Monday, December 21, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

The semester is over and the students have left campus for the holiday break. We are really excited about the upcoming spring season. Check out our website for the schedule. A reminder to all parents and alumni, we are having our parents weekend March 6th when we play Hope and Grove City. I am looking forward to having a large number of people on campus that weekend. Please let me know if you’ll be able to attend (thanks to George and Celine Davis for being the first RSVP).

To get into the Christmas spirit I thought I would share a couple pictures I took this morning (December 21st) of our outdoor tennis courts. I love this time of year.

One other HUGE announcement and that is our indoor courts are getting a facelift over the college’s winter shutdown. We are resurfacing the courts and changing the color scheme to match the outdoor by making it the US Open blue and green (not the white from the pictures above). I’ll include pictures in my first January blog posting.

I hope all of you have a great holiday season and that moving into 2011 you all remain healthy and happy.

“Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts.”

-John Wooden

Friday, December 4, 2009

Another Gold Ball

Congratulations to two of our alumni, John '61 and Carl '94 Erickson, for winning their fourth national championship. The story is great because John still helps out with both the teams here at Oberlin. In honor of this, the quote for this posting goes to John. This was coaching advise given during a match several years ago.

"Don't suck."
John Erickson

Monday, November 30, 2009

1st Semester Winding Down

I hope everyone’s Thanksgiving was great and that you were able to spend time with friends and family. The semester is beginning to wind down here (2 more weeks of class and then finals). Our players are preparing for Winter Term in January and I thought it would be interesting to share what some of them are doing.

We have several guys doing research internships, one with a neurologist in NYC, one in a genetics/neurobiology lab in Chicago, and one doing biochemistry research on campus. One of our guys is learning to play an instrument called an Ocarina and one is doing an intensive chamber music project on campus with his string quartet. We also have guys doing language study, script writing, and the one project I hope to see (and taste) some results from is from our player who will be working in a French bakery.

If you missed the story on the website, both tennis teams at Oberlin are dedicating their seasons to John Stern, who passed away recently. John was a great supporter of Oberlin College and the athletics department.

I encourage people to go to the website to see our schedule and want everyone to mark their calendars for March 6th. We will be playing Hope and Grove City Colleges that day and are going to make it our parents’ weekend for the spring.

I would like to be remembered as fair minded, always trying to do things with class, never knowingly hurting anybody.

- Don Shula

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Successful Fall Competition

The fall segment of our tennis season is coming to a close and the team is coming together. On September 26th and 27th we hosted the Oberlin College Invite and competed against teams from Allegheny, John Carroll, Baldwin Wallace, and Tiffin. We had a good showing with 8 of our 11 guys getting wins over the weekend and 4 guys getting multiple wins.

This past weekend we traveled to Westerville, OH to play Otterbein College. Both teams were reticent to yell “go OC” for obvious reasons, but that didn’t stop our guys from supporting each other through the whole match. We started off slightly tentative, but that passed quickly as our doubles teams became the aggressors in all the matches. Our #3 team dispatched Otterbein’s by an 8-1 score and the #1 and #2 teams soon followed with identical 8-3 scores. We then carried 5 of the 6 singles matches for a final score of Oberlin 8 and Otterbein 1. There were also extra matches played while we were there and we won the #4 doubles match and 2 of the 3 singles prosets that were played. This was an excellent finish to the competitive segment of our fall season and something to build on for the spring.

We are finishing up with a final week of practice here in the fall and would like to invite any alum who can to come out to our final fall practice (and athletic homecoming kickoff) on October 9th at 4:45 pm to meet and hit with the current team.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Community Support and Homecoming Weekend

We had a great event this weekend, combining with our women’s team to host our 2nd annual Co-Am. Our players had the opportunity to play doubles with community members who donated to the program. Everyone had a lot of fun and got to meet others who share their interest in tennis. A huge thank you to the large number of Conservatory of Music faculty who participated.

