Off for 2 weeks with the Great Britain team to train in La Manga. We were all prepared for it to be tough and it lived up to our expectations. The day we arrived everyone was issued with a mountain bike. This was for some of the fitness sessions we would be doing later on in the week but also so that we could get around the complex easily. For the first 4 or 5 days quite a few people were keen and were cycling to breakfast and to the club but as the tennis and fitness was tough the amount of people cycling everywhere gradually reduced. This was mostly due to the fact that you had to cycle up a steep hill to get to our apartments which was not very appetising at the end of a days training when you are tired. On the 2nd day everyone was given a tracksuit and a jacket with their initials on, this made everyone feel part of a team. Players were given blue tracksuits and coaches black, “Just a small twist to mix it up”.
On the agenda everyday was 4 hours tennis (on clay or on the couple of days it rained on the hard), 1 and a half hour’s fitness, team games, sometimes extra runs or bike rides. Overall pure hard work. Everyday the coaches had a meeting to talk about the sessions and to say who would be playing together in the next session. This worked really well, everyone mixed in together both boys and girls so a team atmosphere was really built up. Everyone set good standards from the start and helped each other to get the most out of the experience.
At the end of everyday we played a team game called vortex. It was a small American football with a tail on the end which you throw to each other. It built up team spirit at the same time as working on your speed, agility, aerobic work, tactics and strategies. Everyone was very competitive and wanted to win. The losing team were always very quiet at the end of the game.
Finally a booby prize was given to the person who said or did anything stupid. It was to wear a very unflattering green jersey whatever you were doing. It switched on a half day basis so that more people got the opportunity to wear it. Thankfully I never received it. This was bad enough but the jersey was not washed once during the two weeks so you can imagine how much it smelt by the end of the camp, especially after some of the guys decided to fall over and roll around in the clay in it.
The quote made by David Felgate during the 2 weeks was
“The bar has been raised, you must meet it”
This is true and we will all do our best.
Just to say a big thank you to everyone on the camp:
Nigel Seares - Former coach of Daniela Hantucova
Andrew Richardson – coach
Collin Beacher – coach
James Trotman – coach
Lucie Ahl – coach
Martin Boom – coach
Kieron Vorster – fitness trainer
Brian – stringer
Graham – masseuse
Andrew Ireland – Physio
Luke - Physio
Players: Rebecca Llewellyn