Another year, another good hard trip to La Manga. Once again everyone was given a tracksuit top with their initials on so that we all looked part of a professional team. The trip had the same benefits as last year with everyone bonding well and becoming a good team to push each other forward. The difference this year compared to 2003 was that it was more individualised so that each person could get the most benefits for themselves. For some this meant that their training would be aimed towards power and speed, and for others, such as me, it would be more cardio-vascular work.
Each of my days consisted of an hours C.V Session (usually swimming) before breakfast. Then I went down to the courts and played one tennis session. After lunch I did another hour of C.V (this time on the bike, cross trainer, rower or runner). Then it was an hour of my re-hab exercises for my knee. Later we would be off to the football pitch to play vortex. When we returned I would do a long cool down. Each day as an aim to recover and prevention from injury, I would get a massage, see the physio and go to the spa to use the ice cold plunge pool and the steam room.
As I mentioned earlier, at the end of most days we played vortex which, if you read my diary from last year, you will understand. Dave Felgate and Kieron Vorster were the team captains and everyone was very competitive. I was in Dave’s team. At the end of the 1st week we were 0-5 down in matches. As soon as the second week started the yellow team (Dave’s) all raised their games. Our heads stayed up and we competed. We won the next 3 matches to make the score 3-5 however due to pesticide on the pitch we could not play one day. We decided that the last game would count as 2 matches so we could either draw or the other team would win. WE WON so it was 5 all and you can’t end on a draw so a penalty shot out took place. For us Banksy (Andrew Banks) was in goal. He became the man of the match as no one was getting the ball past him. As we won the shoot outs our whole team jumped up and shouted. It just goes to show however close you seem to be to losing does not mean you have lost as long as you compete.
Once again there was a booby prize this year, if someone did something wrong or stupid. Last year it was a green jersey that was worn during training sessions and was not washed the whole two weeks. This year it was a red jersey!!!!!!!!
As you probably heard in the media Jimmy Connors came to La Manga for a few days and wants to help and be involved in British tennis. With everything he has done it is fair to say he is a legend. He was the best competitor there ever was and it was a great honour to meet him.
I would just like to take a moment to thank all the coaches, massage team and the physio team. J.P and Andy were so dedicated that they continued treatment after dinner and often finished very late.
The quote of the two weeks was by Dave Felgate on the last day.
“Everyone has worked very hard but to me this is the normal. Well done and keep it up”
Thank you to everyone who took part in the trip:
Jimmy Connors – former world number 1 and 8 time Grand Slam champion
Dave Felgate – Performance director
Kieron Vorster – fitness trainer
J.P – medical
Andrew Ireland – medical
Graham – masseur
Eleanor – masseur
Martin Bohm – coach
Collin Beecher – coach
Lucie Ahl – coach
Luke Milligan – coach
James Trotman – coach
Steve Wood – coach
James Fox – coach