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...
Gotta give a shout out to Bernie. I remember watching this guy beat the #4 seed in the Junior US Open, Fernando Romboli of Brazil back in 2007. He was 14 years old and maybe weighed 120lbs. We were surprised then that he won but I am not surprised to see him winning now.
Good news! Surgery went well yesterday as the skilled Dr. Nicholas, who has served as team physician for the NY Jets and NY Islanders, was able to repair Coach Neil's Achilles tendon.
Of course, the surgery was the easy part. Now the hard road of rehabilitation begins. In general, there will be a period of non-weight bearing followed by a process of strengthening and stretching. All in all your coach should be mobile for the fall season and should be ready for 4.5 USTA tennis next summer.
In the meantime, you may see Neil zipping around on some sort of clipper blue scooter for more rapid ambulation.Join me in wishing Coach a full and speedy recovery.
Everybody send your collective good thoughts to Clipperland as good old Coach Tarangioli goes in for his MRI exam today. Unfortunately, your Coach was injured last night during a USTA 4.5 match.
In only the fourth game of the match, your pal Neil hit his service return from the ad-court and like any good doubles player, began to follow his shot into the net. With that dynamic push off, he felt as though "someone hit me (him) in the back of my (his) lower leg with a tennis racquet".
That is never a good sign and usually means at least a significant strain of the calf/Achilles area. I certainly hope that a strain is all that this is and not a significant tear of the tendon or muscle which would likely require surgery and a fair amount of recovery time.
I will certainly keep you up to date with the process. In the meantime, do not hesitate to send off some well-wishes to Coach Neil. I know he would appreciate hearing from you.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish all the fathers out there a very Happy Father's Day. These well-wishes go out especially to the fathers of our current players that have let us borrow their sons for our tennis purposes. Also, I would like to extend greetings to all former Clippers that are now fathers themselves. It is always a pleasure to see so many of you throughout the year and I hope you all enjoy your special day.
I am pretty sure that if my own father, and former coach of the Clippers, were still alive today, he would want to have a good meal and spend some time with his grandchildren. He would probably splurge and order himself his annual Manhattan cocktail consisting of whiskey, vermouth, bitters and a cherry. I am not sure he actually enjoyed this Manhattan or it was just something that he did once a year for a reason he never shared. I tasted this drink once and found it to taste like I would suppose gasoline would. No thanks.
I am pleased to announce that Benas Majauskas of Lithuania has signed a letter of intent to join the team as a student athlete this fall.
Benas has extensive international tennis experience and will be expected to play at a high level here in Bronxville. He was a charter member of a group of solid players from an emerging tennis nation including practice partner Ricardas Berankis. As a 17 year old, Benas achieved an ITF junior world ranking of 367 before choosing to concentrate on academics rather than traveling for tennis. Benas will also be an asset in doubles as he has won two futures events with a partner.
For a quick look at his court work see below:
Join me in welcoming Benas to the Concordia family and wish him nothing but success during his time here.
In some summer good news, Tomasz Olfans of Poland has signed a letter of intent to attend Concordia in the fall. Tomasz joins the team and brings an exciting game to New York that will help continue the strong tennis tradition that you all have become accustomed to.
Tomasz also has extensive ITF junior and men's experience that will serve him well versus the top competition he will face at the NCAA II level. He has been ranked as high as #548 in the ITF junior world rankings, with limited events, defeating several players inside the top 200.
For a glimpse his game see below:
We look forward to having Tomasz here in Bronxville and competing once again for an NCAA II National Championship. Join me in welcoming Tomasz.
I am happy to report that the fine folks at Dell have finally fixed my computer and it seems to be functioning normally at this point. I hope that this good fortune continues for many years after the warranty expires.
During the time shortly after our third semifinal loss in as many years to Barry, I thought quite a bit about why we have not been able to get the job done, advance to the final and have a chance to claim the championship. In addition, I have been hot on the recruiting trail to bring in new players to assist next season. There will be five new players this fall.
As I look back on my twelve years with the team, it is easy for me to become frustrated with the fact that I never achieved my goal. It is often hard to remember the many good times. I came across a quote that really makes a lot of sense:
"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened." - Anonymous
I encourage all of you to keep that smile and remember the good things. I will try hard to as well.
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