Category Archives for "Podcast"

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

Subscribe to automatically download new episodes! – James’s first book

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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!

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

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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!

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Subscribe on Android

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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?

Subscribe to automatically download new episodes!

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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

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!

TFP 049: From the Ivy League to the Pro Tour with Tyler Lu

TFP 049: From the Ivy League to the Pro Tour with Tyler Lu

On today’s show, I spoke with Yale standout and recent graduate Tyler Lu.  Tyler has played #1 at Yale since his freshman year, and was ranked as high as #64 in the country in college. We discussed Tyler’s journey from starting tennis at 12 years old to transitioning to the pro tour, and some excellent tips that can help improve your serve and mindset on the court.

Tyler, a blue chip recruit, has defeated a bunch of top 40 ranked college tennis players and was ranked as high as No. 3 in the Southern California (SoCal) region as a junior and No. 24 in the nation by the USTA. I am definitely glad that Tyler’s brother Austin reached out to me to get this interview set up.

Thanks to Tyler for coming onto The Tennis Files Podcast! I really enjoyed speaking with him.  Tyler is a very intelligent young man with a bright future ahead of him. I hope you enjoy his very insightful thoughts about tennis and advice on how we can all play better tennis.

Time-Stamped Show Notes

  • [1:49] Sports and activities Tyler did as a young kid before playing tennis
  • [3:25] Tyler’s first memory of hitting a tennis ball
  • [4:17] ] Was it difficult starting tennis at a relatively late age?
  • [6:07] Tyler started practicing seriously from day 1
  • [6:57] Tyler’s first tournament experience and its impact on his career
  • [7:52] How playing other sports helps tennis players on the mental side of the game and competing
  • [9:15] Tyler not making his high school tennis team first year
  • [10:17] The structure of Tyler’s high school tennis team tryouts
  • [11:15] How Tyler responded after not making his high school team
  • [13:02] Why Tyler didn’t train at a tennis academy and still improved his game a ton
  • [14:16] Tyler’s experience with coaches as a junior player
  • [14:51] When Tyler started to reach a high ranking in Southern California and the nation
  • [15:41] What helped Tyler reach the top of the junior rankings in such a relatively short period of time
  • [17:09] Tyler’s playing style, and how it evolved as he got older up until college?
  • [18:46] How to selectively go for your shots
  • [19:31] Tyler’s proudest moment in his junior tennis career
  • [20:29] His biggest victories in the juniors
  • [21:29] The recruiting process as an upperclassman in high school
  • [22:13] How and why Tyler choose Yale over other big name schools?
  • [23:27] The school Tyler would have gone to if he didn’t select Yale
  • [24:39] Which Ivy League school had the highest-ranked tennis program
  • [25:12] What part of Tyler’s game he improved the most while at Yale?
  • [26:28] Key tip to improve your serve
    • Visualize yourself hitting the top of the ball up on your serve for more power
      • Works for flat and topspin serves
      • Slice side of the ball for slice serves
  • [30:34] What was a typical day of practice like in college?
  • [32:54] How difficult was it to balance studies at a top Ivy League school with Division I tennis?
  • [34:47] How much off-court training (weight training, agility/sprints) did the team do?
  • [36:45] What was the lowest point in Tyler’s college tennis career, and how he overcame it
  • [40:05] The college tennis dynamics of supporting your teammates while competing for a spot in the lineup
  • [42:12] Tyler’s most memorable team match with Yale
  • [44:32] Why confidence is so importance for tennis players
  • [49:04] Factors Tyler considered when deciding whether to go pro
  • [50:45] The profession Tyler would take up if he didn’t decide to go pro
  • [52:00] How Tyler plans to handle the financial burden of playing on the pro tour
  • [54:10] Why domestic tournaments can cost more than international tournaments
  • [56:26] Tyler’s goals for his first year on tour
  • [57:20] Will Tyler be traveling with a coach and/or team during this time?
  • [58:41] Plan for practicing while on the pro tour
  • [1:00:08] Resources to improve your tennis game that Tyler recommends
  • [1:01:41] Tyler’s favorite tennis player of all time
  • [1:01:53] What made Tyler decide to start a blog?
  • [1:04:39] Where we can follow Tyler online
  • [1:05:10] One piece of advice Tyler has for the audience to help them improve their tennis game?

