In 1952 I played on the elementary 6th grade basketball team. And every other year from 62 through 4 years of college play. I coached college basketball and was an adminstrator of college basketball . I saw Carolina beat Kansas in 1957. I ran the final four poll at Elon University until the NCAA stopped us. We had 30 coaches of various sports teams at Elon. I never won the poll. A coach never won. Always a Custodian or a student worker , etc. Our Senior secretary, Mrs. Doris Gilliam won twice. Once she picked Cleveland State’s win over Bobby Knight’s Indiana.

My only entry is now our 20 entry family poll. After 2 rounds I am Tied for 10th. Lennox, my 7 year old grandson is 2nd.

Charles Barkley would be tied for 12th in our poll.


The link beiow will take you to February 2023 articles published by TENNIS INDUSTRY.

Scroll down to the third article for the United Stayes Tennis Association’s “Guidance” for Tennis and Pickleball.

FINALLY. (Below there are a number of coments about pickleball. Maybe some progress.)

FEB. 2019

I heard a rumor that the USTA tried to buy the rights to pickleball.  No deal.

  1. Try again.  Why?
  2. Pickleball has sold itself already.
  3. The USTA has never sold a leadup game that can match pickleball’s potential.
  4. Pickleball can add 8 million USTA memberships over the next few years.
  5. How many kids like the Williams sisters didn’t have a father who made that effort? Minority kids, as well as poor kids can gain access to this game.  And it will erase the feeling that “…that game is too rich for me (or mine).”
  6. The issue bigger than pickleball, the USTA, or tennis, is the health of our youngsters. Public education should include embrace pickleball by lining school tennis courts for pickleball, and including it in the physical education curriculum.
  7. My guess is the links between pickleball and tennis and not only many new players, but some very talented players,will emerge.


2. “PICKLEBALL ” (FEB 2019 )

Pickleball could be an obvious first choice as the best lead-up game for our junior tennis programs.   The mass of people are unaware of our  current programs to address junior participation.  Awareness of pickleball popularity grows daily.

Here’s a thought for young turks who want to work and make some money. Any condo developer will put a minimum of two tennis courts on his property. Has to. Why? Because the competition has as least two.
You ride by them daily. And no one is playing on them. Owners don’t keep them up. How about this: Learn how to line a Pickleball court on those two virgin courts. Go from hell to Dixie convincing owners to stripe them. Put some pickleball rackets and balls (they are inexpensive) and leave them at the courts. Get some volunteers who know how to play on your courts at prime times and watch. “If you build it they will come”.
Burn all the health books. Diet and Exercise, nuff said. Tennis? Fine, but don’t knock anything that keeps you going.

Pickleball could be an obvious first choice as the best lead-up game for our junior tennis programs.   The mass of people are unaware of our  current programs to address junior participation.  Awareness of pickleball popularity grows daily



Just returned from the North Carolina Tennis Foundation’s TENNIS WEEKEND in Pinehurst.
I was shunned twice for mentioning pickleball. Tennis people are somewhat skeptical about pickleball.
When soccer exploded upon the American scene in the 70’s the football people reacted much the same way:”Soccer is taking away some of our best kids!” Russell Rawlings said soccer was football without linemen!
I had never seen or been to THE VILLAGES in mid-Florida. On a recent trip to Bradenton we stopped in to view the
“mecca of pickleball”. I think a new approach by the tennis people may be worth studying. Having observed attempts to teach tennis in public school physical education classes, maybe a switch to pickleball might be wiser. It is so much easier to learn (save the scoring system*). And, while the pickleball people will argue that their
game can stand on its own merits, perhaps there would be a “carryover” from mastery of pickleball to the more complex and expensive tennis process. And attract some audiences that shun tennis no matter how hard we try?
The easiest part of this is adaptation of existing facilities. Courts are the same size as a badminton court (44″ x  20″), needing only boundary lines on existing high school, recreation, or whatever tennis court. While these lines (and the different sound of the ball), bother the purists, these quickly become unnoticed.
A prediction, or a suggestion: This is already happening. Real estate often features two tennis courts that are for condominium villages. Most of these were built by an owner who, to compete, added two courts. Lonely and often in the front of the housing, most dwell out front, unused and unmaintained.
Why not line these courts for pickleball. Put out some rackets and balls in a container and watch what happens.
One last thought: Many tennis courts have been “left to seed”. A two court abandoned asphalt pad can be laid out to house 6 pickleball courts.

* Unfortunately pickleball also adapted a scoring system much like badminton. And, while this idea can be applied to colleges, I would go ahead and grant
a degree to any college student who can master the scoring.


