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Everyball Tennis P.R.I.D.E Programme winners recognised

Latest posts - Tue, 17/04/2018 - 07:45

At Everyball, we believe in P.R.I.D.E - Personal Responsibility In Developing Excellence

During our first training session back yesterday following the easter break, we recognised winners of our P.R.I.D.E programme which challenged players to go out a do a series of activities 'off their own back and outside of the recognised/scheduled training environment' over a period of 6 weeks.

Finn Lester, DJ Mentiply, Millie Day, Amelie Brooks (pictured right to left) and Natalie Bell (not pictured) racked up some serious hours and in doing so no doubt further developed their games, fitness, confidence, and sense of responsibility in that they are the captains of their own ships!!


Beth and Olivia win 25K doubles title in Obidos, Portugal

Latest posts - Mon, 16/04/2018 - 13:40

Everyball HaltonUK player and club ambassador Beth Grey wins 25K doubles in Obidos, Portugal today with partner Olivia Nicholls (Loughborough Tennis)

Great job ladies!!


A super busy Easter period for Everyballers with many highlights - here are a few....

Latest posts - Sun, 15/04/2018 - 21:09

Alexandra Hildreth - winner of girls 18&U Rickmansworth Grade 3 (pictured below)

Miles Groom - winner of boys 14&U Doubles Nottingham Grade 2

Jasmine Conway - winner of girls 14&U Doubles Nottingham Grade 2.  Jasmine also reached the semis of the girls 14s singles and quarters of girls 16s singles

Ethan Taank - winner Stony Stratford 12&U Grade 4 singles

Ashton Taank - winner 9&U Grade 3 events at Paddington and Bishops Park

Michael Broner - winner 16s G4 Stony Stratford, runner-up 16s G3 Finchley Manor

Joshua Oakley - runner up 12&U boys doubles Sutton Grade 2, semis boys 12&U Nottingham G2, 

Millie Day - runner-up Leverstock Green G4 16&U girls

Tegan Stockdate - runner up 9&U girls singles Stony Stratford Grade 4

Ben Spencer-Jones - runner up 14&U singles Stony Stratford G4

Jospeh M-Brown – ¼ finals Rickmansworth G3 beating seed 4 along the way

DJ Mentiply - semi finals Boys 14&U singles Rickmansworth G3

Oliver MCcay-Brown - semi finals Mens Singles Berkhamsted G4


Can tennis become more promiscuous??

Latest posts - Tue, 03/04/2018 - 10:28

Great article in The Times yesterday by Matthew Syed on why English football's reluctance to embrace 'idea sex' is stopping the game from evolving.

A few excerpts:

'And this brings me to English football, where there is precious little sex - at least when it comes to ideas.  The game is insufficiently promiscuous.  The walls between football and the rest of the world, far from being porous, are often high and unbroachable....

This prudishness can be seen in other ways too.  The same old managers, with the same ideas circulate from club to club.  Conferences are too often led by the usual suspects.  Virtually no women operate in coaching roles anywhere in the Premier League.  With each passing World Cup, there is a rush to copy the latest success story with scant recognition that innovation is not about mimicking the status quo but transcending it.  Many coaches teach in the way they they themselves were taught, as if the world could be changed by standing still.

The power of cross-pollination of ideas can even be seen with many technical innovations pioneered by elite athletes....Novak Djokovic learnt his famous 'slide' footwork by leveraging insights from his love of skiing, Indian cricketers improved the reverse sweep by integrating techniques from tennis.  Other innovations, from Dick Fosbury's flop to Jan-Ove Waldner's hidden serve, follow this pattern.  They reveal the power of 'idea sex.''

What can tennis learn from this? Are we (coaches & players) constantly learning from other sports and sharing our own ideas, constantly innovating, trying new things, failing fast and trying again?  Can we be, dare I say it, more promiscuous?


Goffin doing it for the small guys at 5 feet 11 inches tall!

Latest posts - Mon, 02/04/2018 - 13:19

Is this a serious trend or just a coincidence?


Everyballers in action today at the Sutton Grade 2

Latest posts - Sat, 31/03/2018 - 09:09

Supported by coaches Ed Taylor and Seb Callcut, 8 Everyball players take to the courts today at the Sutton Easter Grade 2 competition.

Miles Groom, Sophia Mezzone, Amelie Brooks (withdrawn as in final of TE in Portugal!), Millie Day, Jasmine Conway, Emily Ineson, Dean Dean, Alexandra Hildreth.

All the best and fight for everyball!!

No ball bounces twice in front of you.  No ball goes past you.

Everyball is played with courageous purpose!


