tag:everyball.net,2013:/posts Coaching, the never-ending discussion.... 2019-10-13T07:38:29Z Everyball with Mike James tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1465486 2019-10-13T07:37:47Z 2019-10-13T07:38:29Z '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.

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1465480 2019-10-13T07:12:29Z 2019-10-13T07:15:41Z Check out HaltonUK's new promotional video

We've worked hard with some fantastic local designers, artists and writers - in particular Allan Plenderleith and Pippa Brush Chappell - to put together what we think is a fantastic new promotional video for all that goes on at Halton Tennis Centre (HaltonUK).  Have a watch and here's hoping to see you down at Halton soon in come capacity!  http://everyball.uk/video/halton-tennis-centre

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1463345 2019-10-08T17:20:52Z 2019-10-08T17:20:52Z Everyball October newsletter "Open" is here https://mailchi.mp/94c498d1f6eb/everyball-open-october-2019?e=85b46647eb

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1463928 2019-10-08T07:05:11Z 2019-10-08T07:05:11Z 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)

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1462597 2019-10-04T08:02:14Z 2019-10-04T08:19:49Z 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 with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1462333 2019-10-03T09:21:08Z 2019-10-03T09:21:37Z 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 mikejames@everyball.net








    Everyball with Mike James
    tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1460059 2019-09-27T09:47:44Z 2019-09-27T09:47:44Z Give Tennis A(nother) go or GTAG! Free Saturday morning sessions for adults with Mike James at Halton Tennis!

    Fancy giving tennis a(nother) go???

    •  Was it that bad at school that it's put you off for life?
    •  Are tennis clubs stuffy places for the posh and deep pocketed?
    •  Surely you've got to be good to play at a club??
    •  It's really expensive right?
    •  I won't fit in will I?

    At Halton Tennis Centre and Everyball Tennis (our coaching brand) we'd love you to give us a chance to bust some of these myths, so come and join our FREE OF CHARGE 'Give Tennis A(nother) go' (GTAG) sessions at Halton on a Saturday morning 9am-10am run by Mike James.

    Session dates this autumn:

    28/9 (tomorrow!), 5/10, 19/10, 26/10, 2/11 (sessions outdoors so will re-schedule  if weather is poor)

    You don't need a racket, just yourself (and any friends you want to drag along - anyone 16 years or older in fact!), some warm-ish clothing and trainers - we'll do the rest and promise you a great hour of fun, learning and exercise at the level and pace you want to go at.

    All we require is you email Mike at mikejames@everyball.net to say you're coming so we can plan for you!

    Hope to see you tomorrow!

    Mike and the TEAM at Halton - It's a great place to be...and become the tennis player you never knew you were!

    Everyball with Mike James
    tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1458866 2019-09-24T07:18:04Z 2019-09-24T07:18:04Z 3 laws of learning

    Always helpful to remember that:

    1.  All players learn in different ways

    2.  All players require a desire and a need to learn/grow (can we light the spark of curiosity if it's not there?)

    3.  All players learn at different speeds

    Everyball with Mike James
    tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1457406 2019-09-20T07:31:48Z 2019-09-20T07:31:48Z Do you need some creative conflict today?

    Interesting interview with Matt Dickinson and Eddie Jones (first published as a podcast LifeTimes) in 'The Times' today where Jones talks about creative conflict.

    'If you don't have good ideas and debate, you can never get the best result.  If someone presents an idea and everyone agrees, you know it is a bad idea.  I will create conflict to make sure everybody is at the edge of their seats....I allow the opportunity for my players and staff to fail because that's where they'll learn the most....The players lead such a controlled life.  Everything is laid out for them, so you have to create a range of different experiences for them.'

    Everyball with Mike James
    tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1457013 2019-09-19T06:45:05Z 2019-09-19T06:45:05Z Barney Smith ranked No.1 in ITA Mens Doubles US Collegiate rankings whilst Holly Hutchinson also posts high pre-season rankings

    Big congratulations to Everyball alumnus Barney Smith of Texas A&M who topped the US Collegiate Mens Rankings at No.1 on Tuesday with his partner Juan Carlos Aguilar.  

