Category Archives for "Podcast"

TFP 020: Winning in Your 60s with World Champion Dan Waldman

TFP 020: Winning in Your 60s with World Champion Dan Waldman

Today I spoke with Dan Waldman, a world champion tennis player. Dan, who is 60 years old, regularly competes on the ITF Senior Circuit in national and international tennis tournaments, and has won several of them. Despite working as an attorney at Arnold and Porter, Dan is also dedicated to his tennis and his training. This is why he continues to tear it up on the Senior Circuit.

Dan talked to me about his training and tennis playing frequency, the importance of stretching, his diet, his experiences playing tennis for Harvard University alongside current Harvard Tennis Coach Dave Fish, and playing professional tournaments.

I know this interview will help a lot of you, especially those in your 50s and beyond. I have received many emails and comments about how to successfully compete as you get older. Dan, a world champion singles and doubles player, shows us what it takes to be the best no matter what your age is!

On this episode, you will learn:

  • The mindset required to keep improving your game
  • The keys to coming back from injury
  • How to keep your body in optimal condition
  • How you can keep playing singles in your 60s
  • Dan’s morning routine
  • Why playing in the morning before work can benefit your game
  • The age that players lose a step, and how to minimize it
  • The biggest changes in tennis from the 70s to today

and more.

I really appreciate you tuning in to this episode, and I hope that you learn a ton from all the valuable information that Dan provided us.

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Links Mentioned in This Episode

Episode 14 of TFP on Nutrition, Sleep, and Supplements

Episode 12 of TFP with Harvard Tennis Coach Dave Fish 

Dan’s profile at Arnold and Porter

International Tennis Club of the United States

If you learned something useful from listening to my interview with Dan, share this episode with a friend using the share buttons above or below this post! Thanks for listening!

TFP 019: 7 Reasons Why You Lose Tennis Matches

TFP 019: 7 Reasons Why You Lose Tennis Matches

On today’s episode, I discuss 7 reasons that caused me to lose my match in a men’s open tournament this past weekend. Analyzing your losses and figuring out what to improve is one of the most important things you can do for your tennis game. After I lost, I was more motivated than ever to ramp up my training and play better tennis.

I walked through my matches in the tournament and discovered 7 crucial mistakes that I made before and during my match against the #4 seed. Despite our best intentions, we don’t always perform our best and end up losing matches, but as long as we can take away something positive from our experience and commit to taking bold action to develop our tennis game, we have won.

On this episode, you will learn:

  • Why warming up is crucial to peak performance
  • Why you should stay true to your game
  • The mindset you need to have before competing
  • Why your serve is the most important stroke in your arsenal
  • Why getting in position takes precedence over stroke mechanics
  • The role of fitness in your tennis game
  • The difference between 4.0-5.0+ level players
  • How replicating match conditions will help you play better in tournaments

and more.

I really appreciate you tuning in to this episode, and I hope that you can take something away from my tournament experience!

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Links Mentioned in This Episode

15 Mistakes Tennis Players Need to Correct

5 Reasons to Practice Your Tennis Serve

If you learned something useful from listening to the show, share this episode with a friend using the share buttons above or below this post! Thanks for listening!

2 TFP 018: How to Choose the Right Strings for Your Game with Tim Strawn

TFP 018: How to Choose The Right Strings for Your Tennis Game with Tim Strawn

Today’s guest on The Tennis Files Podcast is master racquet technician Tim Strawn. Tim is the Executive Director of The International Alliance of Racquet Technicians. He has an extensive amount of stringing and racquet knowledge, and has strung racquets at some of the best professional tournaments in the world, including Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, and the Sony Ericsson Open.

Tim created the grandslamstringers.com website and message board, which evolved into the International Alliance of Racquet Technicians. He also put together the annual IART Symposium to bring all those currently working or interested in the racquet and string industry together to enhance their knowledge and expertise. Tim was also the Racquet Sports Industry’s 2007 Stringer of the Year.

