tag:everyball.net,2013:/posts Coaching, the never-ending discussion.... 2020-02-20T08:35:07Z Everyball with Mike James tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1511542 2020-02-20T08:35:07Z 2020-02-20T08:35:07Z Using the demands of sport to build strong, healthy, principle centred people

Renowned sports psychologist Dr. Jim Loehr breaks 'character' down into what he calls 'performance character' and 'moral character'.  He suggests that sport in of itself does not build character, but that character can be built through sport only with a strong intent to do so, followed by a highly structured plan of implementation.  Coaches and parents are critical in this process.

He distinguishes two types of character that can be intentionally built through sport.

Performance character:

  • effort, diligence, confidence, attitude, focus, resiliency, hard-work, perseverance, courage, self-discipline, commitment, teamwork

Moral character:

  • Respect, just, trustworthy, values based decisions, ethical, integrity, humble, strong moral people

Especially at the top level, the 'seduction' in sport is unbelievable....the temptation to cut corners, cheat, take drugs, etc.   The relationship between sports development and character development is an inverse relationship (the longer you stay in it there is more chance of sport having a negative impact on character) but we (particularly coaches and parents) can intentionally use the demands of sport to build strong, healthy, principle centred people.

And, finally, you can 'win' with good character.  The two are not mutually exclusive as some would like to say. Building strong performance and moral character helps you to handle better the high demands of performance sport, particularly if you reach the very top.

(Taken from a talk by Dr. Jim Loehr to USTA coaches)

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1507228 2020-02-07T08:09:51Z 2020-02-07T08:09:51Z Fighting for everyball is a mentaliy as well as a technical, tactical and physical skill!

Fighting for everyball is a mentality as well as a technical, tactical and physical skill.

  • I am in a constant state of athletic readiness to move and compete (athletic height and width of base)
  • I never slow down until the ball has bounced twice!
  • I believe that 'If I touch it, I'll make it!'
  • I'm relentless in 'beating the bounce' - getting behind the ball before it lands and being on balance to hit at hip high
  • I 'beat the hit' by recovering my position before my opponent contacts ball
  • I'll play with courageous purpose, respecting percentage tennis and understanding phase of play and when to rally, attack and defend, not being too aggressive or too passive but just right whilst using my strengths versus my opponent's weaknesses

The best players do the basics brilliantly rather than brilliant flashes!  

Shot makers cause upsets but rarely win tournaments.

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1506405 2020-02-05T15:39:48Z 2020-02-05T15:40:22Z Les Petits As 2020

So, for my first blog of 2020 - had a little sabbatical in January!  I hope you are all well and have made a great start to the new year!  

In the early hours of Monday morning I returned back from a fantastic 4 days in Tarbes (Les Petits As, 14&U tournament) where alongside co-tutors Kris Soutar and Simon Wheatley, we delivered Module 4 of the current LTA Senior Performance Coach Level 4 qualification to 13 candidates from across Great Britain.

The vision of this module was to enable coaches to have a clear understanding of the demands of international tennis at 14&U and to motivate coaches to raise the level of British players and performance programmes creating an over-supply of top 14&U international junior players.  

During the trip coaches created enhanced profiles of top players across all performance factors linked to the LTA's 'What it Takes to Win' Player Development Philosophy.  They identified personal blind spots and gaps in their knowledge, observation and analysis skills, through watching a multitude of matches and participating in facilitated discussions.  Charting matches and interpreting data for clear coaching recommendations alongside a hugely insightful question and answer session with USTA coach Jon Glover added to the curriculum of the module.

It was my third year in a row running this trip and each year I come away inspired.  For me personally I gained a number of take-aways - here are just a few:

  • Talking tennis - I was reminded how valuable it is simply to 'talk tennis', to put yourself in a different environment with different people and wrestle with ideas and concepts with a healthy level of disagreement!
  • Non-judgemental observation - we can be so quick to judge a player.  It's so important to spend good time (several matches in fact) in 'non-judgemental observation' before drawing conclusions about strengths/weaknesses/areas of work etc.
  • Best way to improve your players is to improve yourself!  Vital that as coaches we are constantly bringing 'fuel' to the relationship
  • Creative adaption rather than slavish adoption - at the same time, we don't have to slavishly adopt new/different ideas but would be foolish not to creatively adapt according to our own programme and player needs
  • The best players do the basics brilliantly as opposed to having brilliant flashes! The are constantly in a state of 'athletic readiness' to move and compete.  They relentlessly 'beat the bounce' by getting behind the ball on balance and then 'beat the hit' by efficient recovery to the appropriate position before opponent has hit the ball.  They fight like hell, never slow down until the ball has bounced twice and live out the belief that 'if I touch it I make it!'  
  • Resilience can mean to keep putting your game out there, no matter what.  If things are going badly raise your game by 5%.  If your opponent drops theirs by 5% that's a 10% shift and often enough to turn the tide.  Your 'B' game is your 'B' game because it's not as good as your 'A' game!  This doesn't mean sticking stubbornly to one thing - bringing in the use of the drop shot for example changed the course of the girls final from a 2 set drubbing to a nail-biting 3 setter.
  • In the big moments, the best players will more often than not go for it.  They are more positive, more aggressive, more committed to their shots and game-plan than their opponents