    Also a huge well done to Everyball alumna (thank you google for teaching me the masculine and feminine of this noun!) Holly Hutchinson of Old Dominion University who enters the ITA pre-season national rankings at 48 in singles and 27 in doubles with partner Brooke Pilkington.  More details here: http://www.odusports.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=31100&ATCLID=211811908

    Great work you two and superb to see Everyball alumni making their mark in US College Tennis.

    Everyball with Mike James
    tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1454408 2019-09-12T06:51:02Z 2019-09-12T06:51:02Z 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)

    Everyball with Mike James
    tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1450997 2019-09-02T15:45:45Z 2019-09-02T15:45:45Z September/back to school Edition of 'Everyball' Newsletter

    Hello folks!  It's that 'end of summer back to school feeling' but no matter, here's the September edition of our Everyball Tennis newsletter to cheer you up!


    Everyball with Mike James
    tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1448679 2019-08-26T13:45:19Z 2019-08-26T13:45:20Z '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!

    Everyball with Mike James
    tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1447673 2019-08-23T08:16:09Z 2019-08-23T08:16:09Z 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.

    Everyball with Mike James
    tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1447487 2019-08-22T18:33:40Z 2019-08-22T18:33:40Z 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'.

    Everyball with Mike James
    tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1446320 2019-08-19T08:46:16Z 2019-08-19T08:46:16Z Defining tactics and strategy

    Always a good debate this.  Defining tactics and strategy.

    This from David Epstein's new book Range - How Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World (a book by the way I recommend for all coaches, teachers and parents):

    There is a saying that 'chess is 99 percent tactics.' Tactics are short combinations of moves that players use to get an immediate advantage on the board.  When players study all those patterns, they are mastering tactics.  Bigger-picture planning in chess - how to manage the little battles to win the war - is called strategy.

    Same could be said in our sport of tennis.  Tactics being those short combination of moves that players use to get an immediate advantage on the court:

    - Serve out wide and cheat position to get a forehand on ball 3

    - Approach line and volley cross

    - Heavy deep ball followed by drop shot

    - Cross-court 3/4 court angle followed by change of direction line

    - change of pace/spin; hit two, slice one 

    The list could go on and on, but tactics in tennis must be part of a greater strategic narrative which must involve using one's own strengths against your opponent's weaknesses (and hiding one's own weaknesses!), combating a particular game-style and persona, whilst appreciating environment, court surface, score, and finally effectively controlling and exploiting space and time on a consistent basis.

    Sometimes it might be helpful simply to ask whether my current tactics are aligned to an over-arching match strategy or am I just executing entrenched 'tactical plays'.  Top players tend to be hugely successful adapters (even if the adaptions are small) so they avoid the same old patterns that may work against one opponent but not another.  For example, how much has Roger Federer's record against Rafa improved since he started to drive more backhands down the line taking the ball earlier and hitting it harder to Rafa's backhand as opposed to the same of slice cross that, whilst effective against many other players, was feeding Rafa's insatiable forehand.  A refined tactic sitting within a more clearly defined strategic aim.

    Everyball with Mike James
    tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1445977 2019-08-18T10:37:09Z 2019-08-18T10:37:09Z We're serving up our last two weeks of Summer Tennis Camps! Don't miss out on the ball we're having!

    What shall we do with the kids this week?!!! Don't worry, we've got you, sign them up for one of our Everyball Tennis camps for sporty tots, minis and juniors players of all levels!  This pesky weather won't stop play either with our indoor courts at Halton Tennis Centre!

    To sign up, simply jump onto our website via this link and click on 'camps' for our Halton Tennis Centre and Tring Tennis Club offerings: http://everyball.uk/

    Everyball with Mike James
    tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1445681 2019-08-17T09:29:39Z 2019-08-17T09:29:39Z 3 Everyballers play at this years Junior National Championships

    Congratulations to Joel Good, Millie Day and Amelie Brooks for qualifying for this years Junior National Championships in Nottingham(18s, 16s, 14s) and Bournemouth (12s) respectively.  A super achievement and testament to all your hard work during the year - well done!

