Little Green Book of Tennis now available for free download for high school tennis players in NC via NCTA

The North Carolina Tennis Association (NCTA) has updated its website to include a new Resource Center assembling valuable ways to help our boys and girls varsity players, coaches and teams.

In the spring of 2015 the Little Green Book of Tennis was given to each active varsity coach of girls or boys tennis in North Carolina (711 coaches).  Now, the book is freely available to all 4000 plus players in our state.  The entire book can be downloaded to individual e-book devices.

How to download a PDF of the book: 

  1. Contact Andrew Waldrop, the NCTA liaison to NC high school tennis (andrew@nctennis) for a download code.
  2. Download the book here: http://nctennis.com/sites/nctennis.com/files/pdffiles/LGBOT-FULL.pdf

 

Helping (176)

I’d like to share a copy of my writings, comments, and a collection of sources that have helped me.  Between the books and the blog, this a “haystack” of thoughts of various types.  It is, perhaps, a folder of inspiration that goes in many directions and is presented in no particular order.  Mainly it deals with coaching and teaching tennis  in America over the past fifty years. Lately I have concentrated on helping high school tennis teams, coaches, and players.  Some handpicked “lessons” are enclosed, excerpts taken from earlier writings, new blogs,other sources, etc.  I have doggedly tried to help enhance the amount of scholarship  money going to American men and women, as evidenced inside.    As Ray Charles once said, “You may not like all of my music, but hang on, I’ll find you.”

Download the full Helping file (160 Mb) here: helping-by-tom-parham

COMMENTS ON “THE LITTLE GREEN BOOK of TENNIS (164)

Tom Parham has written a superb book on the game of tennis that incorporates more than 50 years of thoughtful study and real life experience. Throughout his remarkable coaching career he remained a student of the game, wherein he would go anywhere and listen to anyone who might broaden what became a vast body of knowledge. This book is in many ways the download of the wisdom he gained by watching, listening, learning and coaching tennis. It is a must read for young players, coaches (especially new ones) and parents. As a coach who came in with no experience to one who left with three national championships under his belt, he knows of that which he speaks. He has also been a parent of all-star players, and dealt with the parents of dozens more. Buy this book, read it, and if you know anyone who is taking up the game or playing at the high school level, make sure they have a copy and their coach has a copy. It is a quick, easy read, yet it contains a breadth of knowledge that far outstretches the depth of its pages.  Russell Rawlings (NC Bar).

“Coach Parham is a masterful teacher, southern humorist, and sports philosopher who explains tennis strategies and techniques in a way that anyone can “get it”. The wisdom gained in a brilliant career has been boiled down to bite-sized pearls of wisdom in “The Little Green Book of Tennis” – a must-read for coaches, instructors, players, and parents.
Ron (Smarr) INTERCOLLEGIATE TENNIS HALL OF FAME

” If you are looking for a tennis book that is both entertaining and thought provoking this is the book for you. Tom Parham’s insights and musings are both informative and entertaining. As a former college coach, I found it a great read! This Hall of Famer has the ability to think outside the box and you might just find yourself doing the same thing. Coaches will appreciate his originality and benefit from his years of experience.” (Coach Bob Bayliss—Notre Dame Men’s Tennis, ITA HALL OF FAME)

Tom, Thank you for sending your new book to me. I have read the Verdieck chapter and you did a great job capturing my dad’s thoughts. The NAIA story where I was trying to talk and say what I felt about my dad was actually my induction as the first tennis player into the NAIA Hall of Fame. I still get choked up when I try to express my great pride in my dad and at that event I wanted to give him the credit he deserved. I still have to read much of the book but I am sure it can be a road map for coaches and tennis enthusiasts. My dad focused so much on finding a players weakness and fixing it as well as to put his players into pressure situations and learn to compete and remain poised. Each day of practice there was competition, either a challenge match, a round robin, a steady game, a volley game. Whatever Coach could come up with to test his players not only with their ability to make shots and eliminate errors but to do it when feeling pressure. Feel free to email me back and I will try to call you. This is my last summer as Director of Tennis. I started here at the Seattle Tennis Club in 1977 at age 28. I am now 67 and it’s time to retire. This summer is also the club’s 125th anniversary so it will be a very busy end to my career. Hope to speak with you. Doug (VerdIck)

