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Academy afternoon warm-up!

Latest posts - Wed, 15/11/2017 - 07:21

[Thanks Andy Higham for this one!]



Poise and purpose

Latest posts - Tue, 14/11/2017 - 07:25
 Everyball Touring Pro and Ambassador Beth Grey shows poise and purpose as she hit through this forehand in yesterday’s first round victory of 25k in Poland. All the best for today Beth!


Two choices - tear each other apart or build each other up

Latest posts - Mon, 13/11/2017 - 12:03

It's what it really boils down to isn't it?  We can either tear each other apart or build each other up.  On a personal level but also on a wider cultural one.

As tennis clubs/centres/coaches/parents/players/volunteers, our ultimate success depends on the overall health of our industry

The stronger the industry, the more jobs, the more resources, the more knowledge gained and shared, the greater the improvement both on and off the court.

A culture of back-biting, where players hope their mates/rivals lose, where coaches talk down other programmes or colleagues, where parents are less than complimentary towards each other.....we've all been there at some point, all played a part in this....  

Don't get me wrong - healthy and respectful competition is good, it drives up standards, but competitive collaboration, recognising the strengths in each other, the great contributions made at all levels of the sport, the victories no matter how great or small - well, that kind of culture is just better for all of us. 

It's quite hard though, goes against the grain and our human instinct.

Requires some real intentional behaviour and change in attitude.


Coaching interventions

Latest posts - Sun, 12/11/2017 - 09:47

Better to make NO intervention than an unnecessary one or an inaccurate one! 


A lesson in crushing your child....

Latest posts - Fri, 10/11/2017 - 09:38

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)

Latest posts - Thu, 09/11/2017 - 10:48

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

Latest posts - Tue, 07/11/2017 - 07:14

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.


Dom King of Everyball Tennis, HaltonUK presents at the iTPA (International Tennis Performance Association)

Latest posts - Mon, 06/11/2017 - 11:15

Our very own Dom King, Head of EBT (Everyball Tennis) Athlete Development at Halton Tennis Centre, presented at the prestigious World Tennis Fitness Conference in Atlanta in July.  Here is his write-up of the event.  Great work Dom!

Download WTFC_Article_HTC_Everyball_Dom_King.pdf


Reaching the pinnacle of your sport with governing body support

Latest posts - Sat, 04/11/2017 - 08:23

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?

Latest posts - Fri, 03/11/2017 - 07:37

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' Download
  • 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

Latest posts - Thu, 02/11/2017 - 07:45

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:


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

Latest posts - Wed, 01/11/2017 - 07:58

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

Download 25548dcc-c107-4929-916a-ca3010f1640b.mp4

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...

Latest posts - Sun, 29/10/2017 - 07:54

'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!)



Our minis learning to fight for everyball today at Halton's Junior club champs

Latest posts - Sat, 28/10/2017 - 17:22

Some superb tennis played today across the age-groups - well done all! Here's just one of the highlights by a couple of our minis!


Practice your tip stance as basis of good body mechanics....

Latest posts - Sat, 28/10/2017 - 08:43

Turn the back knee to kick start the kinetic chain (sequential transfer of energy through body segments) as a basis for efficient generation of body speed leading to relaxed and easy power.  Can be practiced at any level of play from mini tennis to pros.  When practicing the tip stance ensure the back knee turns and heel lifts prior to contact, not on or after contact.  The timing of this is key.



Half term honour role continues with Grade 3 titles for Miles and DJ

Latest posts - Fri, 27/10/2017 - 08:50

Miles Groom - Oxstalls 18&U winner.  DJ Mentiply - Shrewsbury 12&U winner.  Well done boys!


When to 'go back behind' having served out wide...follow this example of Everyball Ambassador and pro player Beth Grey

Latest posts - Thu, 26/10/2017 - 19:48

Great example of Beth at the Wirral 15K this week using the wide serve (always a strength for the lefty!) and then making the smart decision to go back behind her opponent with ball 3.  This was smart because her opponent played a slow return which allowed her to reposition relatively well. Had the return been hit with more pace and therefore limiting her opponent's recovery time, Beth (I hope!) would have taken ball 3 into the open space using the double opener!  I wonder where Beth goes with ball 5??!!


Simple rules (clear plans/patterns) can be helpful as they reduce uncertainty/anxiety and increase confidence, so when serving wide go back behind your opponent when the return is slow, and into the open court when its faster and build the point from there! Of course there will be exceptions but follow the rule first and then explore the except ifs.


Everyball girls Lauren and Amelia win doubles title this week

Latest posts - Thu, 26/10/2017 - 17:34

Great job Lauren and Amelia in winning the U18 Grade 3 Oxstalls Doubles title in Gloucester this week.  Well done!


Training a low and wide base

Latest posts - Thu, 19/10/2017 - 05:55

We all know the importance of a low and wide base for baseline groundstroke efficiency and effectiveness.  See here Everyball's Sophia Mezzone training this vital area.  Nice work Sophia!



Making your opponent play from difficult court positions.

Latest posts - Wed, 18/10/2017 - 09:42

Love this Nadal quote:

'My mission is to make them play with difficult (court) positions, so if they want to go for a (a) lot of winners with very difficult positions, the chance of having success is not very high.'



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