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...
It seems as though the fellas are really excited about the plyometric workouts and the subsequent soreness. We were able to use the gymnasium for a speed and agility training Monday and it seems as though we have a ways to go to be in top condition. Thanks to my colleague and friend, Dr. Don Chu, and his book "Power Tennis Training", we will be working hard to get fit to my satisfaction.
I never liked the sprinting and agility 20 years ago either but I am quite sure I felt my best when training with them.
Many other ITA Regionals are taking place throughout the country this weekend and several more to come next weekend as well. There are 8 Division II regionals in total with the the champions from each to meet in Mobile, Alabama for the National Championship and a berth in the Small College Superbowl of Tennis. The Superbowl is played by the champions from the NCAA DII, NCAA DIII, NAIA and Junior College. The winner of the Superbowl receives an entry to the NCAA DI Indoor event.
It win be interesting to follow along and see which players from the other regions will join us in Mobile. Click here to follow the other regions.
A fair amount under the weather, I found myself dozing in and out of Wednesday night television. Although I did miss the majority of Coach Dano abode favorite, Man vs. Food, I did come out of a flu-like stupor just in time for Food Wars on the Travel Channel.
As luck would have it, the program featured the Philly Cheesesteak challenge. Those close to the tennis team here at Concordia know that we have great affection for Pat's King of Steaks, one of the competitors on tonight's show. I must say that, even though I am sporting a modest fever, my mouth still watered like a Pavlovian dog awaiting my reward after the ringing of a bell.
I hope I am able to stay lucid long enough to share the winner of the "war" pitting Pat vs Tony Luke. Have a look at some footage...
The verdict is in...the winner of the Food War and the finest cheesesteak in Philadelphia is...Pat's King of Steaks in a split decision.
Certainly not a surprise to this man with high cholesterol.
Well it was a long weekend of tennis for so many of us. However, there is much good news to report. Andrey Boldarev has repeated as East Regional Champion of singles and has advanced to the National event in Mobile, Alabama in October. Andrey defeated his teammate and doubles partner freshman Daniele Piludu 7-6, 6-2 in the final.
In addition the doubles pair of Boldarev and Piludu have won the doubles championship and will also advance to Mobile. They defeated fellow Clippers Tamas Dobrotka and Geza Bazula in the final 7-5,
Essentially the Clippers were well represented throughout the entire event. In the "A" singles (click here for draw), we had 6 of 8 quarter-finalists, 3 of 4 semi-finalists, and as mentioned, both members of the finals and the champion. In the "A" doubles (click here for draw), we had 3 of 4 semi-finalists, both teams in the finals and the champion as well.
We had a long but enjoyable weekend for sure. It was nice to get to know the new players a bit better and also to witness their level of play. It seems as though we have another great group of talented young men and I look forward to great experiences to come.
We were very lucky once again to have had the good weather with us for the entire weekend and we also thank those involved in hosting the tournament. So many people work hard behind the scenes to make the weekend a nice time for the players and coaches alike. Not sure I thought the turkey burger was worth $8.50 however.
I also think that the players made some new friends as well. The event hosts both men and women so it was easy for some of the players to be distracted from the tennis at hand...for some more than others...
Sadly, yours truly, did not get enough rest this weekend and is a bit under the weather. A special thanks to Coach Tarangioli and the jack hammer snoring :) I hope to be feeling better soon, but right now...throat sore!
Congratulations to the entire team on a great weekend. All of the players competed well and are well on their way to another successful year.
We are off to the ITA East Regional in Philadelphia tomorrow. I hope that the players understand how important this event is. We have won the singles and doubles draws three years in a row and have enjoyed advancing to Alabama to compete in the national event. I am in no mood to see this string of success discontinued.
I think we have many of the favorites to get the job done as the tournament is more wide open this year without Alex Grubin in the draw. Queens College has added several good players that should be a factor as well. I look forward to seeing what the other teams in the region have added.
A few nagging injuries have presented themselves and I hope that they do not become large concerns over the weekend. This tournament is quite early in the season and forces the advancing players to be on the court for as many as 9 matches in 2 1/2 days. I think we should extend the event to 4 days rather than 3 in the future.
With so many new faces and minor injuries, a coach's head can spin. With any luck, we can get everyone back on the court at full capacity to figure out some doubles teams and prepare for the ITA East Regional.
This is no easy task as the powers that be at the CACC have shortened our fall non-championship season to 30 days when the NCAA in fact allows 45 days. Thanks so much for that! It's hard enough to prepare for some important events when we have the 45 days to work with...insert curse words here.
Nevertheless, things will work out. We have a great bunch of guys. We do have some work to do on the doubles for sure.
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