Harvey Penick’s “Little Red Book of Golf” is one of the best recent examples of coaching a sport. I have patterned my new book on tennis instruction using methods similar to Coach Penick. Drawing from fifty years of teaching and coaching, I share insights from my mentors who helped me craft repeatable techniques for winning. I also share our personal experiences and observations that have proven to be solid advice. Hopefully, you’ll find this book to be succinct and filled with gems for all levels of players and coaches.
A few early reviews:
“If you are looking for a tennis book that is both entertaining and thought provoking this is the book for you. Tom Parham’s insights and musings are both informative and entertaining. As a former college coach, I found it a great read! This Hall of Famer has the ability to think outside the box and you might just find yourself doing the same thing. Coaches will appreciate his originality and benefit from his years of experience.” (Coach Bob Bayliss, Notre Dame Men’s Tennis, ITA Hall of Fame)
“Coach Parham is a masterful teacher, southern humorist, and sports philosopher who explains tennis strategies and techniques in a way that anyone can “get it”. The wisdom gained in a brilliant career has been boiled down to bite-sized pearls of wisdom in “The Little Green Book of Tennis” – a must-read for coaches, instructors, players, and parents.” (Ron Smarr, Rice University Men’s Tennis, ITA Hall of Fame, Winningest Coach in Men’s College Tennis upon retirement)
I played for Coach Parham during the late sixties at Atlantic Christian College. After graduation and entering a career in teaching and coaching, I was a member of the tennis camp staff at Atlantic Christian and Elon University. Much was learned during these twenty-five plus years from my mentor Tom Parham. He had spent years talking with some of the top teaches and coaches including Jim Leighton at Wake Forest, Dennis Van Der Meer, Chet and Bill Murphy, Welby Van Horn, Wayne Sabin, Jim Verdieck, and others. What he did with all of this knowledge was to present it in such a manner that both young and old could understand it. This is exactly what he has done with “The Little Green Book of Tennis.” He wrote it all down. The best book I have ever read on the game of tennis – from teaching techniques, to drills, to strategy. A must read for players and coaches. (Eddie Gwaltney, Retired Athletic Director, Teacher, Coach)
Coach Parham coached me at Atlantic Christian College, now Barton College. I was in the middle of some 30 Swedish youngsters who ventured into a new country, a new language, and new friends. This came largely at the time of ” the golden days of tennis in Sweden.” Bjorn Borg was our impetus. Edberg, Wilander, Anders Jarryd, an on and on. My father was the director of the Swedish Open in Stockholm. I grew up watching these guys, their games, techniques, deportment. While Coach Parham recruited world-wide and very well, he had the Swedes at the core for 26 years. His Elon team had a Swede this year, 10 years after his retirement. He told us all, “Do it right academically, personally, and on the court. This is not just about you. You establish whether I can bring in one behind you.” It is hard to imagine how many good young Swedes there were, and how hard players and coaches attempted to learn and play the game. At one time there were about 300 Swedes playing college tennis in America. Quite frankly, most of us had been trained by more knowledgeable teachers and pros. But Coach Parham had done HIS homework. He had paid his dues. Not only that, he was eager to absorb what we brought. I once heard him say “…the Swedes know things we don’t. And they know how to play as a team member.” He was all about the team. We respected him, knowledge, effort, and leadership. And we held up our end of the bargain.” (Johan Sturen, ACC ’83, two time first team All-American).
Tennis for High Schools, or “The Little Green Book of Tennis” project had been delayed first, because the original copy had some significant errors in it. And secondly, we have applied for tax exempt status with a reputable foundation, hopeful we can provide that assurance also.
We now have a “revised” edition of the book. It is better in a number of ways. This copy has been done with the help of Tim Noonan and Heritage Histories Publishing. Tim and Heritage Histories produced “Tennis In North Carolina (Celebrating our History), sponsored by The North Carolina Tennis Foundation.
The purpose of our book and the project is to place this able guide in the hands of young people who play varsity high school and junior tennis in our state. We are funded by corporate and individual donations. The more fundraising we do, the more books we can donate to boys and girls.
The delay caused some questions and slowed contributions. Many have already given, and there are considerable pledges we postponed hoping to be sure about the tax exemption status. Some have made unrestricted gifts. Some have specified area schools or counties to benefit from their contributions. Some have bought books and delivered them personally. There are several counties already covered. Some have honored individuals, family members, coaches, teammates. schools, etc. As stated above we felt like we owed it to our sponsors to investigate the deduction possibilities. Though still believing this may happen, the books are ready and it is time to get them to those who have provided the funding.
Again, the more money, the more books. Checks should be made to:
“Tennis For High Schools”
202 Blue Crab Court
Emerald Isle, NC
Recent contributions have allowed us to cover about FIFTEEN North Carolina
County High Schools for all boys and girls playing varsity tennis playing for their schools. This is our major interest, but not our only possibility.
North Carolina has a rich tennis history. Already several gifts have been designated for coaches, family members, “tennis angels”, teammates, specific schools. Please consider this manner by which to honor our many worthy tennis people.
If you have questions or wish further details e-mail me at email@example.com, or feel free to call me at 252-764-3492.
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