Mine is on my desk. Thanks! (Kelly Gaines, Executive Director of the NORTH CAROLINA TENNIS ASSOCIATION)

https://www.elon.edu/E-Net/Article/116373

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?tab=mm#inbox/14e5e27ca05c804a?compose=14e6406232138515

https://tomparham.wordpress.com/2015/05/16/the-little-green-book-of-tennis/

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?tab=mm#drafts/14e2ade8a19c3845 (“the challenge)

* ” Tom Parham’s recent authorship of his book The Little Green Book of Tennis is a great handbook for young, aspiring tennis coaches but it is also a thoughtful, entertaining (Parham style) read for all tennis buffs .During Tom’s forty-plus years of coaching collegiate tennis at ACC(Barton) and Elon University, Tom won numerous conference, district and national championships in both the NAIA and NCAA levels of competition . As Director of Athletics at Elon University for twenty-seven years it was a pleasure and with admiration that I observed his success during his tenure at both institutions. Coach Parham was and continues to be a committed and astute “student” of the game while he is quick to offer praise and credit to such outstanding coaches as Jim Leighton and Jim Verdieck for their mentoring that greatly enhanced his knowledge and skill for his teaching expertise .
While I have limited personal experience in the game of tennis, it has been my administrative opportunity to observe numerous tennis coaches at all levels as they performed their respective responsibilities. Tom Parham is certainly among the very best in fulfilling those responsibilities . Tom’s book provides a great opportunity for persons who possesses the commitment, dedication and interest to profit from as well as enjoy this read. It is my professional and personal pleasure to recommend this book to you.”

Alan J. White
Athletics Director (Retired)
Elon University

* I was very fortunate to find Elon University and Coach Parham when I decided to play college tennis after getting out of the sport in my crucial junior years. At Elon with Parham at the helm I found the love for the sport again. Coach Parham wanted you to love the game when you graduated and never treated his players like a number. He truly cared about them. I learned a lot from Parham not only in the 4 years I played for him but throughout all my years in teaching and coaching tennis. He has been a gracious mentor to me. I was fortunate to follow Coach Parham as the Elon Men’s Tennis Coach when he retired in 2004 and have passed much of his knowledge on to my players. A lot of what I learned is written in “The Little Green Book of Tennis” as he wrote it all down. I believe this book is a must read to all high school coaches and players.
Michael Leonard
Head Men’s Tennis Coach
Elon University

*Being a tennis person I was aware of who Tom Parham was because of his success as a coach in the early ’70’s. I became more thoroughly aware of him through my coach, Jim Leighton. Many know of the relationship I had with Coach Leighton, and on this day I was characteristically asking him to help me with my game, specifically my backhand. When I arrived in Winston Salem Coach Leighton was giving a lesson to Coach Parham.
Coach Leighton had told me about coming in contact with Tom at the NC coaches clinic that had just held it’s first tennis clinic, given by Jim Leighton. When Tom left I asked Coach Leighton about him.
Coach Leighton replied “the reason I have given him so much time is that he wants to learn. He is a student of our game and he is doing everything he can to improve himself.”
Many may not know that Jim Leighton came from a family life insurance business that could have provided a lucrative career. He in fact loved tennis and chose it as a life time career instead.
And he had much earlier followed the same path of a accumulating a body of knowledge, as he saw Parham trying to do now.
Later I asked him again how is was doing? He said “Allen, he has worked hard at it. And I’ve given him a whole lot more than he had to begin with. As a matter of fact, I give him extra.”