***Wouldn’t it be wise to use pickleball as a lead-up, or carryover game that will ultimately benefit tennis?
***Line school tennis courts for pickleball. Tennis purists will howl about the lines, but we are not talking about Wimbledon.  Almost all GYMS have multiple game lines. No one notices. Ps–while tennis nets are a tiny bit higher, who cares.
***Pickleball has a funny name (after a dog), yet its players swear by the CARDIO benefits.
***PICKLEBALL IS FUN—IMMEDIATELY. Most youngsters aren’t sold on “Tennis is a lifetime game.” Or, it’s good for your health. Fun is the HOOK.
***Don’t some Pilot programs merit a try? This is bigger than tennis or pickleball. Obesity, health, video games, mental health, and again–fun.
Rather than fight the “tsunami” and be overrun, why not ride the wave? USTA AND PICKLEBALL leaders should join forces.
The Outcome? In the long run what are the possibilities? 1. Both games will benefit 2. Each will have their own people.
3. Both games will benefit the players. 4. Some people who would not have played either will have some fun.


Historically the patrons of American tennis have been, and still are, the UNITED STATES TENNIS ASSOCIATION (USTA). And most of their efforts are youth directed.
Currently the USTA has launched a new youth program.
The purpose of this letter is to open the minds of both games leaders to the unique and growing value in incorporating pickleball into youth programs through both organizations, and specifically through the school systems.
Why pickleball? It is FUN. It is easy to learn. It is inexpensive. It yields great cardiovascular benefits. It causes less long range joint injury. The courts need only to be lined on existing tennis courts (many currently unused or mis-used).
While this is simply a suggestion from a citizen with no “skin in the game’, it seems a “no –brainer” to invest a little effort to a moment that has come with little downside and tremendous possibilities for both games.

I started writing this blog in 2008. Topics range from the easter bunny to Bob Dylan. “Hits” or visits to the site are recorded. The last pickleball article (187) had a daily total that was three times more hits than any one single day. There was still the fear that pickleball will damage tennis.
NEWS FLASH: Tennis and pickleball should not fight each other. They have a mutual enemy, video games!


I started writing this blog in 2008. Topics range from the easter bunny to Bob Dylan. “Hits” or visits to the site are recorded. The last pickleball article (187) had a daily total that was three times more hits than any one single day. There was still the fear that pickleball will damage tennis.
NEWS FLASH: Tennis and pickleball should not fight each other. They have a mutual enemy, video games!


  1. NET HEIGHT–Option or local–Don’t alter the 3ft. net. Exception for high level Pickleball. Or perhaps Pickleball changes

2. USTA line rules. Option or local suggestion—treat all the line rules the same. While the USTA prohibits sanction for featuring Pickleball lines, it allows sanction of courts with the lines of their own shortened game. 99% of school courts don’t host sanction play.

Many remember football fighting the growth of America youth Soccer. Opposition to Title IX or Girls and Womens sports, Intergration, Gay athletes, paying college athletes. etc. My belief is Pickleball will similarly serve us well.


Thinking ablout the last blog (FINAL EDITION ).

A Carolina (UNC CHAPEL HILL) football coach, commenting on my book THE LITTLE GREEN BOOK of TENNIS, suggested “…this is not just a tennis coaching aid, but for all coaches. ” High praise. I then realized I had mostly taken the methods of others, and the praise was theirs. What I also feel is these people showed us something even bigger than specialized coaching ; the whole process of teaching anything.

My Son, Dan, introduced the CLOUD’S possibilites.

Technology made my efforts possible. I hadn’t typed in fifty plus years. Never had cut a computer on. Wasn’t aware of self-publishing.

Looking back I am grateful there were so many good people and places to learn from. Looking forward I see many who could do similar sharing. So many have unique talent, backgrounds, and experience that could help others.

Information shared, data, truth.


The link at the bottom is to third edition of THE LITTLE GREEN BOOK of TENNIS. It is available to all, freely.

Several have asked why?

Upon retirement I asked my wife what’ s next ? ” I want to move to the beach!” Emerald Isle, NC for 17 years so far.

DIE BROKE by Stephen Pollan has four recommendations for retirees. Number 2 says DON’T RETIRE!: Meaning you should

have other meaningful plans.

In the off season at the beach you need that plan. Over time my plan evolved into “hobby writing”.

Motivation for this tennis book came several sources:

(Son, Dan Parham ) ” Dad–you know a lot about coaching tennis. You can put that stuff in the cloud, for everybody.

(Dr. Mildred Hartsock, late English Department Chair at alma mata , Atlantic Christian College .) ” You have some writing ability. You should major in English.”

( Jim Verdieck, late, great Redlands Tennis Coach). On my asking what happens to his tremendous knowledge? “When I die, it dies”. I told him I would try to prevent that.

(Jim Leighton, late, great Wake Forest Univesity Tennis Coach. ). Coach Leighton was the source of most of my knowledge of tennis. I took notes after our many sessions. He read a first draft of those attempts. “Tom, you have captured much of what we have covered. You can make a good book out of this, and if you do it will do more for tennis than all those National Championsships you have won.”

(Harvey Penick—THE LITTLE RED BOOK of GOLF author). “If you read this book you are my pupil. If you play golf you are my friend. “

( Jim Toney, late Economics Professor at Elon University and tennis angel )… A fine player and promoter of tennis, Mr. Toney and I zeroed in on High School tennis court construction. Later in his life he developed Parkinson’s. During our last conversation I told how much I appreciated the work he had done for tennis. He leaned forward, peering at me with those steely eyes, and said ” Don’t you quit.”

