All Posts by Mehrban

TFP 055: James Blake — How to Unite Through Activism

TFP 055: James Blake — How to Unite Through Activism

On today’s show, I had the honor of speaking with James Blake, former ATP world #4, about his new book Ways of Grace: Stories of Activism, Adversity, and How Sports Can Bring Us Together.  James has amassed 10 singles titles, appeared in 24 singles finals, and beaten some of the greatest tennis players in the world, including Rafael Nadal, Andre Agassi, Lleyton Hewitt, and Andy Roddick.  I was fortunate enough to connect with James and speak with him while he was in LA commentating on the ATP 1000 Shanghai Masters tournament.

One of the things that stood out the most about James to me was his class on the court.  When my dad and I used to watch James play in DC at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic (now the Citi Open), he would thank the ballkids every time they gave him tennis balls or fetched him a towel.  James also had one of the biggest forehands on tour, which he used to propel himself up the ranks into the top 5 of the ATP Tour.  James continues to impress off the court as well with his second book, Ways of Grace, which he wrote ten years after his first book, Breaking Back: How I Lost Everything and Won Back My Life.

James discusses the incredible athletes in Ways of Grace that have spoken out for a cause, the most difficult time in James’s career, James’s secret weapon for coming back from difficult times, when James experienced discrimination on tour, and more on Episode 55 of The Tennis Files Podcast.  Special thanks to GetCharly for helping set up my interview with James! You should definitely check out this fantastic app if you haven’t yet!

I hope you enjoy my interview with James, and let us know what you think by leaving a comment below this post!

Time-Stamped Show Notes

  • [2:30] How writing James’s second book, Ways of Grace, was a completely different experience from his first book Breaking Back
  • [4:10] What James wants readers to get out of reading Ways of Grace
  • [6:04] The incredible athletes that James discusses in his book
  • [7:26] Why famous individuals should speak out about what they believe in, and the possible repercussions of doing so
  • [10:11] One of James’s favorite athletes and what she did to advance society
  • [12:05] Times when James experienced discrimination on the ATP Tour
  • [14:15] James’s toughest moment in his career and how he persevered through that adversity

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Links Mentioned in the Show

Ways of Grace: Stories of Activism, Adversity, and How Sports Can Bring Us Together – James’s new book

Breaking Back: How I Lost Everything and Won Back My Life – James’s first book

James’s Facebook Page

James’s Twitter Page

GetCharly App 

Tennis Technique Summit

Tennis Files Youtube Channel – Subscribe!  You know you want to 😉

Note: Some of the links above are affiliate links, so if you make a purchase after clicking them, I make one-hundred-billion dollars a small commission that helps support the podcast. Thanks either way! 🙂

If you enjoyed my interview with James, subscribe to The Tennis Files Podcast in iTunes or your favorite podcast app!

For more tips on how to improve your game, download a free copy of my eBook, The Building Blocks of Tennis Success below! Thanks for listening!

TFP 054: How to Become Champion Minded with Allistair McCaw

TFP 054: How to Become Champion Minded with Allistair McCaw

On today’s show, I spoke with sports performance specialist Allistair McCaw about how we can become Champion Minded.  Allistair was a guest on the podcast on Episode 11 of TFP, when we chatted about developing world class athletes. Allistair recently published his newest book, Champion Minded: An Athlete’s Guide to Achieving Excellence in Sports and Life with Jenny W. Robb.

Allistair is also the owner of The McCaw Method, a former professional athlete, and trains many world class athletes, including US Open Finalist Kevin Anderson (ranked as high as #10 in the world).  Allistair walks the walk, with multiple top 5 finishes in the World Duathlon Championships, completing 12 marathons in 12 months, and winning South Africa’s fittest man competition among his many accomplishments.

We speak about the importance of vision, why your morning routine can set up the rest of your day for success, how Kevin Anderson exhibits the traits of being Champion Minded, why you need resilience and grit to achieve your goals, and much more on Episode 54 of The Tennis Files Podcast.

I hope you enjoy my interview with Allistair, and let us know what you think in the comments below!