Tim was kind enough to tell us how we can choose the right strings to suit our racquet and our tennis game. He went into detail about the different types of strings, the right tension and gauge to have them strung, and common pitfalls that stringers and players make when stringing their racquets. This episode is a must listen for anyone who wants to optimize their string setup and play better tennis.

On this episode, you will learn:

  • The 5 types of tennis strings
  • The effects of tension and string thickness on your game
  • Why the 10% rule doesn’t work for polyester strings
  • The role of racquet technicians and how they can help your game
  • How stringing works at the biggest professional tournaments in the world
  • Tim’s favorite polyester, synthetic gut, natural gut, and multifilament strings
  • What strings and tensions the pros use in their racquets
  • How to take better care of your racquets
  • Common mistakes that novice stringers make
  • How to tell if your racquet was strung incorrectly

and more.

I learned a lot from Tim about how I can tweak my string setup to produce better results on the court, and I know you will too. Thanks for listening!

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Links Mentioned in This Episode

The International Alliance of Racquet Technicians

IART Symposium

IART Facebook Page

Volkl Cyclone Tour – my current polyester string of choice, and one of the best priced polyesters out there (only 8.99 a pack). (Note: This is an affiliate link, so I make a small commission if you click on it and make a purchase. Thanks! 🙂 ]

If you learned something useful from my episode with Tim, share this episode with a friend using the share buttons above or below this post!

TFP 017: Coaching the #3 Doubles Team in the World with Othmane Garma

TFP 017: Coaching the #3 Doubles Team in the World with Othmane Garma

My guest today is my friend and ATP coach Othmane Garma.  Othmane coaches Treat Huey, who with Max Mirnyi, is the #3 doubles team in the world.  Treat is ranked #26 on the ATP doubles tour, and he spoke with me on Episode 7 of The Tennis Files Podcast.

I first met Othmane as a junior player in the Mid-Atlantic area. Othmane was a tough and powerful junior and college player whose love for the game pushed him towards the coaching profession.

On the show, Othmane and I discussed how he got into coaching, the role of coaches, and his experiences on the ATP Tour. Othmane also gave us a ton of fantastic information about how to play optimal doubles for club players up to the professional level. We analyzed Treat’s progression and how he was able to push his way to the top levels of the ATP doubles tour.

Othmane is also an entreprenuer: OG (Othmane’s nickname) and another friend of mine, Farshad Garakani, created an awesome platform, Courtplay, to help players find coaches and schedule lessons online.  Othmane and Farshad also lessons at their tennis program, Courtplay Athletics, in Vienna, Virginia.

It has been such a pleasure to watch two guys who I knew from junior tennis progress so far up the tennis ranks, and I know you will learn a ton and gain fantastic insights into the world of being an ATP Tour tennis coach from my interview with Othmane!

On this episode, you will learn:

  • How Othmane got his start coaching
  • The difference between coaching club players and professionals
  • What life is like for a tennis coach on the tour
  • How Othmane guided Treat Huey to the top ranks of the doubles tour
  • The most important skill to have as a doubles player
  • What makes a great doubles team
  • Why keeping positive and brushing off losses is vital to your success
  • How Othmane and Farshad Garakani created Courtplay
  • A typical day of training on the doubles tour
  • What coaches think about when they are watching their players’ matches

and more.

I hope you enjoy my interview with Othmane! Let me know what you think!

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Links Mentioned in This Episode

Courtplay

Courtplay Athletics

I’ve Got Your Back – Brad Gilbert

Doubles Tactics – Louis Cayer

The Inner Game of Tennis – W. Timothy Gallwey

[Note: The links to the books are affiliate links, so I make a small commission if you click on them and make a purchase 🙂 ] 

If you learned something useful from my episode with Othmane, share this episode with a friend using the share buttons above or below this post!

