Stanford males’s tennis added three stellar freshmen to their roster this yr — one of many Cardinal’s strongest recruiting lessons but. Nico Godsick, Kyle Kang and Hudson Rivera stored busy this quarter creating their already-elite tennis video games, integrating with their new teammates and adjusting to their new life as pupil athletes in faculty.
Previous to committing to Stanford, Kang, Rivera and Godsick had been all designated “blue chip” recruits within the U.S. Tennis Recruiting rankings, with Kang ranked No. 1 and Rivera and Godsick No. 12 and No. 20 respectively.
“Nico [Godsick] is likely one of the extra nicely rounded gamers we’ve recruited,” stated head males’s tennis coach Paul Goldstein. “Kyle [Kang] has simply a completely world class elite forehand, arguably one of many higher forehands that I’ve had the prospect to work with in my 10 years” as head coach.
“Hudson [Rivera] is simply actually strong with each [backhand and forehand] swings and is a superb competitor,” Goldstein stated.
The gamers descriptions of themselves echoed Goldstein. Godsick characterised himself as “an all-around participant“ who’s “at all times trying to end the web.“ Kang famous the energy of his serve and forehand and his capability to play “aggressive,“ “big-style tennis.” Rivera stated his fashion is to “play huge tennis and are available ahead and serve the primary ball and go for my pictures.”
Goldstein stated he recruited Godsick, Kang and Rivera not just for their world-class tennis talents, but additionally for his or her love of the sport, wanting “somebody who not solely loves tennis however actually somebody who performs not simply to win or to not lose however to determine it out, performs to be taught.”
As is likely to be anticipated, every of the three had their very own coaches, a dynamic with which Goldstein is acquainted. “In every of these instances we’ve tried to have communication with their coaches from house previous to them getting right here,” he stated. “[We] keep that dialogue in order that there’s continuity. I believe our philosophy … is that there’s no ego right here. We simply need our gamers to really feel supported and really feel like they’re getting the perfect info doable.”
Now, Goldstein’s objective is to combine these freshmen into the group, a course of that’s nicely underway.
“These three particularly have a very sturdy reference to each other,” he stated. “That bleeds over to the remainder of the group and makes that transition, I believe, lots simpler.”
“We’ve acquired actually sturdy management on our group this yr. And I believe with each group … it’s incumbent upon those that have been right here up to now to assist the first-years get built-in and I believe our leaders have carried out that nicely,” Goldstein stated.
Godsick, Kang and Rivera selected Stanford due to Goldstein, his workers and the wealthy legacy of this system, and due to Stanford’s tutorial excellence. Nonetheless, all three freshmen went to highschool on-line, that means they’ve to regulate to each an in-person faculty setting, in addition to balancing rigorous practices.
Rivera acknowledged that there have been some changes however he has been navigating any challenges efficiently. Rivera harassed the significance of “prioritizing, simply understanding what you’ve and due dates.”
“I simply should be extra conscious and be diligent in my work. It’s been an adjustment however it has not been too exhausting,” Rivera stated.
Kang praised the function of educational advisors as a part of the coed athlete help system. “They’ve been actually nice at serving to us handle ourselves and ensuring we’re specializing in the appropriate issues,” he stated.
Godsick echoed his teammates’ sentiments. “Being a university pupil isn’t straightforward. I don’t thoughts that in any respect. I believe it’s truly serving to me develop and have the ability to mature and be taught many various expertise, whether or not it’s communication expertise, time administration, work ethic … and I’m assured that Stanford is the appropriate place for that,” he stated.
In response to Goldstein, the freshmen are all adjusting nicely to the brand new setting. “They’re checking all of the packing containers in an enormous, large method and I’m feeling actually constructive about that,” he stated.
Goldstein acknowledged that there are essential parts to his gamers’ lives past tennis. “It’s not solely the tutorial piece to it, but additionally a social piece and understanding the calls for these children should have a kind of holistic expertise,” he stated. “It’s the trifecta for me. It’s tennis, it’s teachers and social life.” Goldsick stated whereas all three had been essential, pupil atheletes wanted to make sacrifices at varied factors.
Within the first week of faculty, the three freshmen participated in an alumni occasion, which Goldstein stated helped the transition course of: “The profit there may be … you get the sense that you simply’re a part of one thing larger than your self.”
In response to Goldstein, this sense is very important in tennis “as a result of it’s such a person sport after which for the primary time you’re on a group.”