Time-Stamped Show Notes

  • [2:25] Did it get any easier for Allistair to write his second book, Champion Minded, after his first book (7 Keys to Being a Great Coach)?
  • [4:16] Allistair’s inspiration for writing Champion Minded
  • [6:06] The importance of vision, and how Allistair guides his athletes to developing the right vision that will help them achieve their goals
  • [8:04] Why Allistair stuck a sign above his bed as a young kid that said “Allistair McCaw – World Champion” and other encouraging signs
  • [9:54] How to overcome laziness and the feeling of wanting to be comfortable so you can make the right decision
  • [12:14] Allistair’s morning routine
  • [15:24] Why Allistair has kept a training journal since he was 11, and the type of information to record in it
  • [18:14] Why Athletes digest information best in short doses and how that influenced the structure of Champion Minded
  • [20:55] Why competing is what athletes have trouble with the most
  • [22:35] How Kevin Anderson exhibits the traits of being Champion Minded?
  • [24:16] Allistair’s most memorable moments with Kevin and the team during the US Open finals against Rafael Nadal
  • [26:43] The importance of grit and resilience and how to develop it to help you achieve your goals
  • [29:14] Why reading Champion Minded will help you perform better on the court and in life

 

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Links Mentioned in the Show

Champion Minded: An Athlete’s Guide to Achieving Excellence in Sports and Life – Allistair’s new book

Allistair’s Website

McCaw Method Facebook Page

Allistair’s Email Address

Allistair’s Twitter Page

McCaw Method Performance Products

TFP 011: How Allistair McCaw Develops World Class Athletes

Tennis Technique Summit

Tennis Files Youtube Channel – Subscribe!  You know you want to 😉

Note: Some of the links above are affiliate links, so if you make a purchase after clicking them, I make one-hundred-billion dollars a small commission that helps support the podcast. Thanks either way! 🙂

If you enjoyed my interview with Allistair, subscribe to The Tennis Files Podcast in iTunes or your favorite podcast app!

For more tips on how to improve your game, download a free copy of my eBook, The Building Blocks of Tennis Success below! Thanks for listening!

FPWR Doubles Invitational Pro-Am

Chiu/Beck Win Doubles Invitational for Prader-Willi Syndrome Research

Over the weekend, I had the honor of playing in a doubles invitational tournament to benefit the Foundation for Prader-Willi Research (FPWR). The invitational was held at Chantilly National Country Club and had a star-studded field, including former top collegiate players and ranked ATP-tour players.  More importantly though, the event’s purpose was deeper than lifting a trophy or collecting prize money: it was held to raise money for those in need of help.

I had only heard of Prader-Willi syndrome a couple times, but didn’t know much about the condition.  Prader-Willi syndrome is a genetic disorder that occurs in about one out of every 15,000 births.  It is recognized as the most common genetic cause of life-threatening childhood obesity.  Those born with the syndrome generally have small hands and feet, abnormal growth and body composition (small stature, very low lean body mass, and early-onset childhood obesity), weak muscles at birth, insatiable hunger, extreme obesity and intellectual disability.

The tournament was hosted by my friend and former assistant coach at UMBC, Matt Bilger, who I interviewed on Episode 43 of The Tennis Files Podcast.  Matt is the Director of Tennis at Chantilly National Country Club. There were 10 solid teams in the draw, and prize money to play for as well: $200 for the quarterfinals, $600 for the semis, $900 for the finalists, and $1.5k for the champions.

FPWR Doubles Invitational Bracket

FPWR Doubles Invitational Bracket

My friend Victor, who I played college tennis with at UMBC back in the day, teamed up with me for the event. We had to play a match on Friday evening to determine who would reach the quarterfinals and secure a couple Benjamin Franklins ($200).  Funny enough, Victor and I drew Matt and his friend Nathan Crick, who won 86 singles matches and 103 doubles match while playing under former UVA coach Brian Boland at Indiana State University.

We played the match at Country Club of Fairfax, on indoor red clay, which I had never played (and never expected to play on) in my life. Matt and Nathan took it to us in the first set, winning it 6-1.  They were playing aggressively, and we couldn’t get much of a rhythm going. Fortunately, in the second set we made a couple adjustments (staying two back when Victor was returning), I started hitting my forehand much more aggressively and deeper, and Victor was a stud at the net.  We won the second set 6-1.  The third was a seesaw battle and we were fortunate to win a couple more points in the end, winning the third 7-5.