    First round matches:

    Joel v Mattias Southcombe - Tuesday 10am

    Millie v Hannah Read (4() - Monday 9.00am

    Amelie (7) v Lily Doherty - Monday 1.00pm

    Wishing you all the best a be warriors out there!

    Everyball with Mike James
    tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1443014 2019-08-10T07:24:23Z 2019-08-10T07:24:23Z One of those moments to say, 'sod it, I'm just gonna do it!'?? Adult tennis camps at Halton this coming week!

    If you're anything like me you put things off - put things off that you'd like to do, wish you could do, or are just too plain scared to do??

    Well, this could be your moment to change that and hop onto one of our adult tennis camps days this week at Halton Tennis Centre.

    9am - 12noon on Wednesday and Friday the 14th and 16th August we are running adult tennis camps - suitable for beginner, intermediate and club standard players - barrier to entry is ability (we won't accept you if you're too good!!).

    One of our Everyball coaches will take you through a range of drills, games and practices to get you playing that tennis you always wished you could play and you'll get some great exercise, have a good giggle or two and meet some new faces!

    Up for it?  Please email me on mikejames@everyball.net or text/call on 07958 008312.  Bring a friend and we'll knock 25% off the daily rate of £30.00

    Still a chance to play like a PRO......well ok, maybe not, but come and have a bash anyway!

    Everyball with Mike James
    tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1441635 2019-08-06T07:52:09Z 2019-08-06T07:52:10Z Everyball's Amelie Brooks breaks into GB's top 10 in national rankings

    Great ranking progress by Amelie Brooks as she breaks into the top 10 in the 12&U National rankings at number 10 this week.

    Rankings a reflection of the hard work taking place to keep developing her game (pictured below working on her serve yesterday) so big well done to Amelie and keep it going!

    Everyball with Mike James
    tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1441237 2019-08-05T06:28:12Z 2019-08-06T07:38:34Z Here's 10 great reasons to play Doubles

    In our Everyball Academy Programme we think playing doubles is a really important - so much so we dedicate one session per week to it.

    Here's 10 reasons why and I'm sure you can think of a few more:

    1.  Doubles is a team sport in what is generally a singular pursuit - learning to work effectively together with and support your partner develops great team skills.  

    2.  Playing doubles can keep you in the tournament if you're out early in singles.  This is especially relevant when you're travelling and playing back to back events.  You don't want to be hanging around fighting for practice courts etc for too long and doubles keeps you competitive and on-court.

    3.  There is now a bonafide career in doubles with a sustainable living to be made.

    4.  Doubles is critical to Fed/Davis Cup and other major team competitions on the tour like the Hopman Cup.  Domestically County Cup will always involve doubles and of course doubles plays a key role in US College Tennis and GB University Tennis.  Therefore, you can gain selection into teams on doubles merit.

    5.  Doubles develops so many aspects of your singles game - open racket face skills, net game, serve and return, reaction skills/fast hands and quick thinking to name just a few.

    6.  Doubles brings a whole new tactical dimension to the sport (formations, poaching, etc) and players learn to think and talk with their partner through matches and tough situations.

    7.  It's a destination many of us end up at - playing doubles brings longevity to playing when the singles legs aren't there any more!  (and it's a great route back into the sport after injury - a la Andy Murray).  All club league tennis in Britain will generally involve doubles.

    8.  Doubles can be a positive distraction from the pressure of the singles court.

    9.  Doubles brings a social aspect - meeting and getting to know different partners, travelling/eating with your partner, etc. etc.

    10.  And the most important one - it's great fun!!

    Everyball with Mike James
    tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1441046 2019-08-04T13:33:26Z 2019-08-04T13:33:26Z Addendum to earlier blog: Will Mottram and DJ Mentiply win Great Missenden Grade 3 16&U Doubles title

    Sorry Will and DJ - having 'liked' the Instagram post yesterday of your win and including it on my back on an envelope

    scribblings for the blog today I still managed to leave you off!  Very sorry and great job on your title, beating former Everyballers (now of Bradfield College) Will Mercer and Jack Shawyer 4-2 5-3.

