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Post Info TOPIC: British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Tennis


Tennis legend

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British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Tennis


Mention of the exploits of our best (male) British university players:

Mark Whitehouse - ATP 581
Isaac Stoute - 873
George Houghton - 1163
Jonathan Binding - 1173
Mike Shaw - 1489
Sam Pointon - 1639
Ben Jones - 1970

Apologies if I missed anyone....

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Last weekend was the BUCS National League Super Weekend tennis bonanza at the NTC.

I'm not quite sure how it all works, and I can't even find out who won (!), but I see that a lot of our uni players were taking part.

Maia Lumsden was there, winning her match on the Saturday, not playing singles on the Sunday, but losing her doubles.

As was Ben Jones, and Scott Duncan, George Houghton, Mike Shaw....

From all the tweets, it looks like it all went off very well.

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The men's results were:

Sat 27/10/2018 08:00 9 25 Leeds Beckett M1 - Bath M1 2-10
Sat 27/10/2018 08:00 9 27 Loughborough M1 - Stirling M1 8-4
Sat 27/10/2018 14:00 9 26 East London M1 - Durham M1 0-12
Sun 28/10/2018 08:00 10 28 Stirling M1 - East London M1 10-2
Sun 28/10/2018 14:00 7 19 Durham M1 - Bath M1 6-6
Sun 28/10/2018 14:00 3 8 Leeds Beckett M1 - Loughborough M1 0-12

Ben Jones lost to Finn Tearney from Durham. George Houghton won all four of his matches. No Johnny O'Mara for Stirling, I guess he's off playing ATP doubles.

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Yes, I saw those results Born2Win - but who won overall?

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It's a league season, so no one has won yet.

lta.tournamentsoftware.com/sport/draw.aspx

Looks like they have another super weekend in February to decide final league standings. I wonder how much drinking goes on the Saturday night before the Sunday matches!

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Born2WinTennis wrote:

It's a league season, so no one has won yet.

lta.tournamentsoftware.com/sport/draw.aspx

Looks like they have another super weekend in February to decide final league standings. I wonder how much drinking goes on the Saturday night before the Sunday matches!


Ah, thanks. That explains it. I thought it was a 'super' weekend as in a one-off tournament. 

Got it....

Students drink???? Nah, never.....smile



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Worth giving a shout out here too for the achievement this week of Maia Lumsden, our best Uni player at the moment, in winning the 25k at Shrewsbury.

Well done to Maia, and to Stirling Uni too.

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But is it? All down to Maia? How do Stirling support her? Priesty made some comment about her lack of weight of shot. Power, weight of shot need to be addressed in that 16-20 age group.

Harriet has really improved that part of her game (she choose to go pro as opposed to US College, Texas Tech were very keen on getting her) and Emma R seems to have done lots of high quality strength and conditioning work around her school work allowing smooth transition to 25K. Do Stirling offer a bespoke strengthening and conditioning programme to their elite players. If not why not? The pay back is in the positive publicity when their athletes are successful.

The Colleges do have some excellent resources, indeed in semi pro football the clubs have proactively sought to limit the level to which they can play at to Step 5 (Loughborough) because of the enormous resources they have. In contrast Rugby and Cricket have actively tried to create a second tier of excellence at College level linked to the professional game essentially because neither sport has the depth of support (paying customers) to make that tier viable for professionals. Hopefully with the restructuring and with centres of excellence at Stirling, Bath and Loughborough Tennis will do the same and increasingly the like of Maia will hit not only in but hard!

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Maia has far less weight of shot than Harriet and Emma because she is about half the size.

That's not Stirling's fault.

Obviously, timing, arm acceleration, weight transfer etc. can increase weight of shot, but Harriet and Emma have a fair amount of that too, which leaves you with the main difference being height and weight.

I agree with Priesty that Maia's backhand is more effective - she transfers her weight forward better than in her forehand where she often gets rather pinned back, too deep. (This was the case even at 15 and still is this year, from the two times I've seen her). So she can work on her forehand. But the other girls have things to work on too.

Stirling have excellent strength and conditioning, from what I've seen. It's a top sports programme. Jonny O'Mara rates it. As do many others (Colin Fleming, Reid, etc). As Maia is a scholarship student she will get the full package which includes physio, strength and conditioning coaching, nutritionist, tennis coaching.....

And she obviously loves Stirling, which is another reason that her success has to go down, partly, to them. She turns out for every single uni event, even ones where she is seriously better than the rest or has other events she could be playing (maybe there's a commitment in her scholarship agreement but some of the other tennis players seem to do less). Being in a happy environment is also key to her development.

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Ah, size, one thing you can't control ( hey, not yet anyway! ), but such an important factor in a many tennis players' development.

I certainly get the impression that Emma has relatively shot up in height in the last couple of years or so, being perhaps quite small even for her age before. That and strengthening with it ( though have to take it carefully still at her age ) will have have been a real help.

Maia has actually played a pretty full ITF program through this year so I take it that she already had much more time for competition. That and facilities back at Stirling probably made a pretty good combination. But yes, it will be interesting to follow her progress when absolutely full time concentrated on her tennis career ( although I think that a few players have found some mind distraction, say academic, actually having some merit if not too time consuming ). Hopefully she will find a good training base.



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You cant do much about your height admittedly but there is an immense amount you can do about your body mass and core strength. It is measurable only Stirling and Maia will know the progress she has made on that front, if one is looking to develop beyond 25ks increased power is a very obvious focus for development.

The American colleges footballers prior to going into the draft, attend the combine where they are measured and their data made available ie you know what each player can lift, how high they can jump, their 40yd time and these are goals for them through college if they are seriously thinking of going pro. It would be very interesting to know Eden Richardsons programme at LSU. Neethanual Mitchell Blake arrived there as a 21 second 200m runner and left as a 19.95 second world class sprinter. They know a bit about conditioning.

All that said as Dan Evans quite rightly pointed out in his interview the sports science bit is a complete waste of time if you dont hit it in and she has done that to good effect this week.



-- Edited by Oakland2002 on Sunday 11th of November 2018 11:43:22 PM

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Of course you can change your body mass and core strength.
But it's not just that that makes weight of shot.
Otherwise, some good rugby guy would be able to hit the ball harder, with more weight, than Dan Evans. Which they can't.
And it's quite fun to see them try - the top rugby guys often play tennis in summer in France as a way of staying in and varying training. They get quite exasperated when they give it their full whack and still get out hit by little pipsqueaks. (And the rugby guys have a bit of technique too, like nearly all French sportspeople, they've nearly all played some tennis growing up). Mind you, the balls they use are always binned after their match - there's barely a bit of fluff left on them.
Maia, as said, has to work particularly on taking the ball earlier on her forehand - that's where she loses the power - the ball goes behind her too much and she can't generate the speed then.
Comparing her to Harriet and Emma is not appropriate.
The perfect comparator for Maia would be Heather, who - incidentally - probably has the best core strength of any of our players. Up close, in lycra, her muscle definition and posture because of it is scarily good. And yet Hev doesn't have much weight of shot either, really. And sometimes has practically none. Which is more mental in her case, I feel, than any lack of core strength (or, indeed, technique).

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It's the big Masters Uni BNP Paribas event this weekend, at Grenoble.

Maia Lumsden and George Houghton are taking part.

Competition starts tomorrow.

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The team is Jack Findel-Hawkins, Isaac Stoute, Maia Lumsden, Laura Sainsbury, Manisha Foster and Ben Jones. Ben replaces George Houghton who withdrew through illness, who himself had replaced Scott Duncan.

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Tx, Red Squirrel.
A 'proper' list, folks

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