"Growing Up In Tennis" with Nick Mitchell

February 17, 2022
Written By: Jack Broudy
"Growing Up In Tennis" with Nick Mitchell

Jack Broudy:  I'm Jack Broudy and welcome to “living in at the 45”. This is my podcast and I'm talking today with a good friend and a player and a student nick Mitchell who's now out of the east coast playing tournaments and working at a club you know which so many of the pros do right you gotta not everyone gets money thrown at them and and gets to go right to the big time. Some people have to work for a living. So that's what Nick's doing. Nick's putting himself through I guess the university of hard knocks on the tour. So nick why don't you introduce yourself? I mean I can I tell you tell the folks that basically you played d one college tennis, you played juniors

Jack:  Right out of the gate pretty quickly, you had a pretty nice ranking, you started lived an academy life but why don't you? And your own words elaborate on that and then we'll get rolling.

Nick Mitchell:  Yeah I mean I grew up on the East coast in D. C. And uh it was a good young tennis player and uh we moved out to Arizona about when I was 12 and you know I was looking for different opportunities. You know not coming from a tennis family and not really knowing what tennis was. Um so luckily I was able to go to an academy, a small one out in California um went through the academy system for Well let's see here I did three years four years out in California and then changed over to uh, voluntary when I was 16 and I was there for about two years.

Jack:  So these are, these are real academies. These aren't like what your tennis club would say, the academy, this is where you live, there, you sleep. There you go to school,

Nick:  Yep. So at 13 I moved out to the dorms, all by myself. Um, four hours of school in the morning for five hours of training in the afternoon. Um, I went to bed, he woke up, did it all over again, pretty much every single day. And then on Fridays we would drive down uh, down to L. A. Play in where every tournament we could really. And just about every weekend we did that no weekends off, mm hmm. Maybe took the holidays. That's it. So, I don't know how many tournaments a week or a year that is, but a lot of tournaments, a lot of time spent on the road. Um

Jack:  Yeah, that's uh that's serious work for a kid.

Nick:  Yeah, I know. And for me, um, it was perfect because school wasn't my best, I wasn't best fitted for school, you know? So finding a sports was, this was a perfect setup for me. So, in that regard, it was, it was an incredible time. And it was very cool. I actually, I got to do baseball along with that. So I went to a public school uh, during, during the mornings and then,

Jack:  Oh, so you played baseball for the school? But then played tennis at the academy?

Nick:  Yeah. So looking back on it now out of college and whatnot. It was unbelievable. So I did 72, 12 school 1-4 30 tennis and then from 4 30 to 64 30 to 7 baseball. And sometimes I would go back and go play tennis again afterwards.

Jack:  Did they ever conflict like, did you, did you ever have a ball game against another school when uh, you know what I was telling you to? Uh,

Nick:  you know,

Jack:  practice.

Nick:  Yeah. Yeah. I mean, they were really supportive of me. I think they knew that it was good for my head. Um, I think about so many, so much happens at the academy where kids get locked in to tennis 24 7, 365 days a year. And it's easy to get burned out And for me that was starting to happen. I was trying to creep it in when I was about 13, 14. I took a year off of plants, similar sports two years and so getting back and playing baseball is really good for me and luckily while on the coaches, they're kind of saw that. So, um, I'm

Jack:  curious, did you,

Nick:  did

Jack:  you know that you were at, I knew you were a good baseball player. I didn't know you actually serious and played on a team and all that. Uh, did you, what was the difference is that, what was the difference as a kid between a team sport like baseball and something. So self centered like tennis, You know what I mean? I mean 10 is all about you.

Nick:  Yeah, I mean for me,

Jack:  did you prefer the camaraderie, did you have more friends in baseball or more friends and

Nick:  chairs? And also, I mean, tennis kids, you know, there's a certain type that play tennis and especially in southern California and uh

Jack:  we offer that.

