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Final call - Performance Training Camp this Thursday and Friday at HaltonUK with Mike James & Beth Grey

Latest posts - Tue, 21/08/2018 - 10:11

We have had a great response to the Performance Training Camp for this Thursday and Friday (details below) and are looking forward to a great couple of days!  This is a final call for a few remaining places so do get in touch as soon as possible if you would like to attend!

Download PerformanceTrainingCampAugust2018.docx


Strengths and weapons

Latest posts - Tue, 21/08/2018 - 09:39

Using your strengths is a 3 part process:

1.  Set up your strengths

2.  Execute your strengths

3.  Follow up your strengths

Rarely, if ever, is using your strengths a one shot deal.


Everyball players at GB Junior National Championships this week

Latest posts - Sun, 19/08/2018 - 20:01

Big congratulations on qualification for this years Junior National Championships and the very best of luck to the following competing tomorrow:

12&U Girls - Bournemouth

Millie Day v Skye Bentum-Siripi - Monday 9.30 am

14&U Boys - Nottingham

Miles Groom (8) v Gregor Webster - Monday 10.30 am 

16&U Girls - Nottingham

Sophia Mezzone v Holly Staff (6) 1pm

Boys 16&U - Nottingham

Joel Good v Samuel Macleod - Tuesday 10.00 am

Girls 18&U - Nottingham

Isabelle Marshall (2)  v Camilla Gretchel - Monday 1.30 pm

Sophia Mezzone v Annabel Davis - Tuesday 8.30 am


Driving into the future looking into the rearview mirror

Latest posts - Thu, 16/08/2018 - 09:30

It's natural.  We make decisions and choices about our future based on what's happened to us in the past.  But sometimes, we need to challenge whether those decisions and choices are rational and relevant.

'I've never beaten this guy, unlikely that I'll beat him today....'


'I've never beaten this guy, but today, with the work and improvements I've made recently, I'm giving myself every chance of winning this match'

Then go apply this to life and challenge every decision you make about your future to check if it's rooted in some past experience that's gonna limit the amount of living you do now.


Mike and Beth lead Junior Performance Training Camps 23-24th August - book now!

Latest posts - Wed, 15/08/2018 - 13:04

For competitive junior tennis players, this will be a transformational two days of high intensity performance training designed to prepare players for upcoming County Closed events, clean your game after a summer of competition, and ready yourself for the upcoming autumn season whilst learning drills from the tour to take your game to the next level.

Led by Mike James (LTA Level 5 Master Performance Coach) and Beth Grey (WTA 449 singles and 217 Doubles) the day will include pro-style performance preparation, intensive drilling, speed and conditioning, mental training, and matchplay.

Lunch is provided within the £50.00/day cost.  

Time: 8.30-4.00pm daily.

Venue: Halton Tennis Centre

For more information and booking, please contact Mike James via email at 


Quote of the day

Latest posts - Wed, 15/08/2018 - 06:49

'You win or you learn, but you never lose' - Sloane Stephens


Two problems...

Latest posts - Sun, 12/08/2018 - 11:47

Problem number 1 is erroneously believing you deserve it.

'It' being:

  • that ranking
  • winning that match or getting that far
  • selection for that team, squad, programme, school, institution
  • that life, experience, opportunity

This is a problem because you have not worked hard or smart enough to 'earn it' and you like the idea of it but are not prepared to really commit with the right attitude and energy to the goal.  Or, you've constantly been told how good, talented, smart you are, but actually don't have the evidence to back it up and 'it' is seen an entitlement.

Problem number 2 is not believing your deserve it.

This is a problem because you are working your socks off and all the evidence points to the fact that you do deserve it but either background, self-belief or attitudes from you or those around you that say, 'that's only for the exclusive group'.  If this is you, just ask yourself the question, 'if not you, who?  If not now, when?'

Intellectual property/credit & inspiration for this blog taken from Seth Godin's blog, The two 'Harvard problems'


Halton Tennis Centre & Everyball Tennis named as one of GB's 50 Local Player Development Centres today

Latest posts - Tue, 10/07/2018 - 20:47

The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) today named 50 tennis centres across the country that will act as Local Player Development Centres (LPDCs), marking the next milestone in the development of the new ten-year Performance Strategy for tennis in Britain.