(click link for the book )


“Dry January” articles in my local newspaper today:

Dr. Richard Friedman addresses “wine moms”, depression and anxiety and acohol, how wine disturbs sleep.

Naomi Ishisaka points out that alcohol related deaths from 1999 to 2017 grew 85% among women compared to 35% among men.

Not throwing rocks —I wrote this article several years ago:


I wasn’t a good drinker.   Not that I didn’t drink a lot, I just didn’t handle it well.    Some do, some don’t.
So I quit years ago.
As a non-drinker you have some advantages, some disadvantages.   One of the things I’ve observed is a shift in the beverages consumed.   And the consumers.
When I left the “participant” category, hard booze and cocktails were in large part consumed by males.   Boone’s Farm and Lake Country Red were about all I knew about wine.
Maybe Allison Krauss was right: “… you’re drinking whiskey when it should be wine.’
This seems to have happened. And probably for the greater good.   More men drink wine today
Are more women drinking too much now?   “After the third glass the wine drinks man (woman too?).”
Maybe its because I’m some what of a tightwad, but it bugs me to split a restaurant bill with three 60$ bottles of wine on the tab.   Once, after the main meal, I ordered four different desserts.   “Trying to even things up”, I threatened. Vetoed again by my Bride.
Many say legalizing pot would be a bad decision : A” gateway” drug that would lead to bigger problems?   Have you seen the movie HOW TO MAKE MONEY SELLING DRUGS?
     No one seems to be getting anywhere toward solving the number of young people jailed on pot charges.   Would legal pot take the money out of the criminals hands?   Maybe save some salvageable young people. Isn’t it worth a try given current failures?   Bet our North Carolina farmers would love it.   Plus “sin tax” revenue.
Some of us have trouble with “moderation”,   I’m still fighting ice dream and BBQ.   Is that a “word to the wise”, Moderation?

Allison again: “He put the bottle to his head and pulled the trigger” (WHISKEY LULLABY).

Damar Hamlin, #3

Sixty years ! In the late 60’s the tackling technique called “spearing” emerged as the effective path. Soon a book and common sense produced the article below.


In the late 1960’s an orthopedic doctor, concerned about the health of his football playing sons, wrote his observations.  Dr. O. Charles Olsen’s book, “The Prevention of Football Injuries”, made note of the adverse and pronounced effects of “spearing” or head gear to chest tackling. While this technique was effective and caught on quickly, the number of deaths and severe injuries rose as a rapid level never before witnessed before in football.

Dr. Olsen concluded that energy equaled one half of the mass times velocity squared. (e=1/2m x v squared).  The bigger, stronger, faster players were creating a force that couldn’t withstand head gear to head gear, or head gear to knee contact.

The consolidation of schools eliminated many of the smaller players.  African American footballers were added to the talent pool, along with weight programs, better diets, and better coaching, and in many instances steroids.  Tremendous contact ensued.

And, while efforts have been made to control this violent hitting, football is at a crossroads.

The question of the long term effects of head contacts have forced the questions of (1) are we dealing with concussions properly,(2) are we legally liable if we turn our backs on the problem (3) are the linemen more vulnerable than we thought and  (4) can you “take the head out of football?” and on and on.  These questions have been around.  Perhaps no one has done more research than UNC Chapel Hill.  Dr. Carl Blyth and Dr. Fred Mueller have done yeoman’s work in an attempt to protect our young players.

This effort was begun a long time ago. Dr. Mueller still pursues the data (see “National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research”).

Pro football features a real “ballet” each game day.  The receivers and defensive backs are making plays that are at a new level of brilliance. Truly a work of physical, human art.  At the same time Olsen’s theory of force is hardly better exemplified than when a receiver crosses the field and is hit by a defensive back.  And, while a defensive back may be penalized for “head hunting”, he knows if he jars the ball loose, and or intimidates the receiver, his game rating goes up. While this risks tragic injury possibilities (his own included) is his job security a factor that urges him on?

The crossroads football faces include some other variables.  The more violent the hitting, the more the injury.  Yet the more violent the hitting the more market appeal the game experiences. Are we getting to the “gladiator” level of violence?

And while college and professional football are in the crosshairs of violence, perhaps high school footballers are even more vulnerable. And here is why: the weak and small and slow are eliminated at the college level.  But in many high schools small youngsters, who are very limited players, may face tremendous opponents that wouldn’t be admitted to college. These guys hitting the “canon fodder” can create catastrophe.  

“You can’t take the head out of football” might become you MUST take the head out of football.  How to do this is the crossroads question.  I fear the 2011 season will make this even more apparent.

“I would let my son play football, but I would not encourage him to play football.” James Michener, Sports In America 1976.

HEAD, HEAT, HEART –Still the dangerous ones.