Nick:  Yeah, we all we've all been through it. Um anyone that knows tennis, tennis people are sometimes tougher than actually playing tennis. Um So for me it was really good just to have some normal people around. Um not, you know, they were really competitive but not in the tennis way. Um so that was, it was amazing for me. So I played varsity for 2-3 years and yeah, it was it was actually really cool. Um just playing baseball and then going straight to a tournament after a game. Uh

Jack:  That's cool. I know we're supposed to talk tennis, but I can't help but ask. I mean, what position did you play? Did you bat? Both righty and lefty? Since you have two handed backhand? I mean,

Nick:  so I was shortstop second baseman. Um

Jack:  that makes sense. Quick hands,

Nick:  quick hands, quick feet can cover a lot of ground. Um and it was cool. Also, you know, for any baseball player that might listen to this. uh my batting average for a while was well above 500 and it was because I was there, you know, kids were throwing 85, but I was basically looking at these things like only 90 you know, like I don't know, like I'm seeing 100 and 20 you know, an hour ago,

Jack:  right, wow. So it actually improves your eyes for baseball

Nick:  and

Jack:  vice versa. I get because the baseball bats smaller and thinner than the racket head, I guess it's about the same size as the sweet spot really,

Nick:  essentially. Yes, so I would take it was cool. I would take pretty much every single ball right over the second baseman's head. Um, and that was all just a forehand and inside out for him and that's kind of what I thought about? So hips contact point, all that stuff was an inside out before him.

Jack:  So you're a righty, so you're hitting into into right field.

Nick:  Yeah, a

Jack:  little shorter. You can get the ball over his head.

Nick:  Yeah. And I mean I was, it was cool because you know, baseball players, a lot of them try to pull it and pull deep and long.

Jack:  Yeah, I always thought that was the best, the best looking hit when I played a little little, I played little league. So yeah, but I always wanted and I used to do the same though. I used to go wait

Nick:  a minute.

Jack:  Why is everyone, why am I trying to hit there? It's shorter to go over there.

Nick:  You

Jack:  do figure that out after a while.

Nick:  Yeah, and the contact point was essentially the same as a really well timed up beforehand. So when I was seeing it come in, there was no pole, it was just straight, just like you're coming in through a forehand going out at the ball and I didn't know it back then. But you know, now that I understand science a little bit, you know, the swing path and whatnot? It was, it was all the same. So it was very cool.

Jack:  That is cool. I got to ask one more question because you know, one of the first things I recognized, You know, you know, you're very familiar with the figure eight of the hips and all that. One of the first things I used to say 20 years ago when I would

Nick:  give

Jack:  a talk somewhere and go, you know, the best player on any baseball team is the most natural athlete is always other than the picture. There's always the shortstop because the shortstop is the only guy who can catch and throw and throw in the same motion. Right?

Nick:  Could

Jack:  you do that? See I played second base because I couldn't do it. I would catch turn toss, but the shortstop could do it all in the flick of it looked like a flick of a wrist, but we know it's tied a little more to the core.

Nick:  I'll send you a good video afterwards. But yeah, yeah, I could, I mean, um looking back on it now, it's probably what helped my forehand, you know, like we were just saying vice versa. But yeah, it's you basically just you're here, ball's coming in, whether you're turning to or short or a ground ball, whatever is coming in at shortstop, you're here, it comes in and you just go straight into your throwing motion. So I was I was I mean, baseball was kind of my 2nd 2nd sports slash I wanted to play college. Um just unfortunately,

Jack:  Yeah, I started tennis a little late about 10 or so, and but baseball was my first love before that, I never thought, you know, I knew every stat, you know, that's all I cared about, but but yeah, I don't know, people like us, I guess we have to do stuff all the time, you know, and a D. D. And that was the thing

Nick:  with, you

Jack:  know, with tennis, you're always hitting the ball, you're serving your returning, it's all about, you know, and in baseball, you know, you hit once and then it might be a couple of innings before you hit again.

Nick:  Yeah, and that was cool for me, personally, is the contradiction between the mentality between having that constant and tennis with something is always happening versus this slow kind of rolling of the baseball games. So and just, you know, you go a couple of innings with nothing happening, but at the same time you have to be conscious of,

Jack:  well it's true, you're totally and you're totally involved even if you've got a great picture and he's striking everyone out, you never know when it's coming, so you can't be caught sleeping.

