Category Archives for "Podcast"

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

4 How to Get a College Tennis Scholarship with Doug Neagle

TFP 010: How to Get a College Tennis Scholarship with Doug Neagle

On Episode 10 of TFP, I spoke with Doug Neagle, Head Coach of the Towson University Women’s Tennis Program. Doug talked me through the recruiting process, important rules that parents, coaches, and players must follow, and the keys to getting a scholarship to play college tennis.

You will learn about eligibility, the best way to communicate with coaches, how scholarships are given to players, and excellent resources to help you navigate your way through the complex path of college tennis recruiting and scholarships.

On this episode, you will learn:

  • The most common reason why players are ineligible to play college tennis
  • Grade and test requirements to become a student-athlete
  • When the recruiting process begins
  • Restrictions on communicating with coaches, players, and parents
  • The best way to communicate with your prospects
  • How many official visits you get and why you should use them all
  • Tips on how to make a recruiting video and how NOT to make them
  • Doug’s favorite drills he uses to train his team
  • How to give yourself the best chance at getting a scholarship to play tennis

and more!

Many thanks to Doug for taking his time to speak with me about the college tennis recruiting and scholarship process.  I know that a ton of juniors players, parents and coaches with benefit from this episode.

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Links Mentioned in This Episode

College Tennis Checklist – Download my free checklist for aspiring college tennis players

NCAA Eligibility Center

NAIA Eligibility Center

tennisrecruiting.net

TOEFL – exam for international players

Universal Tennis Rating

tennissmart.net

AGMSports

Athletics Partner

Towson Tennis

Towson Tennis Facebook Page

2 TFP 009: Jason Jung Challenger Tour Podcast Tennis Files

TFP 009: Jason Jung on the Challenger Tour and Reaching the Next Level

ATP Pro Jason Jung is ranked #245 in the world. He is a regular on the Challenger Tour and is working hard to make the main draws of ATP and Grand Slam events.

Jason spoke with me about his junior career, college tennis, and his plans to reach the next level in his tennis career. He also answered several questions from TFP listeners.

Jason discussed his love for competition, how he dominated in the juniors, and how his decision to play tennis for the University of Michigan helped better prepare him to become a professional tennis player.

Jason has a fantastic blog at https://jasonjungtennis.wordpress.com/ where he talks about his tennis experiences and travels around the world.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • How Jason was always a top-ranked junior despite a height disadvantage
  • Why Jason decided to play college tennis at Michigan instead of going pro
  • How college tennis prepares you for the pro tour
  • The difference between players in the Challenger Tour and the Futures Tour
  • Specific drills that Jason does to improve his game
  • Why Jason is trying to hit more balls crosscourt
  • The racquet and string that Jason likes to use the most
  • Jason’s diet, and why moderation works for him
  • Money saving tips on the pro tour

and more!

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Links Mentioned in This Episode

Jason’s Blog

Jason’s Twitter Page

Jason’s Facebook Page

Jason’s Instagram

Jason’s Tenniswarehouse Forum Thread – Ask Me Anything

Life on the Futures Tour with Tennis Pro Collin Johns

TFP 008: Life on the Futures Tour with Tennis Pro Collin Johns

ATP Pro Collin Johns talks about his experiences playing on the Futures Tour. Futures events are lower-tier professional tournaments where tennis players grind out wins to move up in the rankings. Collin has picked up ATP points in Futures events all over the world, including places like South Africa, Nicaragua, Israel, and Mexico.

Collin spoke to me about the difficulties, expenses, and problems that he faces playing these Futures events. Collin also told me how he got his start playing tennis, his junior career, his unique training methods, and how he went from a 3-star recruit to competing and winning against the best players in the world.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • What it is like to play on the Futures Tour
  • Why Collin decided to play tennis with two-forehands
  • Collin’s top strategic and mental tips for tennis success
  • How he pushes himself to grind out ATP points on the tour
  • Thoughtful ways to train when you don’t have access to a tennis court
  • How Collin went from a 3-star on tennisrecruiting.net to the pro tour
  • The pay structure of Futures Tournaments
  • How you can lose college tennis eligibility 6 months after graduating high-school

and more…

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Links Mentioned in This Episode

Collin’s Player Profile

Collin on tennisrecruiting.net

Foot Fault on Match Point Video Starring Collin’s Coach Jesse Witten

TFP 007: How Treat Huey Became a Top-Ranked Doubles Player

TFP 007: How Treat Huey Became a Top-Ranked Doubles Player

Treat Huey, ranked #30 in the world on the ATP doubles tour, is my guest on today’s episode of The Tennis Files Podcast.  At the 2016 Australian Open, Treat reached the quarterfinals of the men’s doubles with Max Mirnyi and the semifinals of the mixed doubles with Andreja Klepac. He also reached the men’s doubles quarterfinals of the 2013 US Open and the 2014 Australian Open.