There's a whole heap more besides, but for any coach out there looking to develop young players, I would highly recommend getting yourself to Les Petits As 2021!  I'm sure I'll see you there as there's nothing quite like year on year seeing some of the very best in the world come through.  Linda Fruhvirtova who won it last year at 13 years old is now 14 in the world in the ITF junior rankings.  Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva who lost in the second round last year just won the Australian Open junior title and is now ranked 2 in the world.  Tennis moves so fast - particularly on the girls side.

Enjoy the rest of your week! 

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1481901 2019-11-25T08:08:32Z 2019-11-25T08:08:32Z C - D - O - R - C

Choice invites decision

Decision encourages ownership

Ownership encourages responsibility

Responsibility encourages CHANGE

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1474781 2019-11-07T07:24:35Z 2019-11-07T09:06:15Z Everyball Tennis Coach Ed Taylor gains his LTA Level 4 Senior Performance Coach qualification

Well done Ed on recently receiving confirmation that you have gained your LTA Level 4 Senior Performance Coach qualification.  This after an intense year involving 9 x 3-day modules covering all aspects of player development across the 4 performance factors (Mental, Physical, Tactical, Technical) as well as successfully completing over 20 projects demonstrating his coaching ability across a range of hard and soft skill competencies.

Ed continues to be a huge asset to the Everyball Tennis coaching team at HaltonUK (Halton Tennis Centre) and no doubt both he and our players will reap the benefit of the investment he has made into his coaching this year.

Super job Ed!


Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1474399 2019-11-06T08:03:27Z 2019-11-06T15:04:32Z Hard-boiled eggs and the last of human freedoms - to choose one's attitude

I've got this thing with hard-boiled eggs at the moment.  I often boil one or two up in the morning to take to work in my packed-lunch.

And come lunch-time I go through the lottery of de-shelling them.  I say lottery because sometimes the shell just peels off with that kind of inner lining of soft skin falling beautifully off the egg leaving it super smooth ready to eat.  Other times I'll take off half the actual egg with a hundred bits of shell leaving the egg, well not egged shaped.

I've pondered this and wondered what the secret is to a consistent egg de-shelling performance - maybe you know and have got this down to an art but I've even followed google advice (there's a lot of information out there on how to de-shell a hard-boiled egg!), but still my daily lottery continues.

Anyway, I've chosen not to invest too much more time worrying about my egg-shelling challenges.  For the moment it appears to be an issue outside my control until some good soul provides me with the golden bullet solution.  It did make me think about what other areas in my life are outside my immediate control and influence and how much time and energy I give to worrying about them and that my choice today is to focus on areas I can directly influence, if not even control. 

And fundamentally that seems to boil down (get the pun?) to choosing my attitude and energy levels.  Yes, this serves up a reminder that we can choose our attitude and energy levels.   In chapter 9 of my book 'Everyball' I reference the story of Victor Frankl.  His career as a psychotherapist and neurologist was interrupted by the Second World War and the Holocaust.  He spent three years in four Nazi camps: Theresienstadt, Auschwitz, Kaufering lll, and Turkheim.  He lost his wife Tilly, and his father, mother and brother in the camps.  Surviving, he wrote Man's Search for Meaning and I quote a paragraph to you:

'We who live in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the hut comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread.  They may have been few in number, but they offered significant proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given circumstance, to choose one's own way.  And there were always choices to make.  Every day, every hour, offered the opportunity to make a decision, a decision which determined whether you would or would not submit to those powers which threatened to rob you of your very self, your inner freedom; which determined whether or not you will become the plaything of circumstance, renouncing freedom and dignity to become moulded into the form of the typical inmate.'

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1474063 2019-11-05T08:09:40Z 2019-11-05T08:15:58Z 5 ways to well-being....try these today to take control of your well-being!