When I became the North Carolina coach Tom was at Elon University and we were only thirty miles apart. Now colleagues, we began to meet for lunch, call each other by phone, visit each other’s matches and swap information regularly both benefiting from the other. We became friends and I learned a lot about him. He had absorbed much tennis knowledge over the years, along with much success. We stay in touch. We talked frankly about his book. I know he believes firmly that it will serve America’s young players, coaches & teams. I know it’s foundation. I know this man. Both are solid. I cannot think of anyone more qualified than Tom in regards to his knowledge of the game. If you want a true “student of the game” and excellent coaching skills, he is your man!!! “The Little Green Book” is proof.
J.Allen Morris

*Tom Parham is my friend, my coach at Elon University, and a long time advisor.
He brought me to America. He skillfully guided me through a new world and a new tennis arena–American College Tennis. We did well. He understood both the game, the team, and me. He is a very well respected professional with success at coaching and teaching at any level.
He is a master teacher and looked at as a integral part of tennis history in North Carolina, the South, and the nation. The book, THE LITTLE GREEN BOOK OF TENNIS is “spot on” in method and message for coaches, players,teams, all levels. Buy it.
Roland Thornqvist–Head Women’s Tennis Coach —University of Florida Gators

*Coach,
I just received your “signed” book today! I finished reading the digital copy last weekend. I really liked your advice on Preparing For College Tennis. I think many parents could benefit from that advice.
Wishing you and Margaret and the boys a very Happy 4th of July.
Lots of love — Paul and Leslie Miller

I played for Coach Parham during the late sixties at Atlantic Christian College. After graduation and entering a career in teaching and coaching, I was a member of the tennis camp staff at Atlantic Christian and Elon University. Much was learned during these twenty-five plus years from my mentor Tom Parham. He had spent years talking with some of the top teaches and coaches including Jim Leighton at Wake Forest, Dennis Van Der Meer, Chet and Bill Murphy, Welby Van Horn, Wayne Sabin, Jim Verdieck, and others.
What he did with all of this knowledge was to present it in such a manner that both young and old could understand it. This is exactly what he has done with “The Little Green Book of Tennis”. He wrote it all down.
The best book I have ever read on the game of tennis – from teaching techniques, to drills, to strategy. A must read for players and coaches.

Eddie Gwaltney
Teacher/Coach (retired)

I was on the first team that Tom Parham coached at Elon. On this team he inherited a group of lightly recruited kids, primarily from North Carolina and Virginia, who consistently finished around 4th or 5th in the Carolina’s Conference. Over the next three years Coach Parham built upon this group of kids as his base, added a few more North Carolina kids along with a couple of key International recruits to create a team that won the first Conference title for Elon in over 50 years, first District title ever and the first team in Elon history to participate in the National tournament finishing in the top ten. He continued to build upon this success and won the National Championship in his fifth year at Elon. To say that Tom Parham knows a little about tennis is an understatement. His team records and individual accomplishments in coaching speak for themselves: 3 National Titles, 25+ players who earned All American honors, 4 National Coach of the Year Awards and he has been inducted into numerous Hall of Fames.

*Coach Parham has taken all of these experiences from 40 years of coaching success and coupled that with the knowledge that he also gained from working with some of the greatest minds in tennis history to write a book about tennis. In “The Little Green Book of Tennis” he shares his knowledge of how to play and coach tennis in a straight forward and easy manner that everyone can grasp and apply. A must read for all tennis enthusiasts.

Duane Johnson

The opportunity to coach tennis came near the end of my High School teaching and coaching career. Although I had years of coaching experience and loved playing tennis, I had limited knowledge of tennis drills and strategy. My forte was coaching football.
Tom Parham, a well respected college tennis coach who coached National championships at Atlantic Christian (now Barton) and Elon, had retired to our local area and somehow heard of my situation and came to my aid. Volunteering his time and sharing his vast tennis knowledge, he was a huge part of our immediate success.
Tom had drills for each level of ability the players had, and his tennis strategy was right on. He has tested these skills and strategies over a long and prestigious coaching career, and I was more than ecstatic for my players and me to have his help.
Any book that Tom has written would be of great value to any level player or coach.

