The Halton UK Junior Tennis Membership entitles you to discounted everyball course fees and so much more. More: Halton UK.

Everyball Blog (

Subscribe to Everyball Blog ( feed
Updated: 44 min 57 sec ago

Training a low and wide base

Thu, 10/19/2017 - 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.

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 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.'

Immersion, incubation, insight - the keys to creativity and optimal performance

Tue, 10/17/2017 - 08:52

Creativity sits at the heart of the Everyball philosophy alongside 3 other core values, commitment, courage and curiosity:

We are committed to fight for everyball, to run down everyball and to play everyball with courageous purpose.

We see everyball as an opportunity to explore our potential (our 'becoming selves') with curiosity and creativity.

We know that everyball extends beyond our sport as we learn the fundamental life skills (Respect, Responsibility, Resilience, Reflection) that enable us to thrive in an every-changing world.

We (at Everyball Tennis/HaltonUK) define creativity as our ability to identify, mobilise and gather all our resources to go as far as we can and the work of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (yes really, he's a PhD, researcher and pioneer in the field of positive psychology known for his ideas on happiness, meaning, and optimal performance) defines a clear 3 step process that fosters creativity, breakthrough ideas and discoveries as well as improvements in performance whilst preventing burnout and fatigue:

1.  Immersion - total engagement in your work/training with deep, unremitting focus

2.  Incubation - a period of rest and recovery when you are not thinking about your work/training/sport at all

3.  Insight - the ocurence of 'aha' or 'eureka' moments - the emergence of new ideas and growth in your thinking/performance.

For me, the key and most left-out and ignored part of this process is 'incubation' or as I like to put it, world-class rest!  

How much rest do you get in your day, your week, your month, your year?  If you're anything like me, not enough is the answer and maybe it's time to get into some new habits around this area?  When we see rest as an active part of the equation to open up greater creativity and improved performance it might just move us on from our dominant western cultural mindset of 'if I'm not working I'm failing!'

(Reference 'Peak Performance' by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness)

Competing today? Nervous and anxious? That's good (if you view it as such!)

Sun, 10/15/2017 - 08:34

We all suffer the same feelings of nerves, apprehension and tension before going into competition or something that matters, be that a job interview, presentation or meeting.  It's normal and human.

However, the mindset we adopt around these feelings could have a profound effect on how we perform.

'Additional research, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, shows that instead of trying to calm yourself down, 'reappraising pre-performance anxiety as excitement' is often advantageous.  When you try to suppress the pre-event nerves, you are inherently telling yourself that something is wrong.  Not only does this make the situation worse, but if also takes emotional and physical energy to fight off the feeling of anxiety - energy that could be better spent on the task at hand.  Fortunately, according to the authors of this paper, simply telling yourself, 'I am excited' shifts your demeanour from what they call a threat mindset (stressed out and apprehensive) to an opportunity mindset (revved up and ready to go).  'Compared to those who attempt to calm down,' the authors conclude, 'individuals who reappraise their anxious arousal as excitement perform better.'  Put differently: The sensations you feel prior to a big event are neutral - if you view them in a positive light, they are more likely to have a positive impact on your performance.'  

(This last paragraph was taken from 'Peak Performance' by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness.  Bolds are mine)

The mark of a great sportsman......

Sat, 10/14/2017 - 07:47

This won't sound like a idea dripping with performance inspiration, but consider this.

Your success will not be determined by your very best performances and it will not be de-railed by your worst.  It will be determined by how good your 'average' is.

Your average of course is determined by the sum of your performance scores/the number of performances.  Mark a performance out of 10.

Here are five performances:  2/10, 8/10, 9/10, 1/10,4/10.   Wow, an 8 and a 9 in there, good job!  Let's sweep the others under the carpet eh?!!  The average = 4.8.

How about these five?:  6/10, 7/10, 5/10, 8/10, 7/10.  That's an average performance of 6.6.  Never quite hitting the dizzy heights, but pretty much just 'normal'.