Indoor Red Clay

My topspin forehand didn’t mind this court 🙂

Nobuyoshi Tanaka, who used to play at the same club Victor and I did many years back, and his partner Austin Brawley defeated Erik-Jan de Heide and Eu Han Lee.  We finished around 9pm on Friday and headed back home (after a quick stop at a random Beer Garden (Biertgarden?) in Fairfax of course!).

The quarterfinals began at 9am with some fantastic matchups.  Chris Chiu, a former player at the University of Maryland and top junior in the area, teamed up with former Virginia Tech Hokie Will Beck (#55 D1 doubles ranking) to defeat Tanaka/Lee in straight sets.  Alex Seleznev, another top ranked collegiate doubles player who played for Old Dominion, got the best of Kenyon College player Henry Barrett and current ATP pro Xander Centenari.  Centenari’s career high rankings are 1200 in singles and 535 in doubles.

On the bottom-half of the draw, Paul Burgin, another Kenyon College standout, and former UVA Ace Justin Shane defeated Boris Fetbroyt and Brendan Kincaid 6-4 6-4.   Burgin played #1 at Kenyon, was a 2-time All-American, and reached #4 in singles and #19 in doubles in the DIII collegiate rankings. Shane was ranked as high as #37 nationally in singles and #9 in doubles in college, and achieved ATP rankings of #806 in singles and #577 in doubles.  Fetbroyt played D1 tennis at the University of Maryland and was ranked top 10 nationally as a junior in the 18s division.  We actually played a match against each other at a national tournament in New York as 14 year-olds.  Kincaid is the head tennis coach at Goucher College, was awarded the ITA National Assistant Coach of the Year after the 2009-2010 season, and is a very impressive player as well.

Victor and I had a tough match on our hands.  Our opponents were Andrew Carlson and John Mook.  Carlson played college tennis at Ohio State before playing on the ATP Tour.  Carlson reached career highs of 833 in singles and 475 in doubles. He qualified for the Citi Open (formerly Legg Mason Tennis Classic) several times, and once lost a close 6-4 6-4 match against Andy Roddick and Brian Vahaly with his partner Chris Groer.  Mook is one of the best players that Christopher Newport University has ever had and was inducted into its hall of fame in 2015.

I had played against both Mook and Carlson numerous times in USTA 5.0 leagues, and knew Victor and I needed to play extremely well to have a chance.  Unfortunately for us, that didn’t happen.  Carlson was blasting serves at 120+ as usual, and Mook played very solid doubles.  We did have a 15-40 break chance on Carlson in the first set, and on Mook in the second set, but they came up with some great plays to block out our efforts.  We lost 6-2 6-1, but really enjoyed the high-level of play and the great atmosphere.

FPWR Quarterfinalist Prize Money

Prize money for reaching the quarterfinals

After the match, all the participants gathered to snack on a continental breakfast-style spread and relax a bit.  Then Matt and Alex Lerner, a friendly teaching pro, held a clinic for the event attendees. The tournament players, including yours truly, had a lot of fun on court and played a bunch of games with the attendees.

FPWR Clinic

The clinic participants had game!

We headed back to the covered seating area (I know there’s a term for this but can’t remember it!) after the clinic and had some lunch and drinks.

After lunch, we watched some fantastic semifinal action.  Chiu/Beck won a tight 6-2 7-6 battle against Seleznev/Kemp, who caught fire in the second set and came up just short. Burgin/Shane notched a tough 6-4 6-3 victory against Mook/Carlson.

Doubles Invitational Semifinals - Beck/Chiu vs Kemp/Seleznev

Semifinals Action – Beck/Chiu vs Kemp/Seleznev

Once the semis ended, most of the pros and the crowd participated in the Pro-Am.  A pro-am is short for pro-amateur, where a pro will team up with an amateur and play several rounds of matches.  My partner was Felix, who used to be a professional badminton player, and supplied the fantastic signs for the event.