Nick:  Exactly. So it's very cool and it was just cool to be able to take your time and things I guess because you know when you're sitting at shortstop, you see you can see sometimes the catcher's falls. So you you see, alright, fastball inside here, chances are he's not going up the middle, he's not pushing this one out. So you take a step to the right, same thing with curveball inside or fastball outside, you start sneaking one step other way and you try not to give that away, you know, they're hopefully they're not watching you, but right, and then let's come, you can kind of jump on one.

Jack:  Right, Right, right, Yeah, yeah, yeah, or like where the second serve is coming.

Nick:  Exactly, yeah,

Jack:  he always kicks, this guy always kicks to the back end. I know where it's coming,

Nick:  yep, exactly, but it's funny I was I still watch baseball and like a ground ball will come and I'll still twitch real fast when I see it on tv

Jack:  kind

Nick:  of like when you're watching tennis and you see a drop shot, get hit, you know, and so fast. Yeah, right.

Jack:  Um you know, I wanted to ask you because when I was a kid growing up I was in Connecticut and you know the first couple of years I only played three months of the year and a couple of times indoors maybe, but because it was too expensive and then a couple of years later I started stringing for the, for the place, so I got some free, you know, free tennis time in indoors, which was that, that's what the only thing that saved me, but I um you know, I was always really envious of the academy kids, but um just thinking, oh if that were me, but maybe that's just a defense mechanism when you're a kid to go, well that's the reason I'm not making it is because I didn't play enough tennis, but it just, I only I did have one experience, I went to an academy for two weeks down in florida and played a lot, even that's why I hit a few balls, Vidas carol, itis was there, he hit with everyone a little bit, he was the stud because he was that year, he got to the quarters of Wimbledon and I hit with Renee Richards, dr Renee Richards

Nick:  uh yeah,

Jack:  she she was the first one, she changed her sex, this was back in the late seventies, yep, and she was, she was a tennis player and he was a tennis player then turned female and then he was still, you know, he played women's, the women's tour, I think he got top 50

Nick:  that was it.

Jack:  That's when chrissy evert and martina Navratilova

Nick:  and people

Jack:  like that we're playing And I think he got to talk, I think she got to top 50 and anyway with her, but I played a lot of tennis and we ran every day and it was grinding and it was kind of fun. I kind of dug getting in great shape. All

Nick:  right.

Jack:  The only thing I'll never forget it was on my 18th birthday, I had one of the worst losses of my life, it was the finals, but it's a guy had beaten a few times and I was the top seed and this guy was lower seed and, and, and he was kind of, you know,

Nick:  kind of

Jack:  did what I did a lot grind and push and chipped back. It was on clay courts so you can get in, it was, you know, junior, so you get away with a lot of garbage, you know, in the wind and the wind and the dirt and drop shots and you know, he wasn't giving me a straight ball and even though I grinded for two weeks down at this academy, um had the worst loss of my life, I couldn't believe it, I'm like, hey, that's not the way it's supposed to work, but, and I can say the scene because I remember your academy um up in uh san luis Obispo, I know that academy, I sold them a bunch of boards back in the early two thousands, late nineties, early two thousands

Nick:  and

Jack:  they brought on like a van of guys, right, you'd be in that van, they bring a van of guys to like, the sectionals are here and there. But I didn't know this was before you, obviously, probably before you were born, but I I didn't well and they were new, they were knew it was only the first five or six years of their existence, but we were winning everything, you know, they weren't winning everything. In fact, they really weren't cracking much of an egg. So I just don't know about academy life. It's kind of a myth to me.

Nick:  Like

Jack:  It didn't work out for me. I can tell you that um it got me in great shape, but it didn't make me hit a ball any better as far as when someone hit, you know, pace. What I was good at was hit the ball 10 miles over there, I'll run and get it and then hit it over there and I'll run and get it on the other side. I was great at making incredible guests because they drilled the snot out of you at these places

Nick:  right, starting

Jack:  from the first thing in the morning, you know, two balls across, go, go go and you know back hands, you know, so it was tons of quick volleys, but unless you were playing, you know, Connors, you know, and you were playing someone who wasn't really that great, it didn't make you hit a non paste ball that much better.