Doug Sheaffer

Having been on both sides of the net myself (player & coach) it is easy to see where THE LITTLE GREEN BOOK OF TENNIS could be a valuable source of information. Coach Parham inspired many of us to stay in the profession , and just having a coach that was always there to help but also knew what to emphasize and keep it fun, made all the difference’. His personality and determination to help are present all through the book. Whether you are a beginner or a Pro, there is plenty of meat there for everyone.

(Ken Rand, former Old Dominion University Tennis Coach)

Comment Coach Parham has written an unparalleled book(The Little Green…) that is a must-read for tennis fans every where. It should be required reading for all young players who aspire to improve their tennis skills and it will increase their appreciation for the sport itself. Parham has meshed his vast knowledge and experience of the game with the lessons he learned from the greats of the game. His understated humility, combined with his genuine love and respect for those he has encountered in his successful career makes for a remarkable read. Ray Stallings, Former Atlantic Christian College Player.

“This isn’t just a book for tennis coaches. It is a book for all coaches.” (Joe Robinson, former UNC football staff).

“Dad, redo this. It is 90% gold, but if you clean it up, it can become a timeless jewel.” (Dan Parham, founder of NEIGHBORLAND.COM, before the revisions)

“Coach, this is so good.. I wept when I finished reading.” (Russell Rawlings, NC Bar )

The Little Green Book of Tennis is an amazing resource for all tennis players and coaches! As a former high school coach myself, I definitely believe Coach Parham’s common sense approach to the game and to team concepts will particularly help the beginning high school coach or player. It’s like he has consolidated all of his 40 years of coaching experience into one valuable “tool kit!” I only wish I had it myself when I started coaching 30 years ago!! (From Lindsey Linker, an all time great North Carolina High School boys and girls tennis coach)

” I bought this for my father in law, Chet Murphy, who is mentioned in this book. He is a long time tennis player and coach and at 97 years old enjoyed this book immensely!”

Featured

The Little Green Book of Tennis

http://www.amazon.com/The-Little-Green-Book-Tennis/dp/1503559041

Harvey Penick’s “Little Red Book of Golf” is one of the best recent examples of coaching a sport. I have patterned my new book on tennis instruction using methods similar to Coach Penick. Drawing from fifty years of teaching and coaching, I share insights from my mentors who helped me craft repeatable techniques for winning. I also share our personal experiences and observations that have proven to be solid advice. Hopefully, you’ll find this book to be succinct and filled with gems for all levels of players and coaches.

If you would like to purchase a printed copy of the book ($28/book), email me at ethomasparham [at] gmail.com. If you’d like to purchase a digital copy, they are available on Amazon here.



Here are a few early reviews: 

“If you are looking for a tennis book that is both entertaining and thought provoking this is the book for you. Tom Parham’s insights and musings are both informative and entertaining. As a former college coach, I found it a great read! This Hall of Famer has the ability to think outside the box and you might just find yourself doing the same thing. Coaches will appreciate his originality and benefit from his years of experience.” (Coach Bob Bayliss, Notre Dame Men’s Tennis, ITA Hall of Fame)

“I was very fortunate to find Elon University and Coach Parham when I decided to play college tennis, after getting out of the sport in my crucial junior years. At Elon with Parham at the helm I found the love for the sport again. Coach Parham wanted you to love the game when you graduated and never treated his players like a number. He truly cared about them. I learned a lot from Coach Parham not only in the 4 years I played for him but throughout all my years in teaching and coaching tennis. He has been a gracious mentor to me. I was fortunate to follow Coach Parham as the Elon Men’s Tennis Coach when he retired in 2004 and have passed much of his knowledge on to my players. A lot of what I learned is written in “The Little Green Book of Tennis” as he wrote it all down. I believe this book is a must read to all high school coaches and players.” (Michael Leonard, Elon University Men’s Tennis Coach)

