The Hot Seat

Questions and Answers with Top Tennis Teaching Professionals


Tennis Coach - Tom AveryTom 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).
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.
Connect with Tom Avery at

Questions for Tom:
1. Before a tennis match, what do you usually advise your singles students?
2. Before a tennis match, what do you usually advise your doubles students?
3. What is a quick tip for creating power on the Serve?
4. 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?
5. How should a singles player deal with nerves before a tennis match?
6. How should a doubles player communicate with his partner who is having a “bad day”?
7. What is more important to win matches: technique or tactics?
8. What are three things a player should always have in her tennis bag?
9. Should players choose to Serve or Return first? Why?
10. What two racquet elements are the most important for ball control?
11. What are two important aspects a player should look for when watching a professional tennis match?
12. Should recreational players try to copy the pros? Why?
13. How should players stay focused during the match?
14. What is the food that gives you the most energy for a tennis match?
15. 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?
To read Tom’s answers… Click Here!

suzanna mcgee - tennis nutritionist and fitnessSUZANNA McGEE is a former Ms. Natural Olympia drug-free bodybuilding champion and currently a competitive tennis player, athletic fitness trainer and writer. She is also a performance enhancement and injury prevention coach, with a certificate in plant-based nutrition from eCornell University.
Suzanna is certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) as a Performance Enhancement Specialist and Corrective Exercise Specialist.
Connect with Suzanna McGee at

Questions for Suzanna:
1. If I have a tennis match in the morning, what would you consider a good breakfast for best on-court performance?
2. What would be a good lunch meal before an afternoon match?
3. Do you think I should work-out the day before an important match? If yes, what should I emphasise?
4. What do you recommend I should eat in the evening before a morning match?
5. What should a serious tennis player have in her/his tennis bag?
6. Food or drinks that tennis players should stay away from before a match?
7. What are some of the drinks or snacks that players should consider having at changeover?
8. What are your favourite exercises that you do before a match?
9. What do you suggest a tennis player should do after the match is over (as far as body recovery)?
10. I am low on energy and about to have a tennis match in a couple of hours. What shall I do to feel ready for it?
To read Suzanna’s answers… Click Here!

jeff salzenstein - online tennis coachJEFF SALZENSTEIN is a former top 100 ATP tennis player and 2 time All-American; high performance tennis coach; expert in peak performance, nutrition, fitness, rehab and motivation. He runs a successful tennis instruction website:

Questions for Jeff:
1. How many hours a day the tennis pros practice?
2. What is the best meal to eat before a match?
3. What is the most important point in a tennis match and how would you play it if you were serving?
4. What is the biggest source of power on the serve?
5. What is your string of choice and why?
6. Power or placement?
7. Which is better: light racquet or heavy racquet?
8. You win the toss: do you choose to serve or return first; why?
9. How early before a match should a tennis player eat?
10. What should a tennis player eat during the match and why?
11. Is stretching really necessary or just a light warm-up before a match?
12. What’s your favourite drink during a match?
13. What do you tell yourself when you play a tough opponent?
14. What is your favourite tennis grip (brand)?
15. What would be the 3 main sources of power on forehand ground-stroke?
16. What is your favourite advice for your students before tournaments?
17. How should players stay motivated to fight to the end into a match?
18. Do you learn more from wins or loses? Why?
19. What do you pay attention to when you watch a tennis match?
20. How to improve footwork in the shortest time possible?
21. What is the conversation between a pro player and his/her coach before a match about?
22. What goes through your mind during a match: technique, staying positive, tactics, mistakes, opponent’s weakness etc.?
To Read Jeff’s Answers Click Here!

tim strawn - professional tennis stringerTIM STRAWN is a professional racquet technician with over 30 years of experience.
Tim has traveled and serviced racquets for the best players in the world at Wimbledon (2002-2004), the U.S. Open (2006-2008), as well as other tour events from 2002-2008.
He is one of the original 12 members of the Wilson Tour Services Stringing Team that was formed in 2006. 
His website can be found at

Questions for Tim:
1. Is there any string out there that is tough as Poly and has feel?
2. What is the difference between a swing weight and a stationary weight of a tennis racket. And which is more important to consider when buying a tennis racket.
3. I am a doubles player and I need a racquet to help me at the net. What racquet weight should I consider (I am a female player at 5’8″, 3.5 NTRP).
4. What kind of racquet should I choose for power?
5. For control, what is most important: the string’s tension, texture or thickness?
6. What is the most popular string used by the pro players and why?
7. I know I’ll have a different string on my racquet and a different grip size than the racquet I demo; so what aspects should I look for when I demo it?
8. I am a beginner; how should I choose the right tennis racquet?
9. Is swing weight important and how does it affect my play?
10. Small racquet grip or thick grip; which is better?
11. Should I consider changing the string tension when switching from hard court to clay court?
12. My 9 year old has been playing (for almost 6 months) with an adult size racquet and he likes it. Should I let him continue with the same racquet or get him a more age appropriate one?
13. Why do the pros have so many racquets in their bag? Are they any different in tension and/or weight?
14. I feel that it is easier for me to play with used balls compared to the new ones that feel heavier and harder to control. Is it bad for my game if I practice with used balls?
15. Any advice of what strings I should use for power and control?
16. I hit a lot of my balls very short in opponent’s court. Does this have to do with my technique, strings being too tight (62 lbs tension) or else. Also, how can I customise my racquet for effortless deep ground-strokes?
To Read Tim’s Answers Click Here!

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