Super job Amelie in reaching singles semis and doubles final in the Braga 2018 12&U Tennis Europe event

Latest posts - Fri, 30/03/2018 - 09:49

Happy hunting grounds for Amelie in Portugal as she wins through to play in the semis today of the Braga 12&U Tennis Europe event.  She is playing Isabel Waring from Spain this morning (9.30am).  Amelie and partner Indira also through to the doubles final.


Coaching versus teaching

Latest posts - Thu, 29/03/2018 - 08:40

The attraction of telling or dictating (traditional 'teach' model), besides being quick and easy, it provides the dictator with the feeling of being in control, says John Whitmore in 'Coaching for `Performance'.

There is yet another problem with the dictating end of the traditional management (coaching) spectrum: the problem of recall.  Quite simply we do not remember very well something we are told.

Coaching is more about engaging the learner in his/her learning, in bringing out the 'oak tree-ness' in the acorn rather than our athletes simply being empty vessels into which we pour our knowledge and information.


The confidence walk - the power of body language!

Latest posts - Mon, 26/03/2018 - 15:42

The power of body language - how we carry and hold ourselves - is immense in influencing how we then feel and behave!

See this fantastic example from everyballer Amelie Brooks out in Braga, Portugal today where she won her first round TE 12&U match.

Confidence (not arrogance) oozing from her.  Shoulders back, head up, strong gaze down the court as if to say, 'I own this stage'.  Position of the racket head is key - up and in the left hand (non-dominant for Amelie).  Got a bit of swagger going there Amelie, love it!!

Also big congrats to Jasmine Conway who has qualified through to main draw of a category 1, 14&U TE event in Portugal and went on to win her first round match today.  Great job Jasmine and keep going!


Everyball's Joshua Oakley wins through to 1/4 finals of Boys 12&U Winter National Tour finals

Latest posts - Fri, 23/03/2018 - 19:07

Great job Josh on today's victory in the first round of the 12&U Winter National Tour Finals at the National Tennis Centre, Roehampton. All the very best in the quarters tomorrow morning!


Amelie Brooks and partner Ellie lose out in finals of TE 12&U in Croatia

Latest posts - Sat, 17/03/2018 - 08:49

Great job by Amelie and partner Ellie as they lose a tight final at 12U TE in Croatia 5-7 6-2 5-10.

See Amelie pictured here with Everyball Coach Sam Kilhams who travelled with Amelie and her mother to Croatia this week.


Dan Dean and Jasmine Conway progress to quarters of 16&U Winter National Tour finals

Latest posts - Sat, 17/03/2018 - 08:24

Super job to Dan and Jasmine with first set tie-break wins in yesterday's opening round of the 16&U Winter National Tour finals at the National Tennis Centre, Roehampton.

Dan, seeded 4th, beat Noah Cutting 7-6 (6) 6-1 and plays Matthew Rutter this morning in the quarters.  Jasmine beat Natalya Ogunwale 7-6 (11), 6-1 (same score!) and her quarter-final opponent Alicia Dudney lies in wait this morning.

All the best to both of you!


'Play-full, players of the game'

Latest posts - Sat, 10/03/2018 - 11:55

Our vision for player development at Everyball Tennis is to develop 'Players of the game, skill-full, competitive and athletic' 

The phrase encompasses and integrates the four performance factors:

  1. Players of the game (play-full) - tactical
  2. Skill-full - techical
  3. Competitive - mental
  4. Athletic - physical

For younger players, we believe this order is very important and here's why:

The concept of developing 'players of the game' early on is critical.  I remember the first time my kids went to football at 3 or 4 years old.  They 'played the game' right away!  This is tough to do in tennis due to the challenge of the sport, but it's vital we get little ones to a stage as quickly as possible whereby they can rally and play the game because this is what really hooks them in to the sport - playing like the big kids or the pros on telly!  One of the big barriers to this is the serve, due to it's technical complexity AND the requirements of hitting it accurately into the appropriate box in order for the point to start.

Recently, in our group sessions and internal 'play the game' sessions we've been experimenting with a 'serve anywhere' approach.  If the ball lands 'in' the court somewhere, it's in play.   Results have been fantastic.

  • immediate longer rallies and sessions are more 'full of play'
  • fear of missing taken away so children are more up for serving and for developing more complex aspects of the serve such as the chopper grip

Great job by coaches Alan Hutcherson and Neale Proud for leading this innovation/initiative for us.  See it in action this morning in our Red session 9.00-10.00 am!