2 TFP 016: Jesse Witten

TFP 016: How Jesse Witten Took a Set off Djokovic and Remembering Bruno Agostinelli

My guest today is ATP Pro Jesse Witten. Jesse has been ranked as high as #163 in the world and reached the 3rd round of the 2009 US Open, where he took a set off tennis superpower Novak Djokovic. Jesse has also played in the main draws of the French Open and Wimbledon. He reached the final of the NCAA Division I Championships as a freshman at the University of Kentucky and was its first 5-time ITA All-American (4 singles, 1 doubles).

I first noticed Jesse back in the juniors when he played and won a Super National Clay Court tournament in Maryland in 1999.  It was my first time watching the best juniors in the country play against each other, and I witnessed him dominate the entire field. I was fortunate enough to play in this event two years later, but Jesse’s performance always stuck in my mind as the best I had ever seen by a junior tennis player.

I was fortunate enough to speak to Jesse about his career, from reaching the top ranks of the juniors, to how he developed into an elite tennis professional. He also discussed his time playing tennis at The University of Kentucky, and the impact that it had on his tennis game.

We also paid tribute to Bruno Agostinelli, a former University of Kentucky tennis player who tragically passed away recently. Bruno was a great teammate and tennis player, but an even better person. He reached #2 in the NCAA rankings, and famously clinched a 5-set victory in the deciding Davis Cup match for Canada in 2009. A Gofundme page has been set up for Bruno’s family, and they would definitely appreciate it if you could donate to the fund.

On this episode, you will learn:

  • The mindset that propelled Jesse to the elite levels of tennis
  • Why a strong support system is critical to a successful tennis career
  • How Jesse was able to dominate the juniors
  • How playing college tennis helped develop Jesse’s tennis game
  • What made Bruno Agostinelli an amazing human being
  • A typical day of training on the ATP Tour
  • How Jesse was able to take a set off Novak Djokovic
  • The most difficult aspect of being a professional tennis player
  • Jesse’s thoughts on being a tennis coach

and more.

Thanks to Jesse for being a fantastic guest on The Tennis Files Podcast. And shout out to Elliott Datlow, a fellow Kentucky Wildcat Tennis alumni, for putting me in touch with Jesse.

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Links Mentioned in This Episode

Bruno Agostinelli’s GoFundMe Page

Tough Tennis Academy

If you enjoyed my interview with Jesse, share this episode with a friend using the share buttons above or below this post!

TFP 015: Sophie Chang Tennis Prodigy

TFP 015: Tennis Prodigy Sophie Chang on Turning Pro and Rising from the Valley

Today’s guest is rising WTA tennis pro Sophie Chang.  At only 18 years of age, Sophie reached career high rankings of #569 in singles and #283 in doubles this week.

Sophie is very well-spoken, intelligent, and mature beyond her years. We discussed how she went from not winning a match for an entire year when she first started competing to becoming a top-ranked junior and then a professional tennis player. Sophie also talked to me about her training, diet, and how she deals with the ups and downs on the USTA Pro Circuit.

I found out about Sophie when several of my friends shared clips of her playing and training on social media. I also realized that Sophie is originally from Maryland, my home state, and immediately knew that I wanted her to be a guest on The Tennis Files Podcast!

On this episode, you will learn:

  • How Sophie’s support system helped her become an elite tennis player
  • What obstacles Sophie has faced and how she has overcome them
  • A typical day of training on the pro tour
  • How Sophie uses meditation to help her performance
  • Differences between the men’s and women’s game
  • The mindset that you need to have to succeed on the pro tour
  • Sophie’s favorite tennis drill
  • How to deal with the ups and downs on the pro tour
  • Why it is difficult to stay financially afloat as a pro
  • How Sophie prepares for her tennis matches

and more.

Sophie is an amazing talent and I expect to see great things from her in the future! There is a ton of great information in this episode that you can use to improve your mindset, training, and your tennis game.

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Links Mentioned in This Episode

Sophie’s Social Media Pages – FacebookTwitterInstagram

Results Personal Training Harford County

Sofibella Wear

Dragon Promotions

The Building Blocks of Tennis Success eBook

If you enjoyed my interview with Sophie, help spread the word and share this episode with a friend!

