Tennis Biography (cont.)

I started playing tennis at 9 1/2 years old. I began as most kids do, in after school clinics, but I soon voraciously wanted more. I began taking private lessons 2-3 times a week, and playing USTA matches at least once a month.  I started getting good, and at 12, started taking private lessons 5 days a week, playing tournaments 3 times a week, sometimes 4, with my eyes set on professional tennis,. At 14 I was helping my coach run his summer camp, feeding balls and giving instruction, and at 18 I helped run a Nike Tennis program out of the University of Missouri. Like many people who have the dream of professional tennis though, I never made it to the top, and I found myself at Stetson University, chasing academics rather than professional ambitions. After Stetson I went to the University of Arizona to pursue a PhD in literature, but that path didn’t feel like the one I was meant to be walking—something seemed wrong, and I came home, at a loss to what I should do with myself. I dusted off my old racquet one day, and it was as if though someone lit a fire inside of me—tennis was what my life had been missing. I started playing and coaching again and have never looked back.  I have been most influenced by my mentor and coach, Bob Blaze, a man I am proud to call my boss.

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