We are delighted to announce that HaltonUK & Everyball Tennis have been invited to contribute to the new Performance Strategy in this capacity and we look forward to partnering the LTA in our ongoing work developing young, local talent in our area.

For further information on the new Performance Strategy and today's announcement by the LTA please see this link

Congratulations to the entire Everyball/HaltonUK team who have made this possible.


Some super pictures of Katy Dunne playing on Centre Court at Wimbledon yesterday

Latest posts - Wed, 04/07/2018 - 16:27

Thanks to Chris Duffin for these fantastic pictures of Katy playing on Wimbledon's centre court yesterday.


A really rather special day at SW19

Latest posts - Wed, 04/07/2018 - 08:40

She entered the stage like she belonged and then played like she belonged with a joy, freedom, smile and grit that we grew so accustomed to over the years in our journey with Katy at Halton and to see it manifest itself on the biggest stage in the world yesterday was really rather special.

Not only was it an absolute privilege to be invited up by Katy to support her on the day, it was beyond my wildest expectations that she'd play her first round main draw Wimbledon match against 12th seed Jelena Ostapenko on Centre Court.

Download KatyVideoWimbers1.MOV

To be there in her box alongside her parents, friends and coaching team from @GoslingTennis who have done such a fine job with her over the last 18 months or so was the fruition of a dream that began 11 years ago when she first rocked up at Halton as a 12 year old.

Thank you Katy for the superb experience yesterday and wishing you and Harriet all the very best in the doubles!


Optimal Competition Parent workshop this evening.....still time to come along!

Latest posts - Thu, 21/06/2018 - 15:50

Looking forward to delivering this workshop on behalf of LTA this evening at Halton.  Although official registration is closed, no problem to still come along. Text Mike James to advise on 07958 008312.

6.30pm - 9.00pm, Halton Tennis Centre, HP22 5PD


Katy Dunne receives wild card into Wimbledon singles Main Draw - 'Keep the dream alive' is realised!

Latest posts - Thu, 21/06/2018 - 09:15
Just over 10 years ago, we took on at Everyball Tennis & HaltonUK a promising young 12 year old Katy Dunne from Batchwood Tennis Centre where her then coaches had done a great job on setting her on a journey towards becoming a professional tennis player.
By 14 years old Katy was ranked inside the top 10 in Europe and in order to travel and train more she left school and with the superb support of her parents embarked on a full-time programme of tennis and education with us at Halton.
In order to further support Katy on her travels alongside the LTA High Performance programme (Katy also spent time at the National Tennis Centre under coach Jane O'Donaghue) we developed a (still ongoing) scheme called, 'Keep the dream alive' (KTDA) - the dream being to see an Everyball trained player compete in the Main Draw of Wimbledon (or indeed another grand slam).  Through this scheme, led by Alec Clapperton, Halton adult members contribute into a monthly fund that contributes to the overall investment that Halton makes to support our up and coming junior players.
By 18 years old, and with the help of our own Pete Thorne (now coaching in Sydney, Australia but still in close contact) who travelled extensively with Katy in those last couple of years of her junior career, Katy had broken into the worlds top 10 ITF junior world rankings.
Since that time, Katy has worked and travelled tirelessly on the women's ITF circuit, recently breaking into the world top 200.  Over the last couple of years she has been based at Gosling Tennis Centre under the watchful eye of coach Richard Hawkes who has done a superb job in bringing Katy on in this critical phase of her career.
Yesterday, Hertfordshire's Katy Dunne (turned 23 in Feb) was delighted to hear that, on the basis of her progress of late, has received a wild-card into the Main Draw Singles of Wimbledon and all of us at Everyball and Halton would like to say a massive 'well done' to you Katy and we'll be backing you all the way in a couple of weeks time when you take to the courts for your maiden Grand Slam singles event.  This is only the beginning for you!!
A massive thanks to all those original members of KTDA who contributed to making this possible.
See Katy training here at Halton back in 2011!



Optimal Competition Parenting Workshop - Thursday 21st June 6.30-9.00pm at Halton Tennis Centre

Latest posts - Tue, 19/06/2018 - 15:54

Are you a parent to a competitive tennis player?  Would you like to learn more about how best to help and support your child during competition or have you been at it for years and think you've got it sorted??!!  