TFP 014: Nutrition, Sleep, and Supplements with Jeff Rothschild, Registered Dietitian

TFP 014: Nutrition, Sleep, and Supplements with Jeff Rothschild, Registered Dietitian

My guest today is Jeff Rothschild, a Registered Dietitian (RD) and NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with a Master’s degree in Nutritional Science. Jeff’s clients include Mike Bryan, Stefan Kozlov, and James Valentine from Maroon 5. He has also worked with other elite ATP and NCAA tennis players, endurance athletes, boxers, swimmers, and a number of touring musicians at TriFit in Santa Monica, CA.

On this episode, Jeff gives our audience a ton of amazing advice about nutrition, sleep, meal timing, protein bars, supplements, and hydration. You will take your game to the next level if you follow Jeff’s tips about preparing your body to perform at its best.

Jeff also has a fantastic website at http://www.eatsleep.fit and has authored several scientific papers that have been published in peer-reviewed nutrition and food science journals. He has presented his research at national nutrition conferences. Jeff spent five years as the assistant tennis coach at CSU Los Angeles and helped the Golden Eagles earn national Top-25 rankings each of those years. Jeff is also a two-time winner of Assistant Coach of the Year for the West Region by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. Jeff has competed as a cyclist and continues to play competitive tennis.

On this episode, you will learn:

  • Why getting enough sleep is crucial for optimal athletic performance
  • Why carbs are the main source of energy for tennis
  • How you can get the right amount of high-quality sleep
  • Why protein bars aren’t always good for your tennis game
  • How we should structure our diet to play at our best
  • The best supplements for tennis players and how to verify they are safe
  • How the monthly cycle affects female tennis players and what coaches and players can do about it
  • What meldonium is for and how Sharapova could have avoided getting banned
  • How to time your meals before matches
  • How to enhance performance during the female cycle
  • How much protein you should be having per day

and more!

Jeff also has a nutrition ebook and video course which I highly recommend you check out. 

Jeff is offering our audience an exclusive 50% discount off his course if you purchase it through this link

Mike Bryan calls Jeff an encyclopedia of knowledge, and he proved it during our interview! Thanks to Jeff for speaking with me on The Tennis Files Podcast!

Note: The medical and/or nutritional information in this episode is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding this information.

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Links Mentioned in This Episode

Jeff’s Website – eatsleep.fit

Jeff’s Nutrition course – Jeff is kindly offering our audience an exclusive 50% off discount if you purchase his course through this link (Note: this is an affiliate link, so I do get a small commission if you click this link and purchase Jeff’s course.)

Jeff’s eBook

nsfsport.com

informedsport.com

aegisshield.com

globaldro.com

Thanks for listening, and if you enjoyed this podcast episode, I’d really appreciate it if you’d share this post!

Formulating a Winning Game Plan Before Tennis Matches

TFP 013: Formulating a Winning Game Plan Before Tennis Matches

Today I host a solo episode discussing an aspect of tennis that is widely ignored and severely underutilized: match strategy. Tennis players often play matches without thinking through the strategies and point patterns which will maximize their success on the court.

Players should always consider the strengths and weaknesses of their own game, their opponent’s game, and formulate a strategy based on these considerations that will give them the best chance to win the match. A game plan will serve as your roadmap to success and guide you on how you need to play against your opponent.

On this episode, you will learn:

  • How to formulate optimal match strategy
  • Questions to ask yourself about your game
  • Questions to ask about your opponent’s game
  • The advantages of having a pre-match game plan
  • How you can be flexible with your game plan if needed
  • Examples of how you can use match strategy to your advantage
  • Why Brad Gilbert thinks a pre-match game plan is vital for success
  • How a pre-match game plan can help you play optimally in pressure situations

and more.

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Links Mentioned in This Episode

Winning Ugly by Brad Gilbert – Note: this is an affiliate link, so I get a small commission if you buy the book through this link!

College Tennis Alumni Event – for those of you in the DC area.