“Tom Parham is my friend, my coach at Elon University, and a long time advisor. He brought me to America. He skillfully guided me through a new world and a new tennis arena–American College Tennis. We did well. He understood both the game, the team, and me.  He is a very well respected professional with success at coaching and teaching at all levels. Coach Parham is a master teacher and looked at as a integral part of tennis history in North Carolina, the South, and the nation. The book, The Little Green Book of Tennis is spot on in method and message for coaches, players, and teams, at all levels. Buy it.” (Roland Thornqvist, Head Women’s Tennis Coach, University of Florida)

“Coach Parham is a masterful teacher, southern humorist, and sports philosopher who explains tennis strategies and techniques in a way that anyone can “get it.” The wisdom gained in a brilliant career has been boiled down to  bite-sized pearls of wisdom in “The Little Green Book of Tennis,” a must-read for coaches, instructors, players, and parents.” (Ron Smarr, Rice University Men’s Tennis, ITA Hall of Fame, Winningest Coach in Men’s College Tennis upon retirement)

“Tom Parham’s recent authorship of his book The Little Green Book of Tennis is a great handbook for young, aspiring tennis coaches. It is also a thoughtful, entertaining read for all tennis buffs. During Tom’s forty-plus years of coaching collegiate tennis at ACC (Barton) and Elon University, he won numerous conference, district, and national championships in both the NAIA and NCAA levels of competition. As Director of Athletics at Elon University for twenty-seven years, it was a pleasure and with admiration that I observed his success during his tenure at both institutions. Coach Parham was and continues to be a committed and astute “student” of the game while he is quick to offer praise and credit to such outstanding coaches as Jim Leighton and Jim Verdieck for their mentoring that greatly enhanced his knowledge and skill for his teaching expertise.” (Dr. Alan J. White, Elon University Athletics Director)

“Tom Parham and I are colleagues and friends.  We are a lot alike, because we could not have lived without coaching.  Both native North Carolinians,  we both played two varsity sports at small colleges in NC—me at Guilford, Tom at Barton. I have seen this man coach and teach. His words flow off the page much in the same manner as the great teachers and coaches I have known. Coach Parham concludes that “this material is, in large part, not mine.  I am only the messenger. I believed in it and benefitted from these masters. I did write it down.”  I don’t think anyone has done it better.” (David Odom, Wake Forest University Men’s Basketball Coach)

“I have read the Verdieck chapter, and you did a great job capturing my dad’s thoughts. I still get choked up when I try to express my great pride in my dad and give him the credit he deserved. My dad focused so much on finding a player’s weakness and fixing it, as well as putting his players into pressure situations to learn to compete and remain poised. Each day of practice at Redlands was competition, whether a challenge match, a round robin, a steady game, a volley game. Coach Verdieck would test his players, not only with their ability to make shots and eliminate errors, but to do it when feeling pressure.” –Doug Verdieck

I played for Coach Parham during the late sixties at Atlantic Christian College. After graduation and entering a career in teaching and coaching, I was a member of the tennis camp staff at Atlantic Christian and Elon University. Much was learned during these twenty-five plus years from my mentor Tom Parham.  He had spent years talking with some of the top teaches and coaches including Jim Leighton at Wake Forest, Dennis Van Der Meer, Chet and Bill Murphy, Welby Van Horn, Wayne Sabin, Jim Verdieck, and others. What he did with all of this knowledge was to present it in such a manner that both young and old could understand it.  This is exactly what he has done with “The Little Green Book of Tennis.” He wrote it all down. The best book I have ever read on the game of tennis – from teaching techniques, to drills, to strategy. A must read for players and coaches. (Eddie Gwaltney, Retired Athletic Director, Teacher, Coach)