We had a lot of fun, and I enjoyed giving him a few tips.  He improved his play as the pro-am went on, which was really cool to see. Interesting enough I learned from Felix that the majority of badminton shots are like volleys, which is why he wasn’t use to following through on his shots.  We agreed that him rushing the net would be a good strategy given his badminton pedigree.

FPWR Pro-Am

FPWR Pro-Am Participants

The pro-am was a blast, and afterwards everyone ate dinner and had a drink or three (you know who you are 🙂 ).

Alcohol Doubles Invitational

Did I mention they had alcohol?

 

Around 5:30pm, Matt and Jason Waldrop, an FPWR representative, spoke about the Foundation for Prader-Willi Research and that they raise between 3-5 million dollars a year to help those with the syndrome, which is an incredible effort.

Chiu/Beck proved their placement as the first line in the draw to be the right one, as they won against Burgin/Shane in the final.

 

FPWR Doubles Invitational Championship Match

The Championship Match – Shane/Burgin and Beck/Chiu with Bilger

The event was just about everything anyone could ask for.  High-level tennis with great people, all-you-can eat food and drinks (my dream scenario), all for a great cause.

Thanks to Matt and FPWR for putting on the event, the Mook family for all their contributions, the awesome shirts from Reston Shirt and Graphics Company, all the sponsors, the club members from Chantilly National, the players, and the crowd that came out to watch.  I’m definitely looking forward to next year, and highly encourage you to donate to FPWR to help them combat Prader-Willi syndrome.

Until then, I’ll be working hard on my serve and volleys so we can get a little deeper in the draw next time 🙂

TFP 053: Citi Open Recap with Ben Rothenberg

TFP 053: Citi Open Recap with Ben Rothenberg

On today’s episode, Ben Rothenberg, New York Times Writer and host of the No Challenges Remaining Podcast, recapped the 2017 Citi Open with me on championship Sunday. Ben travels the globe to cover tennis tournaments, and he is one of the most knowledgeable journalists in the world about the ATP and WTA tours.  One thing I didn’t know about Ben is how excellent of a spelling bee contest host he is when it rains at tennis tournaments 🙂

Ben and I discussed the most impressive players of the tournament, the championship matches featuring Alexander Zverev, Kevin Anderson, Ekaterina Makerova and Julia Goerges, controversies at the Citi Open (Jack Sock “worst court on the tour” cough cough), and other interesting factoids about the men’s and women’s tours.  I definitely had a blast hearing the opinions and insights from Ben, and I know you will enjoy the interview, especially if you like hearing the latest about the ATP and WTA.

I hope you enjoy my interview with Ben, and let me know what you think in the comments below!

Time-Stamped Show Notes

  • [2:48] General thoughts about the 2017 Citi Open
  • [3:55] Biggest surprise of the tournament
  • [5:03] Most impressive players on the women’s side
  • [6:37] Effect of the long schedule on the seeded players’ poor performances
  • [7:22] Dimitrov’s early upset and Medvedev’s confrontation with Johnson
  • [10:05] Jack Sock calls Citi Open’s stadium court the worst court on tour
  • [12:21] Assessing Sock’s mental toughness and future potential
  • [13:59] An impressive run to the finals for Kevin Anderson
  • [15:37] Hardest working pros on tour
  • [16:48] When do players get paid appearances fees to play in tournaments?
  • [21:00] The Kontinen/Peers vs Melo/Kubot championship match and Melo coaching Zverev
  • [22:30] The future of the Bryan Brothers
  • [24:03] Thoughts on Julia Goerges and her solid run to the finals
  • [24:34] Ben’s crazy travel schedule to cover pro tournaments
  • [26:30] No Challenges Remaining podcast
  • [27:46] Where we can find Ben on social media

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Links Mentioned in the Show

Tennis Files Youtube Channel – Check out the vlogs and interview I did at the Citi Open!

No Challenges Remaining Podcast

Ben’s Twitter Page

Citi Open Tournament

If you enjoyed my interview with Ben, subscribe to The Tennis Files Podcast in iTunes or your favorite podcast app!

And be sure to check out my vlogs and player interviews at the 2017 Citi Open on my Youtube Channel!

For more tips on how to improve your game, download a free copy of my eBook, The Building Blocks of Tennis Success below! Thanks for listening!

