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.

” 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) (“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

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!”

Burlington Times-News Article (4)

Don Bolden covers Coach’s book in an article for the Burlington Times-News entitled Life as a Coach is More Than Coaching. Here’s an excerpt:

It is a unique book in that the first part is an autobiography filled with seemingly endless accounts of his life as a Baptist preacher’s kid, as a fun-loving rebellious teenager, as a pretty good high school athlete and as a highly successful college tennis coach.

The stories are priceless. Consider the story of the little preacher’s kid who pilfered 50 cents from the collection plate and got caught by his dad.

And the one of the harried teenaged soda jerk in a Robbins drug store who once told a legendary University of North Carolina basketball coach, impatient for service, to wait. He made that profanity-laced suggestion with his head still in the ice cream counter. When he looked up and saw who was there, he quietly made his way to the street.

Read the entire review here.


Our State » (3)

Our State Magazine June 2008

Play is Where Life is covered briefly in the June issue of “Our State” magazine. Here’s the quick blurb – “A collection of memories from Parham’s 67 years, Play is Where Life Is includes antics from his childhood as a preacher’s son and his career as a National Hall of Fame tennis coach, which included nearly 20 years at Elon University.”