Attending this fantastic course developed by the LTA and Loughborough University may shed some light on how to most effectively help your child during competition, and even the most battle hardened parent can pick up something new with the fantastic material presented and the discussions that result.  

This course is being delivered across the country by a trained panel of tutors, so don't miss this one on your doorstep here at HaltonUK (Halton Tennis Centre, HP22 5PD)  (Suitable distance for Bucks, Herts, Beds, Oxon).

Not too late to book, and even The Times today had parenting on the front page!!

Course tutor for this course: Mike James


Parents play too!

Latest posts - Mon, 18/06/2018 - 17:06

As part of a new Everyball/HaltonUK scheme, parents of our mini tennis players had an opportunity to play themselves this past weekend  whilst their children attended their regular Saturday morning coaching session.

Download ParentPlay.MOV

The objectives of this 'parent play' scheme are to:

  • Introduce or re-introduce parents to our fantastic sport through the game of mini tennis - it's easy to play, social and great exercise!
  • Coach parents using the same language, techniques and philosophy that we apply to their children, thus equipping parents to play with their kids more often, and at the right moments, to be able to offer some basic reminders and tips that will speed up the learning process and help our minis progress a little quicker!

If, as a parent/carer of one of our Mini Tennis Red players, you missed this session, don't worry and we'll see you next week 9am for another go! (We'll be rolling this out every Saturday for the rest of term, so look forward to seeing you on court!)


Greetings from Manchester 100K (Fusion 100 Manchester Trophy)

Latest posts - Thu, 14/06/2018 - 11:55

Greetings from Manchester where Everyball and PROv3 player Beth Grey takes on Tunisia's Ons Jabeur (WTA 180), second on court 1.  Beth then teams up later with Olivia Nicholls (Loughborough Tennis) to take on 3rd seeds Jamie Loeb (US) and An-Sophie Mestach (BEL).

Conditions a little breezy to say the least but rain looks to be staying away, and the grass courts here at The Northern Tennis Club are in great shape.

Beth warming up this morning and also pictured below with Olivia after yesterday's doubles victory.

Download BethWarmupManchester.TRIM.MOV

Conditions a little breezy to say the least but rain looks to be staying away, and the grass courts here at The Northern Tennis Club are in great shape.

Beth warming up this morning and also pictured below with Olivia after yesterday's doubles victory.


Want some more juice on your forehand?

Latest posts - Tue, 12/06/2018 - 09:52

Everyball's Sophia Mezzone demonstrates her killer forehand in training yesterday.  Notice how she sets up with great load through the legs and upper body turn/coil, ready to explode into the shot.

'In groundstrokes, the back leg and hip, to a greater (square stance) or lesser (open stance) degree, are the first part of the kinetic chain.  They begin trunk rotation and drive the trunk upward and forward.  This enables the trunk and then the arm to build racket speed...The trunk of the body links the legs and the racket arm, and has an important role to play in transferring energy from the slower-moving yet large legs to the faster-moving yet smaller upper limbs.' (Elliott/Reid from 'Tennis Science')

Download SMezzFH.MOV

Rotation as we know is key to developing power, but notice also how well Sophia combines her body segments and uses the forward movement of her hitting shoulder through impact.  Her head also stays beautifully still providing great stability through the shot.

Great work Sophia in learning to bring more control to your fearsome forehand!


The least practiced and paid attention to aspect of the serve?

Latest posts - Mon, 11/06/2018 - 10:52

It's one of the great contradictions of our sport that arguably the most important stroke, that is also the most easily practiced (just you and a basket of balls), is often the most ignored.  

And more often than not, the efficiency and effectiveness of the serve hinges so often around the contact point area and therefore the ball toss, or ball placement ('toss' conjures up images of a jerky throw, whilst placement suggests something more precise, smoother and controlled).

There are 3 aspects of contact point that relate directly to the location/accuracy of ball toss as shown in this video of world number 67 Taylor Fritz delivering a second serve at the Surbiton 100K last week.