The reality is that most of our performances will sit somewhere between 4/10 and 7/10, in the average to normal band.  It's tough to be right up there at your very best consistently (8-10) and its unlikely that you be at your very worst (1-3) that often, so most of your performances will sit somewhere in your 'average' zone.  This is your 'normal'.

The key then, is to raise the quality of your normal or even take it a step further as Martina Navratilova once commented:

'The mark of a great sportsman is not how good they are at their best, but how good they are at the worst.'

Quote of the day

Thu, 10/12/2017 - 11:55
In relation to Messi's recent exploits in single handedly ensuring Argentina qualify for the world cup by absolutely 100% coming up with the goods in a high pressure/stakes 'win and you're through, lose and you go home' match versus Ecuador:
Cometh the altitude, cometh the attitude
Love that.

Results follow improvement!

Wed, 10/11/2017 - 15:23

Great job to Everyball/Halton UK player/ambassador Beth Grey (ranked 777) who today beat 6th seed and world ranked number 300 Michaela Honcova (SVK) 6-2 6-0 in the Cherbourg 25k round of 16.

Great example of 'results follow improvement' with Beth making some significant strides forward in her game over recent months and working like stink in the gym to get fitter, stronger, faster!

Keep up the great work, onto quarters tomorrow!

The coach's job is to inspire change

Wed, 10/11/2017 - 06:07
Remember this one?
D x V + F > cost of change
That's Dissatisfaction x Vision + First Steps > Cost of change 
The job of the coach is to help promote in the athlete a healthy dissatisfaction with the current position (in relation to a skill, overall game, etc), then paint a picture of what 'could be' (know your outcomes), and identify first steps towards getting there. That equation must be greater and more compelling than the cost to change (generally the associated physical and/or emotional discomfort).

Your ladder to improvement

Tue, 10/10/2017 - 06:51
Energy spent worrying about someone else's ladder is a waste.  Focus on your own. Understand there will be periods where you may get stuck on a rung for a while or even take a step back, and there will be periods of harvest where you might accelerate by 3! Stop paying too much attention to the guy next door, it's unhelpful.
Understand also that the ladder never ends. Even after your sporting career is over, there will be something you can get better at but the attitudes and behaviours are acquired now for that!

It was a 'T' serve from the ad-court

Wed, 10/04/2017 - 20:14

The 'T' serve from the ad-court took a returning Shapovalov into the other half of the court, allowing Zverev the chance to go 'back behind' on ball 3!  A pattern of play we've been working on this week in the Everyball Aspire to Excel Academy programme.

What shot has Zverev just played to generate this response from Shapovalov?

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 20:23

Can you guess what shot Zverev has just played to generate this response from Shapovalov, and where is he going to hit the next ball??

Do you play tennis/sport for a noble purpose?

Mon, 09/25/2017 - 09:27
Dr James Loehr, world renowned Sports Psychologist, talks about having a 'noble purpose for why we are playing tennis' (insert your sport in place of tennis).
He goes on to say that some reasons for why we play tennis do not serve us well.
Achievement does not guarantee anything in terms of happiness.  Some of the worlds top sportsmen and women have been miserable and depressed, especially when they reach the top of the mountain and feel nothing but empty.
Society's answers for success - fame, money, power, status/position, materialism, beauty - do not make us happy.  
Re-purpose your reasons for playing
I am in tennis because.....
  • It helps me grow up (Everyball's 4R's of Respect, Resilience, Responsibility, Reflection)
  • I keeps me healthy and fit
  • I love it and love competing and testing myself
  • I love to learn new things and seek to master something that matters to me
  • It will help me raise the finances to open a school for disadvantaged children (Andre Agassi on re-purposing why he played, the happy consequence of which was reaching No. 1 in the world again)

Do you need to re-purpose your reasons for playing?


See the new 'Everyball Active' magazine!

Thu, 09/14/2017 - 10:18
We have recently launched a new quarterly magazine!  Please have a read here:

Everyball Tennis Aspire to Excel Academy Programme 2017/2018 kicks off next week!

