Athlete James Shaw

What is the best and worst thing about your sport?
The best thing has to be getting better; I can be upset with a win or happy with a loss, it all depends on if I am happy with the way I am playing and if I feel I am improving.The worst thing is blisters both tennis players and wheelchair users are prone to them, so putting those together isn't a great combination blister wise. It took me 10 years of playing with tape all over my hands before they decided to toughen up.

What is your best achievement this year?
I've been lucky as there's been quite a few this year, but beating a top 20 player in the world for the first time was incredible especially because I lost 6-3 6-0 the year before.

What does your normal day and week look like?
I have 6 full training days a week, and one rest/ recovery day consisting of stretching and maybe a bit of swimming. My full training days include time on court, in the gym, swimming, hand-cycling (which the Nottingham Building Society helped me raise money for), stretching, psychology work, basketball, and video analysis. All these types of training are divided up amongst the days depending on what my main focus is for the week or month.

Who is your sporting hero?
In my sport it'd be Novak Djokovic as his domination of tennis in a time where the game is so strong is incredible meaning there's always information to learn from him. But my main sporting hero has to be Brian Clough as I'm a huge Nottingham Forest fan, and he was such an interesting person and the figure head for Forest's success.

Where is your favourite place to compete?
I loved going to Sweden this year as I'd never been before. It's a beautiful place, the people are really nice, it's a well-run tournament, and I came runner-up in singles and doubles so that helps as well!

If you could win one competition what would it be and why?
Paralympics singles title, as it is truly the pinnacle of our sport. It only comes round once every 4 years, and after getting to experience Rio 2016 I want to do everything I can to make my dream a reality.

What is your favourite thing to do when you have some down-time?
Play the drums as it's a great way to relax and hit things at the same time!

What is the worst injury you have had?
The most painful one was the side effect from a previous surgery to straighten my foot. A few years after the surgery the screws holding a plate in my foot started to come loose and came out of my foot, and got infected. It sounds pretty disgusting, and they said I was lucky I came in when I did because otherwise I might have lost my foot. This was just before I was due to fly out for my first World Team Cup (equivalent to the Davis Cup) to represent GB so I was really worried I wouldn't be able to go, but luckily it was a quick recovery.

What are your targets for the next six months?
To keep developing in all areas, get into the top 15 in the world, and hopefully win more titles.

How does your SportsAid grant and support from The Nottingham help you? What sorts of things do you buy / pay for?
The SportsAid grant has meant I've been able to have more contact time with my coach which has been integral to my recent development and success. And the constant support from The Nottingham has not only helped me gain a larger profile in Nottingham and the surrounding areas, but also has helped me raise money for equipment such as a new sports chair, and hand bike to help in training and competitions.

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