A lesson in crushing your child....

Child walks in the door having just been dropped off after playing a football match.

Dad: 'Did you win son?'

Son: 'No Dad.'

Dad: 'Did you score son?

Son: 'No dad.'

Dad drops his head.  Son drops his, now having lost the excitement he had to show his Dad the 'man of the match' trophy in his bag, awarded for the best team performer that day.

(Thanks to Julie Blackwood [Chartered Exercise and Sport Psychologist, Loughborough University] for sharing this today on the LTA SPC L4 Course)



This week Everyball Tennis boast 3 boys in GB top 10 (12&U, 14&U)

A superb reflection of Everyball's Aspire to Excel Academy Programme.  This week's GB national rankings show 3 Everyball boys inside their respective age-group's top 10.

Joel Good - 14&U No.8

Miles Groom - 14&U No.10

Joshua Oakley - 12&U No. 8

Superb work and progress boys.  You're not arriving at a destination, but continuing your journey into constant and never-ending improvement, where becoming is better than being, improving better than proving.






Teachable moments

I heard a youth worker from Redthread  (a charity aiming to support and enable young people in South London to lead healthy, safe lives) talking on the radio about 'teachable moments.'   She mentioned that often the most 'teachable moments' come in the darkest of times when a youth is in hospital A&E having been stabbed (via gang invovlement) with no family, no friends and life in the balance. This can be the impact moment for the youth worker to seize upon to get that young person to consider making a change in their lives - if indeed, they survive.

As coaches, our teachable moments hopefully don't come in life/death situations, but they may well come in the low moments and tougher times that all athletes/performers experience.  These are moments when dissatisfaction may well be at it's highest and the 'need' to improve/change is at it's greatest.  These are the moments of revelation in and around the well used saying 'if I continue to do what I've always done, I'm gonna get what I've always got.' 

As coaches and leaders, do we wait for the teachable moments to arrive, or are there ways in which we can orchestrate and create them, the creation of mini crises (the plural of crisis google reliably informs me!) if you will?

As players, do we come with curious and teachable attitudes, inquisitive, prepared to overcome fear of failure and the fear of the emotional/physical discomfort associated with learning.

Reaching the pinnacle of your sport with governing body support

To win the World Cup in football or rugby you require the support of and selection by your governing body.  It is essential.

To win a gold medal at swimming, you need the support of and selection by your governing body.  It is essential.

To win a gold medal at athletics, you need the support of and selection by your governing body.  It is essential.

In fact, to reach the pinnacle of most sports your require the support of and selection by your governing body.

Tennis, is an exception.

The support of the governing body is desirable, preferable and helpful but not essential.

Selection by the governing body for various programmes and opportunities is desirable, preferable but not essential.

You can reach number 1 in the world without your governing body.

Our governing body does a huge amount of excellent work building our sport and assisting top players along the pathway but if you don't fall into that support or the opportunities offered, can I please remind you that this is not a show stopper, it's not the end of the road and it is not an indication that you can't do it.

Wherever you are, whatever your situation be creative and exercise your 'ability to respond' by  identifying, gathering and mobilising all your resources to focus on getting better.  The first resource to identify and mobilise is your own beliefs, attitudes and mindset over what is possible.  Perhaps it begins with the above today.





Nadal and Djockovic forehands - what can we learn?

Nadal and Djockovic warming up at Wimbledon couple years ago.   Forehands almost synchronised.

What can we take away and practice from these two great champions?

  • Great balance - solid, wide base, 'you can't fire a canon from a canoe'
  • Relaxation and a 'let go' feeling in each shot
  • A more traditional follow through for Rafa
  • Tip stance and increasing body speed through the shot
  • 180 degree shoulder rotation 


RAF Tennis's Flight Lieutenant Jon Bond is selected as RED 2 for the RAF Red Arrows

We're more used to seeing Jon race around the courts at Halton rather than speed through the skies but a huge congratulations to Jon Bond's selection as RED 2 for the 2018 Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team the Red Arrows.

A huge honour for him, a massive accomplishment and although we'll miss him on the RAF Men's A team next year, we're right behind you Jon!  Well, that's if we could ever catch you!

Jon flew the Typhoon operationally and he gave a great 'Curious Cows talk' to us in 2016!  See this link: http://curiouscows.uk/content/preparing-handle-pressure-jon-bondhttp://


Everyball hits Europe! Ten Pro Global Junior Tour - Mouratoglou Junior Championships

This week an Everyball Team is out out competing in Nice, France at the Ten Pro Global Junior Tour Mouratoglou Junior Championships. 

James Morgan and Sam Kilhams are captaining an Everyball team of Fraser Reeves, Joshua Oakley, Calum Fairey, William Mottram, Jack Feinson, DJ Mentiply, Oliver Mccay-Brown and Amelie Brooks (shown playing a great point in the video).  Team chaperone is Laura Mars.

So far, reports have been fantastic via a very busy What's App group!  Looks like the players are having an amazing learning experience, getting plenty of great match practice on the clay, supporting each other as a team and clearly having a ball!

Our next Everyball trip is already being planned!


Developing your hitting zone...

'Hitting zone' is the distance over which your strings are facing/pointing towards your target during the hitting phase of the stroke (the forward swing pre, on and post contact).  A longer hitting zone increases chances of a consistent contact point (timing) and increases potential for more racket velocity (speed over a given direction).  Use of the non-dominant hand during the one-handed backhand key in this.

See here 10 backhands in a row against the wall aiming for the cross.  Pretty proud of shots 8 and 9!  (This was 'take 1' I promise!)