Nick:  Yeah, I mean I'd

Jack:  like to hear your experience because you know, do you think it was the end all, do you think it's what made you a player or do you think you could have done it at a tennis club?

Nick:  Well it's you know, it's a good it's a good thing to think about because, you know, as academies, I think there's a myth that if you go there, you have higher chance of being pro or being D one, I will say that you know, there are relationships being made at these academies with tennis coaches. No, because there is some sort of physical attributes that you're going to have, I mean you're gonna know how to do a squat, you're gonna know how to work out well and you're gonna know how to work hard at most places. I mean, again, different academies, different work ethics, different all that, but when it comes down to being a great tennis player, Yes, that's where that's where, I feel like Academies fail a lot of kids because there isn't an emphasis on how to hit a better ball, it's all right, we can give you some basic techniques here, maybe this is kind of how you do it and we're just going to give you $1 million dollars to hit.

Jack:  Yeah, so basically they take, you know, whatever you are, they just

Nick:  ingrain it

Jack:  and make it deeper and tougher, but they don't, let's say you hit too much under spin on your backhand and it floats, they're gonna get you to hit

Nick:  it

Jack:  crisper and sharper just by hitting a lot of balls.

Nick:  Yeah, and don't get me wrong uh what I'm finding out now being outside of, you know, kind of a system, whether that be an academy or college tennis is finding hits is extremely tough and having someone to hit with every single day, huge having people around balls, all that stuff very important, but you know what I do like to tell people and this was true for me, I practiced, Let's say from 1 to 330, that was like a 2.5 hour practice, we did tons of cross court, we played some games, you know, we worked, we went to net and we were just told to work hard, you know, like, hey, we got to see more effort. Um you know, for me a big a big a big struggle I guess was I I wasn't happy with how I was hitting the ball sometimes and I would try to slow things down and figure it out and then, you know, you get a next stop being lazy, what are you doing here? You know, like why are you, you know it in their minds, the only way you can get better is by speeding things up, moving your feet faster and working harder instead of taking a second, figuring things out and staying Alright, wait a second here, let's let's slow these swings down, let's find out what's happening here. So for me it was always tough because I could always see trajectory, so and I saw spin and all that stuff and sometimes I wasn't happy with sweetheart, it wasn't getting me past a certain level, I could see the top guys at the academies, they had different, their balls looked a little different, they were zipping a little bit more and there was something just a touch different about it and I always recognized that and so I was, I would use my 2.5 hours, a lot too slow things down and start figuring things out and you know, that didn't go over well with these people so, so if you really want to get motivated and you know, you want people yelling at you to really work hard and whatnot, you know, academies are your place, but for me at least it was the times when I got better, was Doing one on 1 training with my coach and really going through and breaking down my swings and making sure that pitches and

Jack:  yeah, no

Nick:  and all this different stuff that

Jack:  you're preaching to the choir when you talk about slow things down and figure it out. I mean our systems, our systems certainly is is quite a bit uh more contemplated if you want to say as far as what's how come the ball is not sinking into the strings. How come there's not enough air being pushed? It's pop. You know, you can't describe why people are better than others sometimes, but we know it's that pop. They get on the ball somehow. They distribute their weight to from the core right to the tip, you know, to the sweet

Nick:  spot. There's

Jack:  something they do magical right in there and it just ripples out and crushes the ball.

Nick:  Yeah. Like I, I have a, I guess a funny story. Um, we came back, we, there's a Malibu tournament every year where I guess pretty much all the top schools from the west coast to come. You know, your USC UCLA um, I don't know Pepperdine.

Jack:  Big time schools. Yeah. Big time

Nick:  schools Hawaii comes out there. Arizona state, you know, I could organ I think.

Jack:  Which, which tournament is this again?

Nick:  It's called the Malibu classic. It's a college

Jack:  tournament.