TFP 052: Dennis Novikov on Climbing the ATP Tour Ladder

TFP 052: Dennis Novikov on Climbing the ATP Tour Ladder

On today’s show, I spoke with ATP Pro Dennis Novikov.  As an 18-year old, Dennis gained direct entry to the 2012 US Open singles and doubles main draws by winning both titles at the Boys 18s National Championship at Kalamazoo.  Dennis impressively won his first round singles and doubles matches at the US Open, and has been steadily climbing up the ATP Tour ladder ever since, reaching a career high of #119 in the world last year.  He also played two years of college tennis at UCLA, a top-ranked school that another podcast guest, Clay Thompson, attended.

You’ll hear about Dennis’s daily routines, how he handles adversity, the type of training he does in the gym, and tips for improving your tennis game on Episode 52 of The Tennis Files Podcast.  I first met Dennis after a World Team Tennis match between the Washington Kastles and the Orange County Breakers in D.C.  My dad and I chatted briefly with Dennis in the garage elevator, and it is really cool to have him on as a guest on the podcast.

I hope you enjoy my interview with Dennis, and let me know what you think in the comments below!

Time-Stamped Show Notes

  • [3:57] Dennis’s first memory of hitting a tennis ball
  • [4:46] Dennis’s brother’s influence on Dennis’s tennis game?
  • [5:10] Other sports/activities Dennis played as a youngster
  • [5:58] How not specializing early helped Dennis’s tennis game
  • [6:38] Dennis’s favorite hockey player
  • [7:00] When Dennis believed that he could be a professional tennis player
  • [7:42] Dennis’s role models growing up
  • [8:12] Having your dad as your tennis coach
  • [8:45] Pressures as a top-ranked junior
  • [9:29] When Dennis reached the top rankings in juniors
  • [10:36] Winning without training at tennis academies
  • [11:21] Why being a successful junior player doesn’t really translate to the pros
  • [13:41] Dennis’s experience winning both the 18s singles and doubles titles in Kalamazoo
  • [15:09] Going pro versus playing college tennis
  • [16:09] Biggest improvements in his game while at UCLA
  • [16:59] Where Dennis would have gone has he not chosen UCLA
  • [17:36] Why Dennis left UCLA after two years
  • [18:12] The most memorable moment as a Bruin
  • [19:15] Winning both first round matches at the 2012 US Open as an 18 year old 
  • [20:52] The toughest moment in Dennis’s career and how he overcame it
  • [22:10] Differences between the juniors, college, and the pro game
  • [23:10] What Dennis has changed in his training over the past few years on the ATP tour
  • [23:42] Dennis’s speed and agility workouts
  • [24:19] Changes in the pro game: shortening matches and using a time clock between points
  • [25:28] A typical day in the life of Dennis Novikov on non-tournament days
  • [26:22] Dennis’s go-to breakfast
  • [27:00] Dennis’s frequency training strength, speed, agility, power, and endurance
  • [27:41] Dennis’s go-to exercises in the weight room
  • [28:15] The importance of different set and rep schemes in your workouts (i.e. endurance vs. power)
  • [28:59] What Dennis eats and drinks during a match
  • [29:45] Does Dennis practice meditation or yoga?
  • [30:28] Caloric intake and the 14k diet
  • [30:55] How many meals Dennis eats a day
  • [31:06] Dennis’s favorite TV shows
  • [31:55] Sustaining a pro tennis career from a financial standpoint
  • [33:02] Why Dennis couldn’t take a dime of money for reaching the second round of singles and doubles at the US Open as an 18 year old
  • [33:21] Dennis’s racquet, strings, and tension setup
  • [33:58] 3 books Dennis recommends tennis players read to improve
  • [34:46] Dennis’s thoughts on the McGregor – Mayweather fight
  • [36:00] Tips to help improve our serves
  • [36:39] Dennis’s schedule over the next few months
  • [37:31] Where we can follow Dennis online and on social media
  • [37:53] One key piece of advice to help improve your tennis game

Subscribe to automatically download new episodes!