    Two years ago in the Everyball Academy Programme we launched 'doubles Mondays' where the training emphasis has been on doubles and the increase in doubles success by Everyball players during this time has been notable.  Great job to our Coaching team and for parents and players to embrace this - it could be 'easy' just to pursue success on the singles court, but as we know there are so many great reasons to work at and develop into accomplished doubles players.

    Everyball with Mike James
    tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1441014 2019-08-04T12:19:42Z 2019-08-04T12:19:42Z Everyball success at Woking Ladies 25K and Great Missenden Grade 3

    Congratulations to Everyball and ProV3 player Beth Grey for winning the Woking Ladies 25K doubles title yesterday with her partner Eden Silva beating second seeds Naiktha Bains and Ankita Raina in 2 sets.

    More local in Buckinghamshire saw plenty of Everyball success at the Great Missenden Grade 3.

    Amelie Brooks and Athina Radicopoulos won the 14&U Girls Doubles beating Evan Lancaster and Shreya Walia 7-5 6-4.

    Finn Lester and Alexander Pennycooke (pictured below) won the 14&U Boys Doubles beating James Carter and Tom Chapman 7-5 6-3.

    Joel Good won the Open Mens Singles with a 6-3, 0-6, (10-5) win over William McLennaghan, and a notable mention to Oliver Connor for a great run to the boys 12&U singles final which he lost to Ezra Annafi.

    Great job all!

    Everyball with Mike James
    tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1438144 2019-07-28T14:01:06Z 2019-07-28T14:01:07Z Everyball Academy players notch up several titles early on in the summer competitive season

    Joel Good, Amelie Brooks, Millie Day all win titles early on in the summer competitive season.  A big congrats to you all.

    Joel wins Penny Sinclair Grade 3 18&U and Mens Singles beating a string of highly ranked players on the way.

    Amelie (shown in a classic summer tennis pic below!) wins 12&U Penny & Sinclair Grade 3 singles following doubles success in winning the Scotland Grade 2 12&U Doubles and then backing this up with a second Grade 2 12&U doubles title in Bath.  All of this whilst reaching the quarters of both 12&U/14&U Grade 2 singles in Bath.

    Millie Day won the 16&U Grade 3 Dan Burden Trophy coming back from 0-6 down in the final set tie-break to win it 13-11.  She also won the 14&U and 16&U doubles events there.  Millie then backed this up with a 14&U Grade 3 singles win at the Cambridge Summer Open winning the doubles event as well.  Just so happens at the same time Millie has been selected for Regional Lacrosse as part of the England Pathway and is now attending a 3 day camp before heading off on a well earned holiday!

    The summer tennis tour lands locally in Bucks this coming week with several Everyball Academy Players competing at the Great Missenden Grade 3 event.  All the best to all our players competing there and of course elsewhere around the country!  Keep us posted on your results.

    Everyball with Mike James
    tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1431604 2019-07-12T07:27:32Z 2019-07-12T07:31:43Z Footwork masterclass from Felix Auger Aliassime - lessons from the practice courts at Wimbledon

    A hop means to take off on one foot and land on that same foot.  A jump is the reverse, take off on one land on the other.

    See Felix Auger Aliassime work on his movement forward off a short ball.  His footwork through the short is determined by: 

    - his initial position on the court (where he's coming from)

    - the characteristics of the ball he is receiving; in this case a slow (speed) shorter ball (distance) to the forehand from  a cross-court direction, relatively low (height) and with a little topspin.

    - his shot selection (FH topspin approach down the line - attacking with precision) and movement after towards the net.

    He therefore selects on this occasion a hop step through the shot, taking off on his left and landing on his left to increase his ability to get up to the top of the bounce to take it early and the distance he can cover towards the net to ensure a good volley position.