Nick:  Yes, it's that Pepperdine and we were there, I think it was my freshman year, freshman and sophomore year and you're smith's son Tanner. I

Jack:  believe. Tanner

Nick:  Tanner Tanner and Riley were playing. Yeah, I think Riley is uh, 600 last time I saw it was Instagram or something like that.

Jack:  I saw him as kids, but they ripped the ball.

Nick:  Yeah, they were and they were playing and I was sitting there and I was in between matches, I think we just play doubles or something like that. I was looking and then my guy was playing next to them and they were having a great match, real grind. But again, there's that thing, there's something different about how these guys are hitting the ball. There's different sounds, different movements. The way that they're going out at is different and unfortunately similar to the academy's uh when you, when this is brought up, oh, they work harder. Oh, they're moving, they're

Jack:  sure, sure they don't want to, they don't want to try to describe the intangibles because they're too difficult. So they just go, well you're not, it's the onus is on you.

Nick:  Exactly. So going back to the Academy's, I think of course I was really blessed to get all the physical things from it, you know, there's no better, I mean there is better, but uh, you know, going to, having world class people teach you how to get the most out of your body, I think that's the reason why I want a lot of my matches, um but when it comes down to ball striking and whatnot, you may, you may figure it out, you may, but they're not really going to break it down for you.

Jack:  Yeah, tennis is definitely one of those sports like golf, it's all about form, doesn't matter how tall or smart or big or little, doesn't matter how strong you are, it's all about form, You could be a big beefy strong guy like Marinka and, and and thick like Nadal or you could be like Guga or, or, or you know, one of the young guy in six Epas, one of the young guys today all skinny and you know, and still proud of the ball.

Nick:  Look at fed his left arm and it's like a stick. You know, he doesn't use his right arm is not much better

Jack:  if you

Nick:  look, if you look to golf, I mean the biggest hitter on tour right now. I mean there's bryson which is one side where his big beefy and whatnot, but Rory McIlroy best driver in the world and he's 59 bucks, 70 and he's out driving all these guys so Exactly is that And I think also the cool thing about what golf is doing right now is the way they approach it versus the way tennis approaches.

Jack:  Oh yeah. What have you, what have you seen? I agree with you.

Nick:  I mean they're on a they're they're light years ahead of us when it comes down to a whole

Jack:  nother level. Well, that's what we're trying to do of course with our system right, is be light years ahead of load and explode and racquet head speed and fade and push on your leg and whatever they say. I don't know.

Nick:  Yeah, I mean golf breaks it down so beautifully. I mean they have all the technology, they understand the swing path. They mean, of course they look at the club head speed and all that sort of stuff, but they understand that it's not from just ripping as hard as you can, like you can't just rip as hard as you can and expect to hit the ball. Great. Well,

Jack:  they talk about the downswing with the hips, right, how the hips lead. So that's kind of what we talked about with contrary motion,

Nick:  yep. And also, um, going back to my baseball days, be exposed again, another sport that is way ahead of tennis in understanding the shoulder and hip separations.

Jack:  Is that right?

Nick:  Yeah. I mean, if you look at pictures especially, uh, and how they break down and build speed, you know, these guys aren't big and strong. I mean, they're trying to get us loose and separate their hips and shoulders as much as they can. Sure

Jack:  they do the one footed on the other foot, right? They lift up the left, if they're right handed pitcher, they lift up the left foot, then they bring it through and it was bringing their hips through, right. And then, and then they throw the ball and then you notice with the batteries to, they're all like this,

Nick:  they're all dancing in

Jack:  there, They're

Nick:  all getting their hips, they're yeah,

Jack:  they're connected and their hips with their bats and their arms.