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Links Mentioned in the Show

Dennis’s Instagram Page

Dennis’s Twitter Page

Dennis’s Facebook Page

Tennis Technique Summit

My Fight / Your Fight – Rhonda Rhousey

I Feel Like Going On: Life, Game, and Glory – Ray Lewis

Win or Learn: MMA, Conor McGregor, and Me: A Trainer’s Journey – John Kavanagh

International Tennis Performance Association 

Complete Conditioning for Tennis

TFP 033: Dr. Mark Kovacs – Strength and Conditioning for Tennis Players

Tennis Files Youtube Channel – Subscribe!  You know you want to 😉

Citi Open Tournament

Note: Some of the links above are affiliate links, so if you make a purchase after clicking them, I make Eleventy-Billion dollars a small commission that helps support the podcast. Thanks either way! 🙂

If you enjoyed my interview with Dennis, subscribe to The Tennis Files Podcast in iTunes or your favorite podcast app!

And be sure to check out my vlogs and player interviews at the 2017 Citi Open on my Youtube Channel! The first vlog should be up on August 1st.

For more tips on how to improve your game, download a free copy of my eBook, The Building Blocks of Tennis Success below! Thanks for listening!

1 TFP 051: Level Up Your Footwork with Dave Bailey

TFP 051: Level Up Your Footwork with David Bailey

On today’s show, I spoke with footwork expert Dave Bailey about how we can improve our movement on the court. Dave is the creator of the Bailey Tennis Footwork Method, used by top professionals all the way down to the amateur level.  Dave has worked with over 21 Grand Slam Players, including Monica Seles, Jarmilla Gajdosova, Zang Shaui, Jelena Dokic, Bethanie Mattek, Anne Kethavong, Misaki Doe, Irina Falconi, and Vince Spadea.

Dave has spent over 30 years studying and researching the steps and movements of the top tennis professionals.  Clearly, he really knows his stuff about footwork.  After his intensive study of the best players in the world, Dave created the Bailey Tennis Footwork Method, which is arguably the most advanced and comprehensive tennis footwork training program in the world today.

Dave was a real pleasure to speak with, and I hope to someday take him up on his offer of doing scissor kick smashes in the sand dunes of Sydney, Australia.  I’ll try not to puke though 🙂

Many thanks to Dave for the fantastic tips and information on how we can all level up our tennis footwork.  And if you can only remember one thing that Dave said (originally from Nick Bollettieri), remember this: “it’s footwork, not footwalk.”

I hope you enjoy this episode and let us know what you think in the comments below!

Time-Stamped Show Notes

  • [2:03] What caused Dave to become so passionate about tennis footwork
  • [2:50] Dave’s competitive and educational background
  • [4:02] How Bruce Lee was one of Dave’s biggest influencers in studying tennis and footwork
  • [5:38] 3 things most of the world doesn’t know about Dave Bailey
  • [6:20] Why improving our footwork is critical if we want to reach the next level in our tennis careers
  • [7:21] Why tennis footwork is often under-appreciated in favor of other aspects of tennis like technique or strategy
  • [8:42] Why so many players develop inefficient footwork mechanics
  • [10:44] How different types of players tend to have different movement patterns
  • [12:36] The biggest mistakes amateurs make with their footwork
  • [13:41] What is the Bailey Tennis Footwork Method?
  • [14:52] What are the basic tenets of the Bailey Tennis Footwork Method?
  • [17:08] Which of the 5 R’s are players the most deficient in and how can we improve it?
  • [18:21] Contact and Balance Moves
  • [21:49] How to prevent information overwhelm when learning the different moves in footwork
  • [23:36] Walk through of a typical footwork training session that Dave would give to a 4.0 or 4.5-rated adult tennis player
  • [26:32] How long does it normally take for students on the Bailey Tennis Footwork Method to see improvements in their footwork?
  • [27:56] Types of training equipment do you use to help players improve their footwork?
  • [30:47] Would you recommend the jumprope to players who want to improve their footwork?
  • [31:45] What is the key to eliminating bad footwork patterns and developing efficient patterns?
  • [33:34] Are there any muscles that are routinely undertrained or ignored which contribute to bad footwork?
  • [35:19] What’s the first thing you have an athlete you are coaching do when you want to improve that person’s footwork technique
  • [37:06] What is one drill that tennis players can do right now that will help them improve their footwork?
  • [40:00] How heavy of a medicine ball should we use?
  • [41:01] How can we improve our footspeed/footwork intensity?
  • [43:03] What mistakes do players make in their training that actually slows them down instead of making them quicker on the court?
  • [45:34] What role does the mind play in whether a player has efficient or inefficient footwork?
  • [47:34] Using visualization to help athletes’ footwork
  • [49:16] What type of mindset should we have to help us improve our footwork?
  • [51:02] Tips for players that get tight and end up not moving their feet in matches
  • [53:24] What role does flexibility play in our footwork technique?
  • [54:30] What warm up or cool down routines do you have your players do after a footwork training sessions?
  • [57:50] The benefit of stretch bands and Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PnF) stretching
  • [58:50] What is one myth that many tennis players believe about footwork?
  • [1:00:41] If Dave had to pick one player’s footwork to emulate from the pro tour, who would it be (the Bruce Lee philosophy)
  • [1:02:27] Dave’s favorite player of all time to work with: Jelena Dokic
  • [1:03:45] 3 books Dave would gift to the audience to help them improve their tennis footwork and overall tennis game?
  • [1:05:31] Dave’s involvement in the tennis world and plans to license his footwork method
  • [1:07:30] Where we can follow Dave online
  • [1:08:38] Where Dave trains students in person
    • Sydney
  • [1:09:50] Dave recounts students puking from training with him :O]
  • [1:11:36] One key piece of advice to help us improve our tennis footwork