    Everyball with Mike James
    tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1431249 2019-07-11T07:13:58Z 2019-07-12T07:03:24Z Play both back when returning in doubles to counter the big server - great lessons for all levels of doubles play

    There are a good reasons to play in a 'both back' formation when returning in doubles, one of them being to counter the big server and the vulnerability of the returner's partner against the server's partner when in the 'up' position.  This is demonstrated well here by Pablo Carreno Busta and Feliciano Lopez last week at Wimbledon.

    See also Lopez movement into the split step and his reduced backswing on the FH return to counter to speed of the oncoming speed.  It was a good serve into his body and whilst he managed to hit a winning return down the line the net player probably should have done a better job with his technical anticipation (ie: Lopez was never going to find the inside of the ball here to go back cross-court) to cover it.

    Carreno Busta is not passive in his role - see his movement on and just after the return, ready for the short reply.

    Everyball with Mike James
    tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1429444 2019-07-09T08:51:59Z 2019-07-09T08:52:00Z Winning, losing and playing the game

    Great quote on the wall in the All England Club from Boris Becker.

    I can take losing, I like winning, but most of all I love playing the game.

    Great perspective.

    Everyball with Mike James
    tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1428004 2019-07-05T09:28:26Z 2019-07-05T09:28:26Z PROV3 delivers on it's aims as Beth Grey plays at Wimbledon 2019

    2 years ago we launched ProV3 - a beneficial initiative of Halton UK's charitable projects with the objective of supporting the careers of aspiring but vulnerable professional tennis players outside the WTA/ATP top 250.  Vulnerabilities include high rates of burning/dropping out, high stress/anxiety due to lack of resources, low incomes due to minimal prize money at lower tier professional events, and perhaps being ill equipped and/or unprepared for life after tennis.

    We aim to achieve this through pursuing our HaltonUK definition of 'winning': To identify, gather and mobilise all our resources to go as far as we can.  In doing this our behaviours are driven by 3 key values (3V):

    Excellence – the quality of being outstanding in all we do

    Community – shared learning, experience and support

    High Performance team-work - strong interdisciplinary approach, clear roles and responsibilities, celebrating success and willing each along [The image of a lone piece of charcoal struggling to stay alight versus a glowing bed where each piece heats and is heated]

    We are absolutely delighted that the support Beth has received through ProV3 has contributed to her being in a position this year to play at Wimbledon and it has been an absolute pleasure for all of us at Halton/Everyball Tennis to be part of her journey.  We wish her all the best today with her mixed partner Scott Clayton as they take on Venus Williams and Frances Tiafoe not before 5.30pm on Court 12.

    Everyball with Mike James
    tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1427222 2019-07-03T06:51:24Z 2019-07-03T07:14:46Z Raonic volley - 3 different volleys, 3 different feelings - skills versus models

    Check out Milos Raonic working on his volley on the practice courts at Wimbledon yesterday.

    He clearly demonstrates 3 different shot 'feelings' as he progresses forwards towards the net.

    A 'through the ball' feeling on the first approach volley where there is a pretty even split between his forward swing pre-contact and post-contact.  

    A 'punch/hit' feeling on the second volley where there is more swing and speed in the racket pre-contact.

    And then a 'touch' feeling on the final volley where there is no backswing at all (hand just stays in front) and the racket actually goes back on contact as he takes pace off the ball.

    A great example of how important it is to teach skills over models - ie; when the technique depends on what we want to do before doing it.  For every ball that's different and our differing intentions the technique needs to adapt with regard to racket-work, bodywork and footwork.

    Everyball with Mike James
    tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1422908 2019-06-22T10:36:17Z 2019-06-22T10:36:17Z The 3 key words associated with 'responsibility'

    I, will and do.

    What will I do to change my circumstances?

    What will I do to influence my results?

    What will I do to improve my game/performance?

    What will I do to mend a relationship, go a step further, to find a new challenge...?

    What will I do to.....???

    The key to being 'responsible' is being the volunteer not the victim.

    Here's a link for a great short talk around what it means to take 'responsibility' - one of Everyball's 4 R's.

    Have a great weekend!

    Everyball with Mike James