I want to invite our alums to come back to campus for our athletic homecoming weekend. It will take place October 9-11 and we get to host the kickoff event on Friday, October 9th at our last practice of the fall. You can see a list of events, register, and see who else is coming back at the official website. We’d love to see you come and be a part of this event and all the events over the weekend. If you are going to be here for the weekend please let me know so I can plan for all of you.

Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.


Monday, August 24, 2009

School is Starting

It’s almost time for school to be in full swing again. The fall sports teams are on campus and the first-years arrive this week. I am really excited to get things rolling this fall. We start practice next week!! Our fall schedule (all six weeks of it) is going to fly by, but will prepare us for the spring.

We are hosting an invitational in September with Allegheny, Baldwin Wallace, John Carroll, and Tiffin coming. It’ll be a good weekend of competition and then we go to Otterbein for a dual match. There are tentative plans for an alumni weekend (October 9-10) that corresponds with out fall athletic homecoming. As Constantine and I work out the details I’ll let you know more, but if you can plan on being here that weekend let me know.

“You never fail until you stop trying”
-Florence Griffith Joyner

Friday, July 31, 2009


Since mid-June I have watched a great deal of tennis. I have seen youngsters who have just picked up a racket for the first time to working with state qualifiers and have even had the chance to see a couple USTA National Open tournaments. It is awesome being around the game. I even recently had the opportunity to watch Kim Clijsters do a workout while I was on the road. As I got to thinking about all this tennis one thing keeps coming to mind…balance.

Almost without fail, the player who is balanced and under control has dictated and dominated the matches I have watched. There is so much goes into being balanced in tennis, but also in life. We have a great balance here at Oberlin between our athletic endevors and our academic lives. The two complement each other extremely well and actually have helped so many of our athletes be better students and vice versa.

One of our alums, Ron Garcia ’95, was in my office not long ago and we were reminiscing about trips we took with the team, dealing with Coach Hunsinger, and just how mean Carl was (see link on Carl for info about him and John). It is great that even though it has been probably 7 or 8 years (if not longer) since Ron and I have seen each other that we were able to talk about matches, opponents, teammates, and Oberlin as if it were yesterday. This is part of the greatness of the Oberlin College Men’s Tennis Program. We have amazing people who have been a part of it and continue to bring in people who love the game of tennis and want to be a part of that history.

I am currently on the road again attending the Midwest Open near Chicago. Next week I’ll be in Ann Arbor for the Ann Arbor Junior Open. Then on August 6th I’ll be in Kalamazoo to meet players at the boy’s 18s nationals and on the 7th I’ll be at a tournament in Flint, MI. I hope everyone is having a great summer, but I am excited for the year to start so I can work with the guys again.

I believe that being successful means having a balance of success stories across the many areas of your life. You can’t truly be considered successful in your business life if your home life is in shambles.
-Zig Ziglar

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Getting Started

This is the first installment of the Oberlin College Men’s Tennis Team blog – Passing Shots. I’m really excited about starting to use this medium to keep everyone up-to-date with our tennis program. Players, parents, alumni, recruits and friends of the program are all encouraged to follow this blog and to stay in contact with us. As we go through the year I’ll be doing entries with varying frequency, more while we are in season and fewer out of season. I encourage you to contact me at any time year-round if you have questions and/or comments about what we are doing.

The recruiting trail is already heating up and I’m going to be on the road some this summer. I am planning trips to Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Chicago, Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo, Flint, and back to Cincinnati before the summer is over. I’ll be posting a more complete schedule as dates are confirmed but my first trip will be to Cincinnati over the weekend of June 13th and 14th for the Ohio Valley boys 18s Midwest Qualifier at the Queen City Racquet Club.

I’ll also be in Oberlin running the Yellowball Tennis Camp for 4 weeks this summer so if you come to town let me know.

I’m going to end all of my entries with a quote. Some of them will be sports related, but all of them are going to have relevance to me and I hope by sharing them you’ll be able to learn some about me and about yourself as well.

- Great players never look in the mirror and think, I’m a great basketball player. They ask themselves, “Am I the best player I can be?”
Michael Jordan