“Coach Parham coached me at Atlantic Christian College, now Barton College.  I was in the middle of some 30 Swedish youngsters who ventured into a new country, a new language, and new friends. This came largely at the time of “the golden days of tennis in Sweden.” Bjorn Borg was our impetus.  Edberg, Wilander, Anders Jarryd, an on and on.  My father was the director of the Swedish Open in Stockholm.  I grew up watching these guys, their games, techniques, deportment. While Coach Parham recruited world-wide and very well, he had the Swedes at the core for 26 years. He told us all, “Do it right academically, personally, and on the court. This is not just about you.  You establish whether I can bring in other players behind you.” It is hard to imagine how many good young Swedes there were, and how hard players and coaches attempted to learn and play the game. At one time there were about 300 Swedes playing college tennis in America. Quite frankly, most of us had been trained by more knowledgeable teachers and pros. But Coach Parham had done his homework. He had paid his dues.  Not only that, he was eager to absorb what we brought. I once heard him say “… the Swedes know things we don’t. And they know how to play as a team member.”  He was all about the team. We respected him, knowledge, effort, and leadership. And we held up our end of the bargain.”  (Johan Sturen, ACC ’83, two time first team All-American).

Helpful Hints from the Coach (42)

      1. The most important thing to remember in tennis is to “look at the ball”: Point of contact concentration. (There comes a time when in order to win you must forget about how you’re hitting and concen- trate on where you’re hitting. Don’t work on strokes when playing an important match. Concentrate on point of contact and where to hit. You have to assume your strokes are right. “You can’t hit well when thinking about how to hit.”

2. Correct one error at a time. Don’t ball up your mind trying to do too many things at once.

3. Move in as far as you can on volleys. If you can get on top of the net – be there. Don’t hit it up if you can take one quick step in and hit it down.

4. Volley low balls deep. Angle high volleys.

5. When playing at the net and on the right hand side, use a continental grip . Many good players volley on both sides with a continental grip.

6. Use your left hand to adjust your grip from forehand to backhand. It is good insurance.

7. Don’t cut your shots too fine. This is to say don’t try to hit within 6 inches of the line when a ball inside 3 feet will do. Don’t make it any harder than you have to. Many players do all the work to get the set up shot and then blow the shot by trying to hit a great shot. Finish the point. Put the cap on it. “Good players, don’t miss easy shots.” Short overheads are the most common spot for this error.

8. You can work on your weaknesses by forcing your self to execute them in play – practice situations. For example, if your second serve is weak, play your practice matches with one serve only. Or, if your patience and consistency is hurting, force your self to practice with- out coming to the net. For backhand problems – avoid running around it in practice. Force yourself to execute your weakness.

9. If a player is a weak volleyer, yet strong baseliner you can often draw him in by hitting short balls. Probably his backhand approach will be weak. Hit a short ball, to his backhand; his weak backhand approach might give you an easy pass.

10. Basically a player has to decide whether he is going to play offensively or defensively. Many college players can be beaten simply by keeping it back in, or “skyballing” them to death. Develop a game suited to your ability. Don’t try to do things you can’t do percentage-wise. Then add new wrinkles when you’ve mastered your play.

11. Often you can open the way to a weakness by hitting to a strength. For example, a player with a weak backhand will often run around it. If he overplays the forehand hit it sharply to his forehand for a placement, or perhaps to move him wide to the forehand, thus forcing him to hit a backhand on the second return.

12. Often a player’s apparent strength is actually his weakness. For example, many players have a weak looking but steady deep backhand; and, while their forehand is well paced and looks good, is actually a poor percentage shot because the player tries to do too much with it.

13. One strategy that works well often, particularly against slow, lazy opponents, is the “drop-shot and lob” strategy. Drop shot them and when they lope up to the net simply lob over their heads. Do over and over again.

14. “Never change a winning play – always change a losing plan.”

15. Pressure pays off. Some players can’t stand it. It takes a lot of ability to apply constant pressure but it pays big dividends. Take the ball on the rise to apply pressure. Move in and take the court away from him.

