Questions for Tom Avery
Tom Avery is a lifetime athlete, tennis coach and sports nutritionist.
For the last 40 plus years he has helped hundreds of thousands of tennis players from around the globe.
He is the author of the popular “Consistent Tennis Wins” Series (a total of 8 DVDS aired on The Tennis Channel).
His YouTube Channel to date has over 9 million views and is rated in the top 5 for tennis coaches on YouTube.
In addition to his very popular DVD series, he has produced nine online tennis courses: Consistent Tennis Wins, Stroke Production For Power And Control, Rock Solid Forehand, Rock Solid Backhand, The Topspin and Slice Factor, Serve Domination, Tenacious Tennis Fitness, Tennis Nutrition Secrets and the recent Consistency Secrets.
Tom is the owner and designer of the AVERY Racquet Company.
He also teaches his tennis students and the general public of the benefits of adhering to a plant-based foods lifestyle. He’s living proof that eating whole plant foods is the nutritional way to vibrant health and vitality.
Connect with Tom Avery at https://www.ctwacademy.com/
Questions for Tom:
Q: Before a tennis match, what do you usually advise your singles students?
A: To have a goal in mind… it could be finding your opponents weakness and relentlessly attacking that weakness, or something like running for every ball, running as if your life depends on it, or swinging freely and not being tentative… there are many goals players can strive for… the player and coach need to find one for each players needs. If you reached your goal during the match… you win!!! Regardless of the actual score.
Q: Before a tennis match, what do you usually advise your doubles students?
A: Strive to get a high percentage of first serves in, do not be too concerned with power, use spin to increase your control and serve down the middle most of the time. Take enough off your first serve so that you are making 80% first serves. Your opponents are not in attack mode as much with first serves; however when you have to hit a second serve they are. Be the first team to hit a volley, it takes time away from your opponents and forces them to hit low percentage shots.
Q: What is a quick tip for creating power on the Serve?
A: Toss the ball just to the peak of your reach, do not toss the ball higher than your racquet can reach. This will help you generate more racquet head speed at contact… whereas tossing out of your reach can cause your swing to slow down as you wait for a high toss to drop into your hitting zone.
Q: If you were starting to play tennis as a beginner, what would you focus on the most: technique, footwork, hand-eye coordination, consistency or else? Why?
A: All of the above are important but technique is first, it’s your foundation and will determine how consistent you will be. Footwork second, because if you are not balanced with good posture you will make errors even with good technique. Hand-eye and consistency will happen naturally as the player develops.
Q: How should a singles player deal with nerves before a tennis match?
A: Breathe… but make sure you are only breathing through the nose, inhaling and exhaling. Also, sometimes after exhaling hold your breath until you feel a strong urge to inhale, inhale and continue to breathe through your nose ONLY… this will calm you. You can also use this technique during the match.
Q: How should a doubles player communicate with his partner who is having a “bad day”?
A: In a positive and optimistic way… by showing your partner you have full trust and confidence in him/her to turn things around… the tide always changes… never give up keep fighting!
Q: What is more important to win matches: technique or tactics?
A: I’ve seen players with not as good technique as their opponents win the match… based on their tactics… and I’ve seen players win matches because they had better technique. Bottom line… both important to win matches.
Q: What are three things a player should always have in her tennis bag?
A: Athletic tape for blisters on hands or feet. Overwrap tape for grip. Extra sweatbands.
Q: Should players choose to Serve or Return first? Why?
A: Return… the beginning of the match can be tricky and your opponent may be a little nervous… even if your opponent holds serve he was supposed to.
Q: What two racquet elements are the most important for ball control?
A: String and Racquet head size the smaller the head size the more control.
Q: What are two important aspects a player should look for when watching a professional tennis match?
A: Split-step and footwork of the players and the tactics they use depending on where on the court a player is hitting the ball.
Q: Should recreational players try to copy the pros? Why?
A: Yes… pros have solid technique, however, they may need a coach to help them understand what’s really going on… sometimes things are happening so fast that many misunderstand what’s really going on.
Q: How should players stay focused during the match?
A: Keep the eyes focused… do not be looking around and getting distracted… think about your goals for the match and relentlessly attacking your opponents weakness… breathe through the nose as much as possible.
Q: What is the food that gives you the most energy for a tennis match?
A: Carbohydrates from fresh, ripe, whole fruit… eaten in abundance… 3-4 hours before the match.
Q: Would you share the secret to tennis longevity? What do players need to do in order to stay in shape and play tennis well into their senior years?
A: Eat a 100% plant-based diet, stretch on a regular basis, and learn to breathe through your nose exclusively.