Christian Colvin 

Chris joins our team from The Wimbledon Club, SW19 just across from the All England!

He has a real passion for working with players of all levels that want to perform to the best of their ability. He joins our team with a diverse coaching background.

He began his coaching career as a 21 year old as the Head Coach of his local tennis club where he began to inspire a significant increase in junior coaching, developing a schools outreach program and an adult coaching program.

With a desire to further himself Christian then took on the role as Head of Mini Performance at Withdean Indoor Tennis centre gaining valuable experience while working with a group of National 12&U players. Alongside this he helped Sussex LTA with their county cup training. 

During his time at Withdean Christian qualified as an LTA Level 4 Senior Performance Coach which then led him into his next role working at the High Performance Centre in Brighton travelling and coaching players at national and international level at all ages.  

Christian is now a current candidate on the LTA Level 5 Master Club Coach Qualification.

His passion for helping people to identify, gather and mobilise all that they have to go as far as they can is why Christian is so passionate to join the Everyball team as his own personal values and beliefs are very much in line with the Halton and Everyball ethos., 07909 352866

Sam Kilhams

Sam was introduced to tennis at 7 years old at his local tennis club in Chichester, West Sussex.  He had a successful junior career playing at every age group for Sussex and attending regional and national training camps whilst winning multiple events around the UK.  

As a senior player, Sam continues to represent Sussex whenever possible and has played a number of British Tour events enjoying competition and engaging in multiple sports for as long as he can!

During his college years Sam completed the LTA AASE Scheme at Brighton Health and Rackets Club, completing this in 2011.  During this time he completed his Level 1 and 2 coaching qualifications.  His Level 3 badge soon followed as did a full time coaching position at Chichester where he first picked up a racket!

This gave Sam an excellent platform to gain experience as a coach and assist many different players from toddlers at the start of their journey, to competitive teenage athletes, to veterans at 65+.  Everyone of them has helped him learn and develop as a coach and person!

Having some completed his Level 4 Senior Club Coach Award in 2016, Sam is excited to join the Everyball team and we are delighted to have him!, 07833 918748


Effortless power (2)

The thing about effortless power (see short video post yesterday of Everyball coach Alan Bevan in action) is that it's a bit of a contradiction.  It actually takes a lot of work.  So does powerless effort of course, but you'd take effortless power every time wouldn't you?

What did you see as you pulled up for the shot?

So asked a reporter when interviewing Mississippi State Bulldog Morgan William who scored an OT buzzer-beater jump shot to snap UConn's 111-game win streak in the semi-finals of the NCAA 2017 Final Four.

Her reply: 'I saw opportunity'.

Morgan William, the tiniest player on the court, hit the biggest shot of her life.

Because she wanted the ball.

Because her courage outweighed her fear.

Because she ignored the towering opponent in her face.

Because she had practiced and practiced and practiced.

Because she knew at some point the chance would come.

And she was there, and she was ready.

She saw opportunity.

See it here

A new way of thinking (3)

We are entitled to our human rights.

That's about it.

Entitlement doesn't stretch further.

We are not entitled to win that match.
We are not entitled to that job or that earning.
We are not entitled to that behavioural response.
We are not entitled to that reward, that relationship, that perk.

When we become entitled, we become a victim. It becomes everybody else's fault, never ours.  

There's always someone or something to blame and frankly playing the victim is not attractive.

Our response is to take responsibility - show an ability to respond and create value in and for ourselves by working for and earning the things we want.

Superb by Jo Konta reaching finals of Miami - no entitlement there I can assure you.

A new way of thinking (2)

I think there was a time when responding to feedback and criticism was just seen as part of our development and evolution as players, coaches, professionals.

Now in our post modern ego-centric world we have become unable to distinguish this between an attack on our personal being rather than feedback on our performance - our performance (actions and behaviours that we mobilise to achieve a result) on a particular occasion!

Can we re-think this? Can we re-programme ourselves to take on board either the evidence that sits in front of us, or the opinions and observations of others and separate this from becoming some sort of statement or reflection of our 'person'.

Can we begin to act as if these statements were true:

There is no failure only feedback.

We are not our behaviours.