16. Some players employ the “center theory” against certain players. If you approach down the center you eliminate passing angle. This often works against weak but accurate angle hitters. Some slow court players hit well on the run but can’t get anything on a ball hit straight at them. Players with a great return of serve should often be served at “down the center.”

17. One of the most difficult shots to get any pace on is a high or medium lofted backhand that is deep. Matches have been won in this one strategy. The best place to return a high backhand is to a high backhand. Some big hitters are completely frustrated by this simple shot.

18. Against net rushers, low chips with angle often frustrate them. If you can chip it low they often have to volley up and it opens them for an easy pass.

19. High spin serves at the backhand are often effective (Roswell vs. Roche, U. S. Open 1970)

20. Welby Van Horn – Balance is the clue to tennis (a)You have to know how to hit it (b)You have to get to it so you can hit the way you know.

21. It might be good to approach on your short forehands only. If your backhand approach is weak, crosscourt it to eliminate angled shots as you back up.

22. Cross courts get you out of trouble.

23. Approach down the line; Approach crosscourt at obviously weak passing shots.

The Easter Bunny Test (41)

Once, my assistant Bob Owens had just been hitting ground strokes to one girl after another, corner to corner. Imre Kwast, a Dutch player, came close to me and said “That’s what the gulls like!” And it’s true, they like to be directed. I batted my head against the wall, trying to encourage them to design their own practices, but “they are different” this way.

One day I asked Imre, “Do you have Easter in Holland?
“Why certainly” she said, surprised.
“Do you have the Easter Bunny?” I asked
“Sure,” she giggled, “We have the bunny too.”
I asked the team, “What’s the best thing that could happen to you in an Easter egg hunt?”

Where was this going was the look on their faces. Finally one girl answered:

“If you know where the eggs were hidden it would surely help!”
“Exactly” I replied.
“I’ve watched teams for forty years, I know where the points are, and I’ll tell you.”

From then on they called me the Easter Bunny. When I’d see them execute a point I’d advised them on, I’d whisper “bunny point”. Other men coaches contended: “They’ll practice all week on something I’ve taught them, but come to match time they forget it.” I’d smile to myself every time I got to say “Bunny point.”

This test was given to all team members. Richard Dutton always won.

“EASTER BUNNY TEST”
Here are some “hidden points”. Fill out and return. Limit your answers to 35 words or less except for numbers 3, 12, 13, 39, and 40. Best papers, men and women, will be rewarded.

The page numbers in parentheses indicate where the question is answered in “Play is Where Life Is”. Several, questions 20, 22 and 36, are explained on the test.

Answer in 35 words or less, based on fall practice:
• “Hone your return” (page 296)
• “Churn and Burn” (page 213)
• 7 volley spots (page 313)
• Use your legs to volley (overhead) (page 313)
• “Recoil” (page 313)
• “On the rise” (page 315)
• “Andy Moll” Drill (page 328)
• “2 and in” (pages 276 and 314)
• “Shank” target (pages 226 and 276)
• going in (pages 226 and 276)
• backing up (pages 226 and 276)
10. Which knee is down on a low backhand volley (right handers)? (The left.)
11. “Hit-turn” serve (0verhead) (pages 312 and 329)
12. “Doubles is a 1-2 game” (pages 296 and 299)
13. “Duties of all 4 doubles players” (pages 298 and 299)
14. Where is the under spin ball best used (which shots)? (page 276)
15. “Touch and tighten” (page 276)
16. Short corner (significance) (pages 298 and 299)
17. Cardinal sins in doubles (page 300)
18. “Chip and Charge” (page 322)
19. “Chip and Rip” (page 323)
20. They approach cross court. Your response: (Down the Line)
21. “Spot specific” on volleys (too!) (page 328)
22. “The most important ground stroke” (Cross Court Backhand, if both players are right-handed)
23. Get the return out of “the hole” (page 323)
24. “The Cagey Cage” (page 309)
25. The values of hitting on the rise (pages 321 and 277 Item#6)
26. Borg’s speech (page 325)
27. Don’t change the “line of the ball” (page 295)
28. Who serves first for us in doubles? (The server who gives our team the best chance to win. This may not be the best server.)
29. Double faults are: (page 297)
30. Know when to “pull the trigger” (page 330)
31. “The harder they hit it, the… ” (Easier you swing…page 313)
32. “Z” shaped return (page 332)
33. Compare the “hit spot” for a backhand two-hander to a one-handed backhand slice (page 311)
34. “Pulling the top spin backhand” (page 327)
35. “Learn the court” team policy on dropping a questionable ball (pages 332 and 333)
36. Two rally suggestions: (1. Hit ground strokes off the first bounce only. Second bounce hits are not legal, plus make you hustle to the ball and hit some awkward shots. 2. There is no need to hit balls that are out of bounds. Just knock them down, or let them go, and start a new in-bounds rally.)
37. Recommended technique on backhand overheads (page 329)
38. High volley – down and at an angle (pages 324, 329 and 358)
Low volleys – straight and deep and they get to hit it one more time
39. List what helped you this fall.
40. List what you need work on and how you plan to work on it.

