Tennis Book Review
Break Point
9 Life Lessons from the Tennis Court
By David Berens
Reviewed by Rich Neher

David Berens is a USPTA certified professional with 15 years teaching experience. He began his teaching career at Tyson Park in Knoxville, Tennesee and developed his teaching craft working with former ATP Touring Pro & Tour Coach Steve Annacone at Smoky Mountain Tennis Academy and CBRC Tennis Director Rusty Morris.

During his career he has traveled the South working in amazing locations like the tropical Islamorada Tennis Club in the Florida Keys, Sunset Hills Country Club in Carrollton Georgia where he was the Assistant Tennis Coach for the University of West Georgia’s Lady Wolves and the world class Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne with tennis legend Cliff Drysdale. Today David works at the Cedar Bluff Racquet Club in Knoxville.

We had written about David and his promoting of nutrition and supplement company ADVOCARE in January of 2016 under "Making Extra Money For Tennis Professionals."

The publisher writes on the back cover of BREAK POINT, In the tradition of Andy Andrews and Naploeon Hill, Author and USPTA Certified Elite Tennis Professional, David F. Berens takes us inside an exciting tennis match with veteran pro, Whitfield Franklin Andrews and the young phenom, Heinrick McStultz. During this epic battle, he finds lessons that translate not only to better tennis, but a better life. If you are struggling, and on the edge of your own Break Point, this book lays out 9 principles that will help get you back on track and headed to a New Beginning!

I was kind of relieved because one of the books in my tennis collection, a novel with the the same title BREAK POINT, written in 1986 by Ilie Nastase, is all about "heavy money, hard drugs, and a killer or killers unknown who are stalking the top eight players on the circuit." Extremely cheesy! And no, David's book is neither a novel nor is it cheesy. It's about comparing a battle played on the tennis court with battles being played in real life.

David writes on his LinkedIn page, "I've turned my passion for winning on the tennis court into a passion for winning at life. Coaching people not only in their tennis techniques, but also their lifestyle technique has become the major focus of what I do." He also points out that he works with entrepreneurs to focus their game-plan and strategies to maximize their efforts at marketing and running their businesses. "Social Media Optimization, Website Design and Maintenance, and Motivating Staff are all areas of expertise I've shared with others."

I look at BREAK POINT as a booklet with 127 pages of life-tennis wisdom. It starts at a point in a tennis match where the main player, an older guy by the name of Whit, is 0-6, 0-5 down in a Challenger level match against the up and coming youngster Heinrick, somewhere in South Carolina. Rock bottom. Can't get any worse. Nothing left to lose. And "a good place to start."




Slow down and make a plan - David Berens

You know what's coming, right? Whit starts to climb back and wins point after point, game after game. The interesting take aways from this book are Whit's reviewing of the situation before and after each game and the comparisons he does with his life. It shows that David Berens has a significant gift in gently bringing points to the surface that help Whit and the reader to understand why certain things are happening in life and on the court and what a tennis player can do to pull himself (herself) up from under great dispair.

"If you don't know where you're going,
you might wind up somewhere else."
- Yogi Berra

Why did David Berens, a tennis player for over 30 years, write this book? He says, "So many of us have found ourselves defeated, broken, lost and lacking the answers to move onward and upward in our careers, our relationships and our lives. We are down to our Break Point and we aren't sure what to do next. This book will help you get past your own Break Points and headed toward being a Champion, and I'm not referring to the game of tennis; I'm going to help you gain a better perspective on real life!"

"I'm still learning" - Michelangelo, Age 87

I enjoyed reading this book. Yes, I have also found myself down at various stages of my life and on the tennis court. I can relate. David gave me pointers to cope with situations and ideas on how to master them. Even the fact that the author didn't share how that match ended didn't bother me. He writes, "I am sure you noticed, I never reveal whether or not Whit wins or loses the match, because that's not what's really important in the grand scheme of things. What is important is how he has grown as a person and how he will live his life going forward.

The book ends at 0-6, 6-6. Good. Lots of lessons learned and a good place to plan the tiebreaker and the next set. Or, a good start for a sequel?
























David Berens "Break Point"

David Sammel "Locker Room Power" 

Frank Giampaolo "Tennis Parent's Bible" 2nd Ed.

Becky Gunn Holmes "Totally Tennis For Me" 

Mike VanZutphen "Tennis Management" 

 Bill Patton "The Art of Coaching High School Tennis"

Joe Parent / Bill Scanlon "ZEN Tennis" 

Sidney Wood "The Wimbledon Final That Never Was"

Rocky Lang "Learn Your Game"

Pat Cunningham Devoto "The Team"

JR Thornton "Beautiful Country"

Ara Grigorian "Game of Love"

Marshall Jon Fisher "A Terrible Splendor"

Stephen Edward Paper "An Army Lost"


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