Subscribe to automatically download new episodes!

Subscribe on iTunes Button

Click this icon, click the blue “View in iTunes” button, then hit “Subscribe.”

 

Subscribe on Android

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Right Click Here to Download the MP3

Links Mentioned in the Show

Tennis Technique Summit

Bailey Tennis Footwork Method

Relax and Win – Bud Winter and Jimson Lee

Zen in the Martial Arts – Joe Hyams

Tennisplayer.net – John Yandell

Tennis dance – Awesome video showing Dave’s students perform many of the BTFM steps

International Tennis Performance Association 

Complete Conditioning for Tennis

TFP 033: Dr. Mark Kovacs – Strength and Conditioning for Tennis Players

Note: Some of the links above are affiliate links, so if you make a purchase after clicking them, I make Eleventy-Billion dollars a small commission that helps support the podcast. Thanks either way! 🙂

If you enjoyed my interview with Dave, subscribe to The Tennis Files Podcast in iTunes or your favorite podcast app!

For more tips on how to improve your game, download a free copy of my eBook, The Building Blocks of Tennis Success below! Thanks for listening!

1 TFP 050: Babolat Racquet and Strings Review with Allan Iverson

TFP 050: Babolat Racquet and Strings Review with Allan Iverson

On today’s episode I spoke with Allan Iverson, Babolat’s Sales Representative in Southern California and the 2014 Tennis Industry Sales Rep of the Year.  Allan and I discussed the history of Babolat, the best approach to choosing racquets and strings, and improvements in tennis technology over the past few decades.  

In addition to his job with Babolat, Allan is also a USPTA P-1 teaching pro with more than two decades of experience.  In 2012, he was Babolat’s National Salesperson of the Year.  Allan travels far and wide, including a recent trip to China, to help enrich the tennis industry’s knowledge about the latest products that Babolat has to offer.  He has become such a wealth of information that one of Allan’s bosses recently said “his knowledge of the brand is better than anybody I have worked with.”  Allan is no slouch on the court either; he played number one at his high school and all 4 years at Christ College of Irvine.

I hope you enjoy my interview with Allan!  If you have an interest in racquets, strings (which tennis player doesn’t?), and tennis products in general, you will really like this episode. Choosing the right equipment for your game is crucial, and whether or not you go with Babolat products, you will learn a ton from Allan about what is available and how to determine what is best for your game.  I use Babolat racquets and strings and highly recommend them.  There are a ton of choices out there, and this episode will help you narrow down the playing field.  Thanks for listening!

