Last reminder for a superb parent talk by 'Flourishing Futures' tomorrow at Halton Tennis Centre, 5.30-7.00pm

Hello all,

Here's the information again regarding Jayne Wright's parent talk tomorrow evening at Halton.  Very much worth attending if you are a parent of young ones!!

Registration is easy and free of charge and as parents you'll be equipped with a range of really helpful tools to help your children flourish!

The uneasy dance between past and present....

'Such is the way of tradition, including the biblical tradition.  Some things remain, some are adjusted, and some are discontinued - that uneasy dance between past and present, tradition and change, of feeling grounded through time and yet accepting the need to innovate.'  (Peter Enns - How the Bible Actually works).

Sport has been described as a religion - perhaps football being the obvious. Thousands of people meet in huge cathedrals to worship their god(s), to sing and chant with hands raised, and to commune with others of similar belief.  

And like any religion, sport faces the very same challenge of bridging the past tradition with present circumstances and culture - particularly Tennis.  To hold on to and even rediscover the treasures of the past while reimagining our sport for this day and age with new innovations, ideas and products.  Both matter and both are good.

But ultimately we must take heed to the fact that 'Old wineskins do not have the strength and flexibility to contain the potency of new wine.  As is ferments it will burst the skins.'  Translation being our sport can't be contained in the old ways.

The dance between holding on to certain traditions, what is inherently good about our sport whilst continually moving it forward is a challenge indeed.

Our 'Curious Cows' talks are back and if you're a parent of young children you won't want to miss this one!

On Tuesday 22nd October 5.30-7.00pm we are delighted to be re-launching our Curious Cows talks through Ch I L D S (The Chiltern Institute of Learning Development and Sport, one of our sister organisations here at Halton Tennis Centre).

In this talk Jane Wright Jayne will explore the issues faced by children and young people today providing an introduction to mindfulness (with a meditation practice or two).

She aims to provide a brief insight into research outlining the benefits of encouraging our children to have a growth vs a fixed mindset and will also explore the importance of using ‘positive psychology’ in our lives and how this influences our approach as parents.

She will also be available to answer questions individually on the Flourishing Futures Education Centre she is establishing at Halton UK from 9th November!

There is no charge to attend this talk, though please do register via the following link:


Jayne Wright has worked in and with schools for 27 years. She is a very experienced teacher, tutor, and educational trainer and consultant to schools. She started her career as an English, Psychology and PSHE teacher and has worked as a Regional Education Adviser for the Department for Education, QCDA and for four different local authorities.

She delivers training on PSHE, Psychology, mental health and Behaviour for Learning approaches to schools, for teaching staff and parents. Her ‘Flourishing Mindfully in Schools’ course has been successfully delivered to over 120 schools in Hertfordshire. She has worked in both educational phases, with her last teaching post as Head or Wellbeing and Head of (two) Year groups at the well regarded Wycombe Abbey School.

Flourishing Futures Education Centre at Halton Tennis Centre - ‘Inspirational 11+, Literacy and Mindfulness Tuition’  (on Saturday mornings at Halton Tennis Centre)

'Stimulate and simulate' - Do your words, music and dance steepen the learning curve?

Pinching the title of John Wooden's book we know as coaches that 'we haven't taught until they have learned'!  (a book every coach should have in their possession by the way!)

A big part of this is ensuring we appeal to all learning channels, auditory, visual and experiential (kinaesthetic).  Can we 'stimulate' verbally and 'simulate' physically so our words, music (the tone of our communication) and dance create a strong climate in which the potential for learning is greater.

Forehand - develop your swing path

Excellent work here by Everyball Academy player Amelie Brooks as she works on her forehand swing path.  Racket work (path, angle

 and speed of racket at contact) informed by the quality of our body work (slow turn of the back knee then hip prior to contact for faster shoulder through contact).

(Thanks to Top Tennis Training - I pinched and adapted these drills of a recent facebook post. Good use of constraints)

Focus on your surplus column rather than your deficit one!