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Links Mentioned in the Show

Tyler’s Blog – http://www.tylerlutennis.com/

Support Tyler’s Pro Career – Tyler’s GoFundMe Page

Outliers – Malcolm Gladwell

International Tennis Performance Association 

Complete Conditioning for Tennis

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

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 Tyler, 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 048: Optimizing Your Strength and Conditioning Workouts with Dominic King

TFP 048: Optimizing Your Strength and Conditioning Workouts with Dominic King

On today’s episode of The Tennis Files Podcast, I spoke with Dominic King, Head of Athlete Development for Everyball Tennis at Halton Tennis Centre in the United Kingdom.  Dom is an expert in strength and conditioning for tennis players, and it was a great pleasure speaking with him and learning about many important principles and tips about tennis fitness.

Dom has a very accomplished background. He is an iTPA Master Tennis Performance Specialist (MTPS), one of only a small number of people to hold this designation worldwide. Dom is also an Accredited Strength & Conditioning Coach (ASCC) with the UK Strength & Conditioning Association, and an NASM Performance Enhancement Specialist (PES). Dom holds numerous other professional qualifications as well. 

Dom trains club players anywhere from 8 to 80 + years old and loves helping each player improve and develop as a tennis athlete. We covered several important areas of tennis strength and conditioning, including how players can optimize their workouts, optimal rep ranges and recovery periods, and key exercises to improve your tennis game.  I hope you enjoy my interview with Dom!

Time-Stamped Show Notes

  • [3:16] What made Dom decide to specialize in the fitness side of tennis?
  • [5:19] Dom’s competitive tennis background
  • [6:27] Accreditations and degrees Dom finds the most useful for his profession as a tennis strength and conditioning expert
  • [9:13] Mehrban talks about taking the iTPA exam to become a certified Tennis Performance Trainer in 3 months
  • [10:15] Athletes/coaches Dom looked up to the most when he was figuring out his career path
  • [12:43] How many strength and conditioning sessions do Dom’s players usually partake in per week?
  • [14:30] How long does each S&C training session last for on average?
  • [15:50] How should we split our workouts in terms of what part of the body is being worked out (i.e. legs day, arms day, push-pull etc.)?
  • [17:43] Why working out for a tennis player is different than general weight training
  • [21:53] Rep ranges and recovery periods that Dom’s players use, and whether it varies on the off season or type of workout
  • [25:10] Is there a use for low rep ranges and 90%+ of 1 rep max for tennis players?
  • [27:52] 3 exercises that transfer into better performance on the court
  • [32:39] Is the bench press a useful exercise for tennis players?
  • [34:33] How often you should change up a workout routine
  • [36:44] Should we use tennis-specific exercises in our weight training, or should we get players strong in a more traditional manner first?
  • [39:30] The biggest mistake that tennis players make when training
  • [42:20] Tips for players to maintain their strength and conditioning while constantly traveling on the road to tournaments
  • [46:42] Can players have a good S&C workout without weights?
  • What types of equipment do you suggest they use?
  • [48:39] Use of the legs and rotation to generate power and what we can learn from boxing and other combat sports
  • [53:10] How important are the legs for the serve?
  • [55:57] What other sports are most similar to tennis?
  • [58:44] Dom’s experiences working with players of all different ages
  • [1:04:17] A typical day training tennis players at Halton Tennis Centre in the UK
  • [1:07:00] 3 books Dom would gift to a friend to help them increase their knowledge about tennis fitness and strength and conditioning.
  • [1:09:18] Where we can find Dom online and in person
  • [1:11:04] One myth about strength and conditioning for tennis
  • [1:12:28] One key tip to help you improve your strength and conditioning for tennis

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Links Mentioned in the Show

Dom’s Website – www.maximiseathleticperformance.com

Dom on Twitter – DomJKing

International Tennis Performance Association 

Complete Conditioning for Tennis

Tuesday’s with Morrie (Dom’s book recommendation)

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

TFP 039: Todd Ellenbecker – Injury Prevention and Recovery

Dom’s Email Address – dom@everyball.net

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 Dom, 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 047: Longevity and Success in Tennis with Charlie Hoeveler

TFP 047: Longevity and Success in Tennis with Charlie Hoeveler

Today I spoke with Charlie Hoeveler, CEO and Founder of US Sports Camps. Charlie discussed his secrets to success and longevity in tennis and how he manages to run the largest sports camps organizations in the world.