Time-Stamped Show Notes

  • [3:35] How Allan became a highly respected sales rep for Babolat
  • [5:20] The farthest that he has ever traveled to promote the Babolat brand
  • [6:46] Allan’s favorite thing about being a Babolat sales manager?
  • [7:56] What are 3 things most of the world doesn’t know about Allan?
  • [9:30] When, where and how was Babolat founded?
  • [12:47] What was Babolat’s first breakthrough product?
  • [14:22] Which pro has done the most to further Babolat’s brand out of all the players, past and present, on the tour?
  • [17:33] What is Babolat’s most successful racquet line of all time?
  • [19:24] The difference between the European and American approach of making products
  • [21:29] Longest tenured pro with Babolat
  • [22:27] Tips for playtesting racquets and racquets in Babolat’s line that players should demo
  • [25:31] What does the VS stand for in the VS Aero Pro line of racquets?
  • [26:56] The new iteration of the Pure Control
  • [28:03] What does the 16×20 string pattern do to a racquet’s feel/power/control?
  • [29:19] What types of racquets in Babolat’s line are best suited for certain types of players?
  • [31:17] The Pure Strike racquet that Dominic Thiem uses
  • [32:04] Pure Aero VS racquet review
  • [34:03] Allan’s take on the racquet
  • [34:50] Pure Strike 100 racquet review
  • [36:48] Allan’s take on the Pure Strike
  • [38:34] Pure Strike Team 100 racquet review
  • [41:01] What racquets would Allan recommend our audience try, being that most of our audience is between a 3.5-4.5 NTRP level
  • [42:04] The racquet that Allan uses
  • [43:19] How much has the Pure Aero changed since it first came on the market?
  • [46:59] How long do frames normally “last” for before they decline in performance and the one thing that wears out your racquet the most
  • [50:57] RPM Blast Rough strings review
  • [52:23] Allan’s insight on RPM Blast Rough
  • [55:23] Does color of string make a difference in the string’s performance, and the process of making different types of strings
  • [57:36] Hybrid – RPM Blast / VS Touch strings review
  • [1:01:33] Full vs half poly in the Aero Pro
  • [1:03:44] Stringing with electric machines and other string choices
  • [1:07:26] Best practices for stringing racquets
  • [1:10:32] What string does Allan recommend 3.5-4.5 NTRP level players use, and how does this recommendation vary with other parameters (age, type of player, etc)?
  • [1:11:47] How do we choose between 15L, 16, 17, and 18 gauge string?
  • [1:13:27] Why Nadal plays with 15L gauge string.
  • [1:14:18] What’s one thing about strings that players get wrong when choosing them
  • [1:15:15] If Allan had to choose one racquet to represent the Babolat brand, which one would it be?
  • [1:18:29] Babolat’s new solar powered bag that they haven’t been able to get into the U.S yet
  • [1:19:28] What wearable technology does Babolat have for tennis players?
  • [1:21:33] What is the new Babolat App and what are its features?
  • [1:25:05] Where can we get the Babolat App?
  • [1:26:21] What racquet models are compatible with connecting with the Babolat app?
  • [1:27:59] What sources would you recommend to our audience to enhance their knowledge of tennis racquets and strings?
  • [1:29:54] One piece of advice for the audience on how we can improve our tennis games (racquet/string related).
  • [1:32:43] Types of grips (i.e. replacement grips vs overgrips, tacky vs absorbent, thin vs thick, etc.) that we can use
  • [1:35:09] Where can we follow Allan and Babolat?

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Links Mentioned in the Show

http://www.babolat.com

Babolat Pop Sensor

Babolat App

Pure Aero VS

Pure Strike 100

RPM Blast Rough

Hybrid – VS Gut / RPM Blast 

United States Racquet Stringers Association 

The Tennis Files Podcast Ep. 18 – How to Choose the Right Strings for Your Tennis Game

Tennis Technique Summit

Note: Some of the links above are affiliate links, so if you make a purchase after clicking them, I make Eleventy-Billion dollars a small commission that helps support the podcast. Thanks either way! 🙂

If you enjoyed my interview with Allan, subscribe to The Tennis Files Podcast in iTunes or your favorite podcast app!

For more tips on how to improve your game, download a free copy of my eBook, The Building Blocks of Tennis Success below! Thanks for listening!

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