Download TaylorFritzSecondServe.TRIM.MOV


1.  Height

Typically most top players contact the ball on the fall (ie: as it's dropping from the apex of the ball placement) so the ball requires a placement high enough to enable this.  Taylor has a relatively low ball toss, but a careful look shows he still makes contact on the fall.

2.  Distance front to back

Contact ideally should be made inside the baseline for both 1st and 2nd serves, though to facilitate more spin a second serve ball toss will be placed further back to encourage more vertical path of the racket (for a top/slice spin).

3.  Distance side to side 

A tricky one.  12 noon (in line with heel of front foot) to 1pm would be considered within a range of acceptability.  Ideally, you are looking for a contact point that enables 'shoulder over shoulder' (cartwheel rotation) rather than shoulder around shoulder as this creates more vertical velocity through the hips, a higher contact point, and promotes greater internal rotation of the hitting shoulder (this action contributes to 40% to the generation of racket velocity at impact in the male high-performance serve).  [Bruce Elliott & Machar Reid, 'Tennis Science']

Elliott and Red however, are keen to point out that 'coaches of young players alike must be careful to appropriately time when they emphasise the importance of internal rotation in the service action.  For example, research has observed that increases in internal rotation velocity occur primarily after puberty.  Therefore, young players should attend to other aspects of the service action and lay the foundations for appropriate internal rotation velocity development prior to puberty, so that they can most effectively use this aspect of the serve when they mature.'

A couple of photos below showing a slight contrast in body position at contact of Fritz to a younger, physically developing 14 year old (albeit it different angles)

Finally, a few keys for an accurate ball placement:

  • A smooth rhythmical service action is helpful, especially when score-board pressure and muscular tension come into the equation
  • Release at eye level
  • Straight arm and lift from the shoulder
  • Imagine holding on to a tube of balls or a plastic cup/ice-cream cone to limit last second wrist flick which can send the ball anywhere!

Above all, have fun getting out there and practicing your serve - no hitting partner required!



Beth and Olivia take on top seeds at Surbiton 100K today after wild-card reward

Latest posts - Tue, 05/06/2018 - 10:08

Everyball and PROv3 Beth Grey and partner Olivia Nichollls (Loughborough Tennis) have been awarded a wild-card into the 100K Women's ITF event at Surbiton today, taking on top seeds Laura Robson and Monique Adamczak (not before 2pm centre court).

Best of luck Beth and Olivia!!

Beth is no currently ranked WTA 550 in singles and 236 in doubles.

See her ranking progress over the last few years below.  Great strides this year so far Beth, keep up the great work!


Width of your base foundation for great movement and strokes

Latest posts - Tue, 05/06/2018 - 09:37

An old colleague of mine always used to say: 'You can't fire a canon from a canoe!'

How very true this is.  A good wide base is the foundation for explosive movement and great stroke stroke production.

Look at Eugenie Bouchard (you may remember at Wimbledon 2014 she became the first Canadian-born player to reach the finals of a Grand Slam in singles, finishing runner-up to Petra Kvitova) hit a few balls here.

Pay particular attention to the width of her base as she executes her split step as her hitting partner is striking the ball.  (Video courtesy of Everyballer Amelie Brooks who is currently out competing at the Moratoglou Academy and was able to watch Bouchard training).

Something we can all seek to emulate, whatever level we play at!

Download BouchardWidthofBase.MP4


Singles & Doubles titles for Joel Good at Chesham Bois Grade 3

Latest posts - Sun, 03/06/2018 - 09:34

Joel Good showcased his improving game with a brace of titles this week at the Chesham Bois LTA Grade 3 tournament this week.

In the Open Mens Singles final against fellow Everyballer and AGS student Dan Dean, Joel came through 7-6, 6-4 and then teamed up with Ben Smith (also of Halton/Everyball & Eton) to win the 18&U Boys doubles.  (See Ben and Joel pictured below)

Well done also to Calum Fairey in reaching the final of the 14&U boys event, Oliver Mccay-Brown for winning the 18&U Boys consolation event, and for Calum Fairey and Josh Bright getting to the 14&U Boys doubles final.

Congrats to all Everyball players in the event with all competing well and many making good progress within their respective events.  



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Aylesbury HP22 5PD, UK

Tel: +44 (0)1296 623453

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07748 596607

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