I played a set earlier this week with one of our junior academy players.  It was my first in months, it was probably his umpteenth of the month!  He's 14, I'm 51.  He's on the up and I'm, well....on the down.  As we pass by each other in these opposing directions, it was actually a pretty good match-up and we had some entertaining points.  

The real battle however was with myself and my inner game in the knowledge that my outer game is not what it once was.  The movement and footwork wasn't quite there, the eyes not as sharp, the legs felt a little shaky, and what was never a big serve lacked any bite whatsoever.   Yes, the deficit column is definitely getting longer and I was in danger of beating myself up over this and playing the victim.

But this day I won that battle in the head, and managed to focus my attention in on what I can still do rather on what I can no longer do and found ultimately that I still have a few things in surplus.  As Judy Murray has been quoted saying, 'It's not about what you have but what you do with what you have.'  That was enough on the day, but will see what happens next Tuesday when we meet again!

That's a choice for us everyday I guess, and at any age.  Focus on what's in your surplus column.  Wasn't Katarina Johnson-Thompson's heptathlon victory last night a victory over adversity after a series of high profile 'failures' at major events?  'The low moments have helped me come back and look at myself' she said, 'This has been my dream.  I've been trying to beat myself and I have found a formula that works.  Everybody's got their journey and it's not been very straightforward for me.  It's not been easy.'

Don't beat yourself up today over what is diminishing or what you don't have.  Focus on what you've got and how to use it to the best of your ability.

Have a good one!

Everyball Tennis welcomes Anna Popescu into our PROv3 scheme at HaltonUK

We'd like to wish Anna Popescu (in action yesterday below) a very warm welcome to Everyball Tennis as she joins fellow professional Sarah Beth Grey on our PROv3 scheme at HaltonUK (Halton Tennis Centre).  

Anna is 22 and lives in Bucks and plays for Hertfordshire.  She is an Arsenal supporter and has a rescue dog called Eddie (he's very cute, I met him yesterday and he'll be spending plenty of time with Anna down at the club!).  Here's a little more about Anna from Anna:

I grew up playing football (played for Watford).  I took to tennis and really enjoyed it and want to make it as a professional (which I class as being able to support myself).  My dream goal would be to make top 100 singles or doubles and compete at Wimbledon.  I would describe my game style as an all-courter.  My other interests are probably what I studied for A levels - psychology and politics.  I like following politics (not so much at the moment!) and also learning about the mind and for example factors that affect our behaviour and decisions, between nurture and nature I guess.

The part I love most about tennis is travelling, meeting people from different countries and cultures and learning about how their lives are different or similar to ours.  From travelling, I have definitely noticed a media bias in how some countries are reported and that's been really interesting.  And I guess I like going out to the gym and working out, eating well (I love trying cuisine from around the world).  Apart from that, I enjoy spending time at home with family and friends and of course Eddie!

I trained at Halton around 12/13 years old and really enjoyed it.  I love the atmosphere at the club.

PROv3 is a beneficial initiative of Halton UK's charitable projects, the aim being to support aspiring professional tennis players outside the WTA/ATP top 250 develop sustainable careers.

Such vulnerabilities include (but not limited to):

  • Potential for high stress/anxiety due to lack of resources to stay with the journey
  • Low incomes due to limited prize money at lower tier professional events and can result in early drop-out rates. This is often twinned with the need to constantly pursue elusive ranking points (therefore not resting or training sufficiently) which can lead to burn-out
  • Unprepared for life after tennis either when they retire or are forced out of the game due to injury

We seek to achieve this through pursuing our HaltonUK definition of winning which is to identify, gather and mobilise all our resources to go as far as we can.  In this our behaviours will be driven by our 3 key values (3V):

Excellence - the quality of being outstanding in all we do

Community - shared learning, experience and support

Teamship - actively willing each other on celebrating success

Over the last 3 years PROv3 has helped Sarah Beth Grey move up to a career high WTA doubles ranking of 146, competing at Wimbledon in the doubles and mixed doubles events this year.  Her singles ranking is on the move as well up recently by 60 places to 572.

If you would like to learn more about how you can help support Anna and Beth through PROv3 please contact Mike James, Director of Tennis, HaltonUK/Everyball Tennis - 07958 008312 or email