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 traveling this year and my good spirits (referring to my mood and not alcoholic beverages...well actually both) have come with me. I know for certain that my zest for food has done so as well.
It looks to be a brilliant weather day here in the Northeastern/Mid-Atlantic states, a perfect day for a morning Turkey Bowl. I do not expect to lace up my retired cleats nor don my weathered receiver gloves this year as more of my efforts will be spent nestled up to the dinner table.
I do miss the Thanksgiving morning football game with old friends which was always slated to begin "sharply" at 10:00AM. This starting time proved over and over to be quite ambitious as Thanksgiving Eve in Bronxville was, and probably still is, the grandest, how do I say, "go-out" night of the year. Not at all conducive to an early out of bed scenario followed by plenty of athletic movements and half-hearted sprints. Who knows though, the team has recently become quite fond of "American Football" and begin each practice warming up with something that very slightly resembles the sport. Thus, for me, there may be a return to the gridiron forthcoming. Maybe I should even wait by the phone for a call from the Jets coach Rex Ryan (speaking of big eaters) to suit up...
In any case, I hope that all of you celebrating the day have a wonderful feast of fellowship. Thanksgiving truly is one of my favorite days of the year.
The fall/preseason rankings have been released by the ITA and your Clipper (Men) have been placed placed at #14 Nationally and #1 in the East Region. For a complete list of the national rankings click here.
We will certainly be looking to make a homecoming to the top few teams in the country with the return of Andrey Boldarev and the addition of Illinois State University transfer Juuso Ojanen. Andrey returns in top form and is eager to compete with the nation's elite players whereas Juuso has made an immediate splash by defeating Andrey at this year's ITA regional in September.
The Eastern rankings feature eight Clipper netmen including the top seven and also Ricardo Frey at #18. It is quite an honor and achievement to have our full roster appear in the rankings and we will be working hard to stay there if not improve our position. For a complete look at the eastern rankings click here.
The team has dedicated itself to a very disciplined approach going into the off season and leading up to the spring semester. They are pushing harder than ever with their training and it is already paying dividends. With this year's National Championships being held in Arizona, where the average temperature is scheduled to be in the high 90's F, player fitness will definitely be an issue and we will not accept conditioning as an excuse for poor performance if we are fortunate enough to qualify.
Check back soon for the release of the spring schedule. We will continue to travel as much as possible to compete versus the top teams in the country including #1 Armstrong Atlantic State and #2 West Florida.
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