1.  Connect with others - social interaction with your family, friends, colleagues

2.  Be active - walk, sport, gym, whatever - get going!

3.  Take notice - of the moment, your surroundings, nature

4.  Keep learning - read, write, research, memorise something, listen to a pod-cast, take a course

5.  Give - of yourself and your time

Taken from Jayne Wright's (Flourishing Futures) 'Curious Cow' talk recently held at HaltonUK

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1474052 2019-11-05T07:39:46Z 2019-11-05T07:39:47Z 'Open' the November issue of our Everyball Tennis newsletter is here https://mailchi.mp/221f9d371453/everyball-open-november-2019?e=85b46647eb

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1472761 2019-11-01T19:32:24Z 2019-11-01T19:32:24Z Read up on all that's happening at HaltonUK (Halton Tennis Centre) via our most recent newsletter! https://mailchi.mp/098cb9059b3b/halton-uk-newsletter-november-2019?e=85b46647eb

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1469934 2019-10-25T07:13:22Z 2019-10-25T07:13:22Z 'Earned and deserved'

Learning from past greats to help shape us in the present.  Coach John Wooden affectionately knows as the 'the wizard' was the greatest college basketball coach in U.S history with his UCLA teams winning an unprecedented and never to be achieved again number of NCAA Division 1 Championship titles.

There was nothing magical about the 'wizard' however.  It was his commitment to meticulous research, hard work, strong old fashion values and discipline that won him so much success for his teams, many of which had no 'stars' to speak of.

Take for example his approach he called 'earned and deserved'.  

'Coach Wooden is also a stickler for fairness.  But for him, that did not mean treating all of his players and students exactly alike.  In the 1930's, he came up with an approach he calls 'earned and deserved'.  "I believe, in order to be fair to all students, a teacher must give each individual student the treatment he earns and deserves.  The most unfair thing to do is to treat all of them the same." (From 'You haven't taught until they have learned' by Swen Nater and Ronald Gallimore)

Over the last 30 years as a coach in my sport of tennis and as a parent of football, basketball and cricket playing boys, I've witnessed a growing cultural trend in sport (particularly grass roots and schools sport) that everyone has to be treated the same.  However, fairness does not equal 'same'.  Fairness does not always equal opportunity, playing time, selection, reward and recognition, or the same form of discipline or treatment - this needs to be individualised according to what is 'earned and deserved'.  

Like Dash said in the incredibles, "If everyone is special, no-one is special!"

Let's let children discover for themselves the arenas in which they can be special, where they can feel good at something that is of their choice whilst understanding that there is no substitute for good old fashioned hard work, time and commitment to get to that point and that there is always going to be someone at some point who does it better.  That's kinda how life works.

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1469639 2019-10-24T13:08:09Z 2019-10-24T13:08:09Z Everyballer Millie Day kicks off half-term competitive period with an Grade 3 win in Bedford

Super job Millie in winning the 16&U Grade 3 event in Bedford this week.

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1469632 2019-10-24T12:44:46Z 2019-10-24T12:44:47Z Do we leave our students with an evaluation or a solution?

'Good job' or 'no, that's not the way' are evaluations.  Helpful to a degree, but not overly if I was the student.

A solution on the other hand, gives me somewhere to go.  Correcting in this sense, is a positive approach especially when the correction comes in the form of giving a recipe for future action.

'Don't swing so much' provides a solution of course whilst 'keep your hand and racket closer to the impact point' is arguably even better.

Focus on 'do's' rather than 'don'ts' for powerful coaching interventions.

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1468818 2019-10-22T07:35:42Z 2019-10-22T07:35:42Z Compete with the calm stability of blue and the fierce energy of red - let purple be your colour!

Competing with the calm stability of blue and the fierce energy of red - that's our aim at Everyball Tennis!

So, why not stay warm this winter in one of our new Everyball Tennis Hoodies.   Current sizes in stock are Kids XL, Adult S, M and Large.  Smaller sizes to order (all at £15.00/hoodie)

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1468394 2019-10-21T09:22:40Z 2019-10-21T09:22:41Z 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!


Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1467270 2019-10-18T07:10:03Z 2019-10-18T07:10:03Z 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.

Everyball with Mike James
tag:everyball.net,2013:Post/1467003 2019-10-17T13:49:47Z 2019-10-17T13:49:47Z 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: https://everyball.uk/news/ch-i-l-d-s-curious-cow-talk-helping-your-children-flourish


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)



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