Charlie is also a very accomplished player and gave some fantastic advice on how older players can continue to be successful in the sport. He has been ranked number one in the world in singles (ITF) in 1991 (45’s), 1995 (50’s) and #2 in 2001 (55’s) as well as #1 in singles in the U.S. twice (1990 and 2001). Charlie has won 48 Gold Balls for USTA national championships in singles (11), doubles (11), mixed doubles (2), and Father/Son (24) with a string of 24 consecutive years with a Gold Ball (1990 through 2013).

Charlie and his VP’s of Tennis, Matt, Wendy and Siera, have managed to snag some of the best coaches in the country to run their programs, including Paul Goldstein, Stanford University Men’s Tennis Coach, and Billy Pate, Princeton Men’s Tennis Coach.

In addition to his tennis accomplishments, Charlie is a Founding Member National Junior Tennis League of San Francisco, The Charles Schwab Youth Foundation, Special Olympics organizer in Marin County (CA). Charlie is also an Honorary Member of the IC of Great Britain and a member of the USTA/Norcal Hall of Fame.

Here’s what you’ll learn in my interview with Charlie:

  • What Charlie loves the most about tennis.
  • His first memory on the court.
  • Charlie’s tennis idols growing up and a legend he got to hit with.
  • If he could give his younger self advice on how to play better tennis, what he would tell himself.
  • Charlie’s secrets to success and longevity in tennis.
  • His routine before tennis matches.
  • Charlie’s advice to senior players on how they can keep playing
  • How US Sports Camps and Nike Tennis Camps was born
  • How many players have gone through US Sports Camps and Nike Tennis Camps’s camps (hint: its a lot!).
  • The structure and duration of Nike Tennis Camps.
  • What sets US Sports Camps and Nike Tennis Camps apart from other tennis camps.
  • One key piece of advice to help tennis players improve their games.

And more!

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Links Mentioned in the Show

Tennis Technique Summit – Get Your Free Ticket!

Nike Tennis Camps – US Sports Camps

If you enjoyed my interview with Charlie, 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 eBook below! Thanks for listening!

TFP 046: The Mental Game with Jeff Greenwald

TFP 046: The Mental Game with Jeff Greenwald

On today’s episode, I had the pleasure of speaking with Jeff Greenwald, an internationally recognized sports psychology consultant and licensed therapist who specializes in the mental game of tennis. Jeff gave us some fantastic advice on how we can play better tennis by improving the way we think on court and about the game on Episode 46 of The Tennis Files Podcast. If you haven’t listened to Episode 44 with Neil Endicott on Mindfulness-Based Tennis Psychology yet, definitely check that one out as well.

Jeff is author of a fantastic book entitled The Best Tennis of Your Life: 50 Strategies for Fearless Performance.  He is also a speaker and a former world-ranked pro on the ATP Tour who went on to reach the No. 1 ITF ranking in the world and U.S in the men’s 35-age division.

The mental game is such an important part of tennis and I am really excited to bring you this interview with Jeff. We discuss the most important lessons Jeff has learned about the mental game, his biggest struggles on the court, advice that he’d give his younger college/ATP pro playing self, tips on how to improve your mental approach, and much more. Jeff’s advice will help you deal with pressure during matches so you can play better tennis. Click the play button above to listen to the interview. Enjoy!

Time-Stamped Show Notes

  • [1:11] How did Jeff got to where he is today in his tennis career
  • [1:55] What Jeff learned most from The Bollettieri Academy
  • [3:10] Jeff’s most difficult moment as a professional tennis player that pushed him mentally?
  • [5:27] Jeff’s advice to himself as a 20-year old college/ATP pro player
  • [7:47] What can we do to strengthen our mental game?
  • [10:15] What are a few things we can do during a match to help us reset for the next point?
  • [13:12] How can we stay positive after a series of losses?
  • [15:45] Strategies from Jeff’s book that will make a substantial impact on your performance
  • [18:36] Books Jeff recommends you read to improve your mental game
  • [22:02] One key tip from Jeff to help you improve your tennis game

Subscribe to automatically download new episodes!

Subscribe on iTunes Button

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

 

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Links Mentioned in the Show

Jeff’s Website – jeffhgreenwald.com

Jeff’s Book – The Best Tennis of Your Life: 50 Strategies for Fearless Performance

TFP 044: Mindfulness-Based Tennis Psychology with Neil Endicott

The Power of Full Engagement – Jim Loehr

Way of the Peaceful Warrior – Dan Millman

Winning Ugly – Brad Gilbert

Open – Andre Agassi

Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor E. Frankl and William J. Winslade

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success – Carol S. Dweck

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 Jeff, 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 eBook below! Thanks for listening!

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