Download Play-full_players_of_the_game.MOV


The a-Mazing Mezzone run continues

Latest posts - Fri, 09/03/2018 - 07:16

After a 7-6, 1-6, 6-2 win yesterday over Sophie Williamson, Everyball's Sophia Mezzone finds herself today (9am match time) up against Staffordshire's Mae Mccutcheon (GB ranked 24, 16&U) in the 1/4 finals of the Loughborough Bristish Tour.

Keep it going Sophia - we're all backing you!


Mezzone marches on at L'boro Brit Tour

Latest posts - Thu, 08/03/2018 - 10:06

Great job Sophia in taking out 7th seed Aleksandra Topalovic 6-4 0-6 6-3 yesterday in the Loughborough British Tour and very best today against Sophie Williamson.

Keep the everyball flag flying!!


Everyballer Sophia Mezzone qualifies for Loughborough Brit Tour Main Draw

Latest posts - Wed, 07/03/2018 - 08:25

A battling performance from Sophia Mezzone (2003, GB ranked 75 16&U first year) against Caitlin Ward (2002, GB ranked 38 16&U) yesterday saw her qualify into the MD today.  Her comeback from 0-6 first set to win the last 2 sets 6-3, 6-3 showed great grit and resilience and has earned her a first round match today against 7th seed Aleksandra Topalovic.

All the best for today Sophia!!


Use of the basket to develop patterns, physicality, work into the legs

Latest posts - Wed, 07/03/2018 - 08:00

Was good to get outside yesterday for afternoon academy training in preparation for the outdoor competitive season beginning in just a few weeks time!

Important to get some foundational work into the legs early on, develop some key movement patterns, and generating own pace which becomes more important outdoors.  

AGS student and Academy player James Weller demonstrates simple approach volley drill here (Guti, your spirit lives on even with you back in Barcelona!)


 with coach Seb Callcut.  Movement to get back behind the ball for the down-line approach followed by closing cross-court volley and repeat!


All serves are different, aren't they? (Part 2, power producing phase)

Latest posts - Mon, 05/03/2018 - 08:04

The power producing phase.

Forward swing

  • Legs/back hip drive 'up' as ball comes down, causing racket to drive down as racket drops as shoulder externally rotates; at point of full-external rotation (lowest part of racket drop, hips are still side-on to fence)
  • Elbow & hand stretch and climb throwing top of racket towards the ball
  • Ball placing arm begins to lower towards stomach area assisting in shoulder over shoulder rotation
  • Racket face turns underneath the ball prior to impact

Impact point

  • Both legs off ground at impact
  • Impact always as ball is dropping
  • Impact 12-1pm (in line with left foot RH)
  • Impact 10-50 cm in front of baseline
  • Both hips and shoulder parallel to net near pronation stage (just prior to impact)
  • Tossing arm tucked into stomach

Follow through

  • Pronation occurs after impact to help prevent shoulder loading
  • Front foot lands just inside baseline
  • Beck leg stays behind pointing to back fence
  • Ball placement arm moves away from stomach to a sideways on position

A few further notes

  • 40% power comes from internal rotation, 30% from wrist flexion, 30% from leg drive
  • Front foot drives 70%, back foot 30% BUT back foot is more important because it drives back hip 'up'
  • Pronation has nothing to do with power, it just helps ball direction
  • Chopper grip permits the best range of movement in external rotation (racket head drops down and away from body), internal rotation, elbow extension, pronation and wrist flexion
  • Grip pressure only increases just prior to contact



All serves are different, aren't they?

Latest posts - Sun, 04/03/2018 - 11:10

Yes, the cosmetics (form) of serve differ from player to player, but most top serves share a range of common technical 'points' or 'moments' throughout the action (function).

Let's look at the preparation phase (set up > backswing and ball placement > pre-throw position) demonstrated here by Beth Grey.


  • Relaxed continental grip
  • Semi-closed stance - front foot towards net post, back foot parallel to baseline
  • 'Palm-in' racket 'side-on

Backswing and ball placement (toss)

  • Both arms down together before separating
  • Ball placement arm goes up earlier than racket arm
  • Ball is released at eye level
  • Knees bend as ball goes 'up'
  • Foot up (if) after ball toss and before load position

Pre-throw position (often a moment in time with racket arm moving rather than a still/fixed position)

  • Elbow is stable at 90 degrees (elbow to trunk)
  • Elbow is stable at 90 degrees (elbow to hand)
  • Pre- throw position when ball is at the apex
  • Slight tilt from front shoulder, back shoulder and back elbow
  • Palm of hand facing side fencing (palm out)
  • Both hips facing side fencing
  • Knees at most flexed in pre-throw position
  • Hip dipped slightly into the court
  • Eyes and head are focused on impact area




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