The Cup

Nick Wheatley

A Davis Cup style competition.

In this series we've been looking at the process of creating marginal gains to win matches. (Click Here.) In this article I want to give an example of how this work was the difference for my team in the biggest interclub match of the year.

This is a true story from 2018 when I was captaining my home club for an all-day team event against another local club, with a cup at stake for the winners. I believe marginal gains made the difference between winning and losing.

This was the 2nd annual staging of this cup event, and we had been victorious on home soil the year before. This time, we were the away side, and facing a club who were highly motivated to square the series at 1-1.

Davis Cup Format

As with the first match, myself and the opposing captain agreed there would be 9 age groups from Under 10's through to Men's and Ladies, and each tie would follow the old-style Davis Cup format with two singles players and a doubles team in each age group.

Every match was one set. The singles sequence would be Home 1 versus Away 2, then Away 1 versus Home 2, then doubles, and then reverse singles if needed. We also agreed that teammates could remain on court to support players, and we captains could step in to coach at change-overs, which led to a unique and very exciting format.

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Nick Wheatley is an LTA Performance Coach and head coach at Hawker Tennis in south west London. His junior teams, the Hawker Jets, have won 44 competitions since formation, and over the last 2 years alone, his junior players have won 19 singles tournaments between them at county level.

He has been ranked in the top 75 nationally in 35 and over singles and in the top 5 in Surrey county. Nick has done video analysis for numerous players at all levels, including former British Top 10 player Marcus Willis.

His unique teaching video series, covering every aspect of the game, is available on his website

You can also contact Nick directly via the homepage of his website.

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