Follow the happenings of an animated college tennis coach and his teams in their pursuit of an NCAA National Tennis Championship. It is always the impressive trophy that is displayed for all to admire that gets the attention, but it is the journey to claiming that trophy, the relationships built, the people served and the memories created, that live forever...and what I hope you will find interesting...
I am happy to report that our four new players have all arrived in Bronxville safely and have started to settle in at the college through the orientation process. Certainly, this is quite an adjustment for these young men as they travel far away from their homes, friends and families to Concordia, NY. As a coach, I am mindful of this adjustment period and know how it can affect the student athlete. We are glad to have them and hope that they all have a tremendous and meaningful experience while here. Of course, I know that they will enjoy the US Open which begins Monday at the nearby USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens, NY.
I look forward to coaching these new fellas as well as welcoming back the returning players. It is always exciting to see the fruits of the recruiting process on the court. The energy is pretty positive as I think we have improved and should continue our strong quest for the NCAA Championship.
In other news, I was able to meet up with former Clipper and current spiritual advisor to the ATP players, Pastor Bob Kraft, last night for an insightful conversation over a cup of coffee. It was nice to welcome Pastor Bob back to Concordia and also to learn about what he does for the young men and women traveling on the tour. You can catch up with Pastor Bob by clicking here (Tennis Ministry). Pastor Bob has been able to combine his love for tennis and his life dedicated to Christ into a valuable service for the touring players. You can find him at most events as he travels from tournament to tournament worldwide. I pray for Pastor Bob and his family in Hong Kong and hope he is able to continue his service going forward.
I must admit that I am excited for the upcoming fall non-championship season. It will be great to see what level we are at and to get a glimpse of what is to come next spring. Our first fall event will be the ITA Small College East Regional Sept. 18-20. This is an event with all of the regional schools participating in an individual singles and doubles draw. The winners advance to Mobile, Alabama for the National event and a chance to be crowned National Champion. Last fall, Andrey Boldarev and Alex Grubin indeed captured the doubles #1 ranking and Alex Grubin is a former National Champion of the singles. I always enjoy my trips to Alabama, well at least the tennis...
Practice begins next week and I will post on this soon.
Your Concordia Clippers welcome Daniele Piludu of Cagliari, Italy to Bronxville and the 2010-2011 squad.
Daniele brings a wealth of international experience with him to New York, both in the ITF Junior and ATP circuits. In fact, Daniele reached a career high ITF Junior world ranking of 135, with limited play and has wins over the 19th and 20th ranked junior players in the world. Certainly, one of his better career wins was over Marco Simoni 7-6, 7-6. Simoni holds a current ATP world ranking of 583.
Coach Rockhill on Piludu: "Daniele is really going to help us. He is a tremendous addition to our team and should make an immediate impact at the national level. I would not be surprised to see him ranked among the top 5 players in the division. I look forward to coaching Daniele and I believe he will well represent this college."
Join me in wishing Daniele and all of our new student athletes great success here at Concordia.
Some very special news has been announced. Both Andrey Boldarev and Raphael Namias were named to a select group of NCAA II Scholar Athletes for the 2009-2010 academic year. In doing so, the two student athletes achieved a GPA of 3.5 or higher for the entire academic period.
Your Clippers fell just short of the team honor achieving a cumulative team GPA of 3.11 for the academic year. A 3.2 GPA is needed for the distinction. We certainly hope to achieve this prestigious honor in the near future as we are proud of our accomplishments not only on the tennis court, but in classroom as well.
Congratulations to both Andrey and Raphael on a job well done. As previously mentioned, Raphael Namias has transferred to NYU to pursue specific academic interests and will not be returning.
I got involved with Concordia Tennis as a way to honor my parents who were both professors and coaches at the college back in the 1960's and also to give back to the program that provided so much for me.
I started with a dream of taking a team to the National "Sweet 16". However, once we got there and I saw what it took to win a National Championship, it looked possible and that became my goal. I thought for a long time that I must have one. However, over time, I realized that it is more important to focus on building champions rather than winning championships and that relationships are far more important than achievements. Thus, a stronger purpose became clear. I am here to love, serve, care for and lead my teams...
"I came to realize that life lived to help others is the only one that matters, and that it is my duty, in return for the lavish life God has devolved upon me, to help others he has placed in my path." - Ben Stein
"You are never really playing an opponent. You are playing yourself, your own highest standards, and when you reach your limits, that is real joy." - Arthur Ashe
“One man practicing sportsmanship is far better than fifty preaching it.” - Knute Rockne
“If what you did yesterday seems big, you haven't done anything today.” - Lou Holtz
"The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender." - Vince Lombardi
"The fewer rules a coach has, the fewer rules there are for players to break." - John Madden
"Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education." - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr
"Success is a journey, not a destination." - Arthur Ashe
"Champions keep playing until they get it right." - Billie Jean King
"Do you know what my favorite part of the game is? The opportunity to play." - Mike Singletary
"Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do." - John Wooden
"The day you take complete responsibility for yourself, the day you stop making any excuses, that's the day you start to the top." - O.J. Simpson
"It's what you learn after you know it all that counts." - John Wooden
"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle
"If you want to be good, focus on making yourself better. If you want to be great, focus on making yourself and your team better." - Jon Gordon