Move! Concentrate! What Do They Mean? (38)

“Move, John, Move!”
“Concentrate, Sue, Concentrate!”

These are the suggestions most often repeated by parents to junior tennis players. Perhaps some players understand. However, sometimes it looks as if the juniors conceive of themselves being in a hypnotic state of deep concentration-wiggling all of themselves at once. “Is this what my parents want? Is this what they mean by move? What do they mean concentrate?”

A sympathetic mentor sees that while the parent’s sometimes caustic, and impatient, requests are well founded, the junior player quite possibly might not fully understand these terms as applied to tennis. Let’s examine them more closely.

Movement in tennis is perhaps the real secret to the game. Ultimately, the game boils down to quickness and defense against poor “hit-spots” or contact points. Tennis starts in your head (specifically your eyes and your brain) and moves to your feet and legs really quickly. This is ample justification for conditioning and practice. A trained player’s eyes and brain track the flight of the ball to the perfect “hit-spot.” Anything less yields a lousy stroke. Move means to (1) get your racquet back quickly and properly and (2) get to the ball properly. For all but advanced players, getting to the ball properly means to be set up so that when you “step-hit,” a descending ball will be in the absolutely perfect “hit-spot,” whether forehand or backhand.

A baseliner’s task is to move to defend against poor “hit-spots” much as a basketball player moves defensively, with the core-thought being, “…don’t let the ball get out of the proper contact point.”

If a player (a) winds up with his feet positioned properly at the completion of the shot (b) points his racket at the target properly during contact (c) keeps his wrists firm in the hit zones and (d) concentrates properly, he will probably deliver a good shot.

What then, does concentrate properly mean?

The most often repeated phrase in tennis is “watch the ball.” Yet it is quite possible to watch the ball intensely without either moving or concentrating in tennis terms. To concentrate properly one must not only “watch the ball” but concentrate on a target. While watching the ball and tracking that ball to the perfect hit-spot, the concentrating player is formulating a mind’s eye target of where the ball is to go. This is concentration in tennis: “Watch the ball, where does it go? Where does it go, watch the ball!” There is constant target selection, thus constant concentration. It is much like a golfer putting; he must watch the ball, but intensely concentrate on the cup. Only tennis players move too!

While this seems obvious to parents, juniors may neither understand it, nor understand how it breaks down under pressure or adversity. Perhaps beginners would do well to concentrate on only one target. If nine of ten players are right-handers and the majority of these are weaker on the backhand side, then concentrating on this target alone makes a junior strategically sound up to a surprisingly high level.

If tennis is the “…ability to hit a changing target while moving and under stress,” then moving and concentrating are the core of the game.

Parents – you are right, but you need to explain yourselves!