It has been an amazing year here at Georgia Southern, although it has been challenging in the tennis part. In the season I have been playing in doubles as number one and two, and in singles from four to six. The tennis and/or every other sport atmosphere is crazy, everyone gets super intense when playing against another school. There is a big loyalty and a great support from the fans.
The facilities are great, we have a football stadium with around 20,000 seats, the basketball arena with 7,000, and softball and baseball around 4,000. We also have our own lockers with showers for the tennis team.
Now I know why so many people in Canada would get shocked or impressed when I would tell them that I would go to the south for studying, people here are so different from what I’m used to. It’s all a different culture. People here is all about fishing, hunting, camouflage clothing, big trucks and BBQ.
I’m really happy to be here, and for sure I have done the right decision to come here. I would be more than welcome to help students from NAT to come here and share my experience with them. I already talked to Alexis and Johny to motivate them to come here hahah, I’m missing Luke to tell him!
I can now say that I’m living my dream! Thank you for helping me reach it!
Alumnus, Hans Hach, has been visiting Niagara Academy while here competing in Futures tournaments in Ontario. Hans described life on the tennis pro circuit to the students.
The goal of competitive tennis players at the high school level is just to play as much tennis as possible and win as many tournaments as possible. At the college level, balancing academics with tennis becomes the main goal, especially with tournaments almost every weekend. Being on a tennis team means players needs to give their best all the time, so they don’t let the team down. At the same time, they need to keep up with their studies to maintain their place at the college. Once they hit the professional ranks, there is a whole new set of conditions to challenge players.
Playing professional tennis looks glamorous, but sometimes it can be lonely. Players are no longer part of a team and they need to be away from family and friends, as they travel to practice or for tournaments. Whereas being part of a team at college level gives players a very active social life, traveling as an individual on the pro circuit means spending a lot of time on one’s own.
It’s extremely important to stay healthy, both physically and mentally. That means balancing fitness, tennis and downtime. Playing at increasingly higher levels of play also means players will lose a lot of games, some they think they should win. Learning to deal with the losses requires a mental toughness players can’t survive without.
Whereas the top players have the finances to fly around in their own jets and have health and coaching professionals available whenever they need them, players in the lower ranks always have to find the most economical way of getting what they need. To get one thing, they may have to give up another, all the while trying to make sure they have what is necessary to continue to develop as a competitive player. Some very talented players don’t make it to the top because they can’t afford it.
Despite all these downsides, young professional players continue to make sacrifices because they want the challenge and tennis is what they love.