Treat is a friend of mine who I met while playing junior tournaments in the Mid-Atlantic section. He is a talented athlete with a wicked lefty-serve and amazing volleys.  Treat’s passion for tennis and mental fortitude has made him one of the most versatile doubles players in the game today. He has played numerous Davis Cup matches for the Philippines.  Treat was also ranked #4 in college in singles, behind John Isner, University of Virginia teammate Somdev Devvaarman, and Kevin Anderson.

I truly admire Treat’s professionalism, his competitive drive, and his impressive rise to the elite levels of the game. Treat tells us how his love for the game and belief in his abilities helps him be one of the best doubles players in the world.

In this interview, you will learn:

  • How Treat’s passion for tennis drives him to be the best player he can be
  • What it is like to play the biggest tournaments and best players in the world
  • Why Treat’s serve is so effective
  • Why Treat decided to specialize in doubles
  • How college tennis at UVA helped him understand how to play points smarter
  • A normal day of training on the ATP Tour
  • How to develop great anticipation at net
  • What it feels like to volley Nadal’s forehand
  • Treat’s experiences representing the Philippines in Davis Cup
  • How to adjust playing with different doubles partners

…and more.

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Links Mentioned in This Episode

Treathuey.com

Treat’s Twitter Page

My free eBook: The Building Blocks of Tennis Success

2 TFP 006: Simplify Your Tennis Technique with Tomaz Mencinger

TFP 006: Simplify Your Tennis Technique with Tomaz Mencinger

Tomaz Mencinger from feeltennis.net shows us a simpler way to learn and play tennis more efficiently with his unique feel-based approach to the game.  Tomaz talks about how spending thousands of hours hitting down the middle of the court with intention and focusing on biomechanics helped him develop superior technique.

He debunks several myths among the tennis community and helps us understand how and why we unnecessarily end up overcomplicating how we think about hitting a tennis ball.  Tomaz also gives us his top mental mindset tips, and explains why simplifying a player’s learning environment and removing stress variables is the best way to learn a new technique or strategy.  

In this episode, you will learn:

  • How to simplify the way you learn tennis
  • Why you should focus on biomechanics instead of form
  • How hitting down the middle can massively improve your technique
  • Why playing other sports can help your tennis game
  • How and why you must hit with intention
  • The importance of anticipation
  • How many players overload their mental capacity when learning technique
  • The benefits of meditation and relaxation techniques
  • Why believing you should make every ball can destroy your game
  • Why it is crucial to quiet the mind when playing tennis

…and more.

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Links Mentioned in This Episode

Feeltennis.net

Tomaz’s Serve Technique Article

Serve Unlocked Course (affiliate link – I get a small commission if you purchase this course)

TFP 005: From South Africa to the ATP Tour with Punch Maleka

Today on TFP I spoke with Punch Maleka, former ATP professional.  Punch hails from South Africa and he told me about his experiences training in his home country that equipped him with the tools and mental attitudes to succeed on the tour.  He has defeated several top 300 players while he was a professional, and is still crushing it in mens open money tournaments at the age of 37.

Punch recently defeated two ATP players, one currently ranked in the top #250.  Punch also coaches students at the Gulph Mills Tennis Club in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.  His passion and knowledge of the game shines as brightly as his tennis career in this interview.  You don’t want to miss all the wonderful advice and tips that Punch told me on the fifth episode of TFP.

In this episode, we learn about:

  • What it was like to train in South Africa
  • The importance of having great mentors and coaches
  • How character and integrity determine your true success in life
  • How to play more efficiently by watching other players
  • Training with a purpose instead of training for volume
  • How nutrition is critical to your performance and training
  • Why you must develop your tools before you can compete effectively
  • How training with weaker players can help your game
  • What it was like to play a close match against James Blake
  • The difference between the top levels of the ATP Tour
  • Training with Wayne Ferreira, Raven Klaasen and Punch’s brother KB
  • How to play at a high-level well into your 30s

I really enjoyed speaking with Punch about all the experiences that helped shape him into the successful tennis player and person that he is today.  I’m sure you will learn a ton from listening to my conversation with Punch.

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Show Notes

Punch’s Email Address

Steve Smith Tennis

Bophuthatswana – The formerly independent state of South Africa where Punch first trained as a junior

TFP004: 10 Key Concepts for Tennis Success

TFP 004: 10 Key Concepts for Tennis Success

Today on TFP I talk about 10 crucial concepts that every tennis player needs to understand and implement in order to maximize their tennis potential.  Most tennis players don’t succeed because they lack the commitment to one or more of these principles. Change the way you approach the game at a higher level and you will be well on your way to becoming a great tennis player.

In this episode, you will learn how to:

  • Remove self-imposed limitations 
  • Turn fear into strength
  • Focus on what matters most
  • Overcome negativity
  • Prioritize for maximum results, and more.

Thanks for checking out my episode on 10 Keys to Tennis Success. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to email me at mehrban@tennisfiles.com, or leave a comment below!

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Links from the Show

The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

Subscribe to TFP on iTunes (click view in itunes, then the subscribe button)