3 principles which drive human life to flourish - can we support them in our coaching?!

It's been a great start to the new term at Everyball Tennis at Halton Tennis Centre and it was really good to have the coaching team together yesterday for our first team meeting after a long summer of camps, tournaments and holidays.

I was reminded by another colleague (thanks Kris Soutar) of Sir Ken Robinson's Ted Talk on Education https://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_how_to_escape_education_s_death_valley?language=en and used this to generate a little discussion as we set the scene for the weeks to come.

Robinson talks about 3 principles which drive human life to flourish and what education could do to support them (and in our world of coaching how can can we do the same so that our customers flourish):

1.  Human beings are naturally different and diverse so individualise your coaching.  What works for one won't necessarily work for another.  The old phrase I hear so often in my work as a Coach Educator is 'oh, they'll never/won't/can't learn.'  Generally it's because the coach has used their one approach 'my way or the highway' rather than look to use a level of creativity/different communication styles/coaching techniques to unlock learning.

2.  Humans are naturally curious - light the spark of curiosity and you don't have to do much more; curiosity is the engine room of achievement (what a great phrase!).  Great teachers (and therefore coaches) mentor, stimulate, provoke, engage.  Teaching (coaching) is a creative profession, it is not a delivery system!

3.  Humans are inherently creative.  We all create our own lives through this restless process of imagining alternatives and possibilities.  Awaken and develop these powers of creativity.

Death Vally isn't dead - its dormant (as he refers to the sudden bloom in flowers in Death Valley in 2005 after a short downpour in the autumn of 2004).  Right beneath the surface are the seeds of possibility waiting for the right conditions to come about.  You change the conditions, you give people a different sense of possibility, a different set of expectations, a broader range of opportunities, you offer people the discretion to be creative and to innovate in what they do.

The real role of leadership is not 'command and control' but 'climate control' - creating a climate of possibility.  If you do this, people will rise to it.

Have a great term everybody!

(all content quoted/paraphrased from Sir Ken Robinson's Ted Talk - How to escape education's death valley)


'We don't stop playing because we grow old....we grow old because we stop playing!'

'We don't stop playing because we grow old....we grow old because we stop playing!'  So says George Bernard Shaw.

This week is your chance to jump onto one of our adult tennis camps being held on Tuesday and Wednesday from 9.00am - 12noon.  Come down to http://www.haltontennis.co.uk/ and enjoy our fantastic facilities whilst being put through your paces my a member of the Everyball Tennis Coaching Team.

You can register via this link or text Mike on 07958 008312 or email mikejames@everyball.net

We can't promise to have you playing like Roger, but it's the playing that keeps him going and we can all take a leaf out of that book!



What do you want from your opponent today?

I want her to show up.

To physically show up and sign in.  Without her I have no game, no match - there is no 'sport' without the opposition. 

Then I want her to show up fit and ready with her full effort, her full range of skills, her full competitive ability.  I want and expect her to fight like hell against me.  

That's the only way I can measure myself today, because I want to be tested, examined and challenged.  And when I'm tested, examined and challenged, that's where I learn, that's where the value and enjoyment is found because I love the battle.

And I will respect her best effort by bringing mine and fighting for e-v-e-r-y single ball and leaving my skin on the court if I have to.

Let's play.









Amelie Brooks blasts her way into the finals of the 12&U National Championships in Bournemouth today

A superb effort by Everyball's Amelie Brooks who won through to the finals of the Girls 12&U National Championships in Bournemouth today.

7th seed Amelie beat 2nd seed Abby Kelliher 2-6 6-2 6-1 in the semi-final to avenge two earlier losses this year to Abby in a show of determined power hitting and brave defending.

Amelie will play top seed Mingge Xu in tomorrow's final at 11.30am at the West Hants Club.

Fantastic job Amelie.  

Well done also to Joel Good and Millie Day on their efforts at Nationals this year.  Both fell at the first hurdle but will no doubt be back even stronger next year. 

Sadly, Joel leaves us at Everyball to go the Millfield School for 6th form and we wish him all the very best in this and look forward to seeing him back at Halton during the holidays!  He has been at Halton since he was a Mini Red player and has been a huge asset to us and a wonderful servant to the club, showing great commitment to our junior and adult teams and representing Everyball with distinction in many national competitions through the years.  You'll be sorely missed Joel but will always be an 'Everyballer'.