Universal Tennis Rating System Dave Fish Harvard

TFP 012: How the Universal Tennis Rating System is Revolutionizing Tennis with Dave Fish, Harvard Men’s Tennis Coach

On Episode 12 of The Tennis Files Podcast, I spoke with Dave Fish, coach of Harvard University Men’s Tennis, about the Universal Tennis Rating system (UTR).

UTR provides tennis players worldwide a common scale to determine their level of play based on actual match results without regard for age, gender or where the matches are played.  Dave also answered audience-submitted questions on what it is like to be on the Harvard Men’s Tennis Team.

The UTR system helps facilitate more competitive matches and gives players a more accurate way of determining their skill level. Even John McEnroe is a fan of UTR because of its ability to provide players with more competitive local-based matchplay. With UTR, tennis players can compare their skill level with other players from all around the world.

UTR is not only a wonderful resource for tennis players, but it helps coaches, parents, tennis associations and tournament directors more accurately gauge players’ tennis abilities based on UTR’s 16 level-scale. College tennis recruits can use UTR to figure out the ratings of a team’s roster and help them decide whether that school is a fit for them and their tennis skills.

On this episode, you will learn:

  • The purpose of the Universal Tennis Rating system
  • Why UTR is gaining widespread support among the tennis community
  • Why UTR will increase the amount of competitive matches and decrease the occurence of blowout matches
  • The importance of the competitive threshold
  • How UTR will reduce travel time and costs for players, parents, and coaches
  • How UTR is already being implemented in tournaments
  • Why the UTR system will result in the most precise tennis rating in the history of tennis
  • Why John McEnroe is a fan of UTR
  • Why UTR rates everyone on the same scale, without regard for gender or age
  • Why tennis players will improve much more rapidly under the UTR system
  • How Dave structures practices for the Harvard Men’s Tennis Team

and more!

UTR is an exciting new rating system that is revolutionizing the game of tennis. And the basic subscription to UTR is free! I highly encourage you to check out the Universal Tennis Rating website and use their free or premium services to more accurately determine the true tennis skill level and rating of you and your peers.

Many thanks to Dave for spending the time to talk with me on the show, and best of luck to Harvard Tennis for the rest of the season!

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Links Mentioned in This Episode

Universal Tennis Rating Website

UTR’s 50 percent solution article

Free and premium subscriptions to UTR 

Harvard Men’s Tennis

Dave Fish Bio

Harvard Doubles Tennis Point of the Year Nominee

TFP 011: How Allistair McCaw Develops World Class Athletes

TFP 011: How Allistair McCaw Develops World-Class Athletes

Allistair McCaw is today’s guest on The Tennis Files Podcast. Allistair is a world class sports performance specialist and owner of The McCaw Method. He has trained some of the best tennis players in the world, including Kevin Anderson, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Xavier Malisse, Bernard Tomic, and Jelena Dokic.

Allistair talks about the importance of setting standards when working with athletes and parents, and how playing other sports will make us better tennis players. He explains that we first have to focus on the fundamentals and then take care of the “one-percents” to maximize our athletic capabilities. Allistair also answers several audience questions on injuries, imbalances, recovery, training, and dealing with the heat.

On this episode, you will learn:

  • The importance of setting standards
  • The role of coaches and parents in developing an athlete
  • Why coaches must make a connection with their students
  • How playing multiple sports can help tennis players improve
  • How becoming a better athlete will make you a better tennis player
  • Why taking care of the small things matter
  • The fundamentals of becoming a better athlete
  • Why you can’t afford not to stretch
  • How to prepare for and deal with extreme heat
  • How to recover from your injuries

and more.

Thanks to Allistair for being on the show, and for teaching us the principles that we must follow to achieve athletic and personal excellence.  His passion and energy for making people better is something that every athlete, coach, and parent can learn from. Take Allistair’s advice to heart and you will take your game to the next level.

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Links Mentioned in This Episode

McCaw Method Website

McCaw Method Facebook Page

Allistair’s Email Address

McCaw Method Twitter Page

McCaw Method Performance Products