Sat, 09/09/2017 - 12:26
We kick off next week with 35 players attending our Aspire to Excel Academy programme at HaltonUK - 17 boys and 18 girls respectively which is a coincidental but happy mix!
The objective of the A2E programme is to provide quality training opportunities and support for competitive junior players (12&U - 18&U) who are aspiring to excel in our sport.
To excel of course means different things to different people so in this instance we are referring to those players aspiring to progress within the junior County, Regional and National framework of British Tennis. We broadly measure this by number of players with top 150 age-group national rankings (12&U - 18&U).
Current statistics show that 57.13% of our Academy players sit inside this ranking band within their particular age-groups.
A big congratulations to all players for their progress over the summer competitive season, and a special mention to Joel Good who yesterday cracked the top 10 in the GB for 14&U boys with a ranking of 8.  Miles Groom, Joshua Oakley and Jasmine Conway are all ranked inside the top 20, with Dan Dean, Ben Smith, Izzy Marshall, Millie Day and DJ Mentiply comfortably inside the top 50!  Several players have just moved up into new age-groups and therefore fallen out of this band, but no doubt will be back up there very soon and we're looking forward to see our current AASE's players pick up their games once again after GCSE's this summer.
One of our key outcome goals for the year is to nudge all Academy players forward with their ranking.  Rating remains an important measure as well, though ranking is of course the true 'currency' within our sport (TE, ITF, WTA, ATP).
How do we do that?  2 key ways!!
  • Smart competitive planning
  • A relentless focus on getting busy getting better!
Looking forward to the new term with our re-designed Academy programme which includes a menu of early morning, afternoon and evening squads, brilliantly supported by our S&C programme delivered by Dom and Gemma.
All the best for a great term! 
Mike and the A2E Academy Team 07958 008312 [email protected]

Kicker out to BH and look to dictate with FH on ball 3

Thu, 08/24/2017 - 19:57
Seeing this pattern of play loads this week in New Haven. 
Historically owned by the men, the women seem to be using the kick serve from ad court (righty) and looking to run around the cross-court reply to get on top of point with FH on ball 3 more and more?

How open are you as an athlete to feedback?

Wed, 08/23/2017 - 08:34
(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); = id; js.src = "//"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

Champion Minded Athletes Crave Feedback! Want to know what the very best athletes do better than the rest? They are...

Posted by McCaw Method on Monday, August 21, 2017

Rolling back the years!

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 09:01
Kindly forwarded onto me by an old friend.  The 1984 USTA SWTA (South West Tennis Association) 16&U boys rankings....
Players and around the cities/states of Tucson, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Fountain Hills (Arizona), El Paso (Texas)  Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Farmington (New Mexico).

Everyballer Millie Day has a royal start to her summer!

Sun, 07/30/2017 - 08:32
Windsor G3 12&U champion and 14&U r/up. Superb job Millie.

The tipping point in young athletes - Allistair McCaw

Thu, 07/27/2017 - 14:00

Couldn't agree more with this morning's post by Allistair McCaw.  How often to our country's top 10-14 year olds fade as they get taken over by their hungrier 'back in the pack' peers who have been playing tennis alongside at least 2 other sports.

The tipping point in young athletes:

In my experience with kids who've been playing a sport competitively, it's at the ages 13-15yrs of age, where you usually can best tell if they actually really love it or not. If it was their choice and dream, or that of their parents. In many cases, up until this point, they've been doing it more to please the parents and because they were good at a young age. At these ages, you also begin to notice if they've developed athleticism through other sports and skills. If they've developed grit and resilience, a growth or a fixed mindset. It's also at these ages where you see the most dropouts occur due to burnout and a lack of passion for the game.

The athletes who go on to better things, are the ones who were intrinsically motivated and nurtured in a way to love the game more and more, year by year. Nurtured by the right coaches & parents who rewarded behaviors, discipline, work ethic and effort, and not outcomes. They were encouraged and motivated by fun, and taught how to embrace success and failure at an early age. 

- Allistair McCaw