Nick:  Exactly, and you know, they talk about that. Um and unfortunately tennis

Jack:  really, they do talk about that. I had no idea. I thought it was all, no,

Nick:  no, no there baseball and golf. I have really been enjoying being a student of um because of how they talk about it and how much science goes into

Jack:  it

Nick:  and that was when I ran into you a couple of years ago. You know, I was I still play baseball, I played baseball in college, I just didn't play for the team, I did an adult league, I was I was still thinking about it and and I was getting in the gulf and my freshman year, sophomore year, soft freshman and sophomore year I started playing golf and when I, you know when I get into something, obviously I'm watching videos and trying to figure out my swing. Um but they break it down, they break it down from The hips coming up to the 45, they talk about everything and it's all This goes back to what your teachings of the 45 being your hips. Um a great example of that. If you haven't seen him as Matthew Wolff. Um

Jack:  I don't know if I have,

Nick:  do yourself a favor, go look at his swing. I think you'll really

Jack:  Matthew

Nick:  yeah, he's totally in the vertical axis and it's it's very cool. Another another small guy.

Jack:  So his his figure eight goes up and down.

Nick:  Yeah and you can see it helped bring his club straight up, not like um not like you know the golfers that take it straight back, He goes up In and around and you can almost see the 8th that he makes doing it.

Jack:  Yeah, there's a couple of other golfers that do that as well. Yeah,

Nick:  no one's like him that's on the tour right now. But yeah, a lot of them do.

Jack:  I will check him out Wolf, what's his, what's his first name?

Nick:  Matthew

Jack:  Matthew, Wolff, I'll check him out.

Nick:  Yeah and he's one of the biggest hitters and again I think he's 5 10 Uh Buck 60 Small Buck 50 Small Guy. Ah So for me um when I was I was kind of going through all this along with learning in your system and taking that back to tennis but also to golf and to baseball and all this stuff. So I mean

Jack:  no wonder you didn't fight me so

Nick:  much.

Jack:  You were you were laid down man. I mean the first time we met was on your server, which I still think is your best shot. But but I think all I told you was to get the hips out just a little bit earlier, like a slinky going down the stairs, right, something like that. I kind of remember our first lesson.

Nick:  Yeah, it

Jack:  was to get you, I think you were holding I think you were locking too long and then turning your and then turning your whole body right. I wanted you to get your lower body and a little earlier. But yeah, you didn't fight me, you just started hitting. I remember you just started hitting monster serves that we're hitting, you know, eight ft up on the fence on a big court. I mean that was a nice club. We were at over the Delmarva.

Nick:  You stuck with me in with that. Yeah, you're like come out here at this amazing club, you

Jack:  know, blake, well, you know, blake is out there, right

Nick:  James like Yeah, he told me that. Yeah,

Jack:  yeah, yeah, I've seen him several times. He's a member there with his little girls. Uh but anyway, uh well now, you know, today was very interesting because I didn't know we didn't talk so much about other sports baseball and golf, but I'm happy to do it because that's really um, I mean that's really what it's all about. There's a thin red line that goes through all natural athletes and it doesn't matter whether you're throwing a basketball, hitting a volleyball or playing tennis, you know, it's just, you know, it's all really the same, you know, that's kind of what we figured out.

Nick:  Yeah, I mean for I have some stories about those sports as well, you know, showing up at the rec center and uh putting these kids in basketball, you know, it's all the same and same with volleyball if you serve volley ball, you can hit it hard. Um, you

Jack:  know, your body is a tool and if you, you use it all correctly you know and uh the kinetics and everything is aligned perfectly then it's kind of easy and effortless and you see why some people have more fun playing sports. I would say you're one of those people but with that said we'll talk about this some other time. We still wanted you to be more of a baller than a grinder right? You were a great athlete partly because of your, let's face it, your speed and that might after might have to give the academy a little bit of credit. My guess is it was natural being a baseball player that run to first base man. You gotta hustle.

Nick:  Yeah I mean I was always fast but definitely give some credit to the academy's from me

Jack:  but that's you know like I said I always think it's more fun to be the guy dictating play than defending but you're you're you're pretty good at both now. So Nick's playing some futures tournaments and some I. T. F. And wherever he can play right now right It's you said it's not an easy thing.

Nick:  No it's not um That's one of the things that's changed you know along with the rest of the world but I remember my fresh

Jack:  my

Nick:  freshman year we drove up in the fall and played the found valley uh future along with max crazy who just.

Jack:  Oh yeah he did pretty well.

Nick:  Yeah he he's another wild student um Was that right?

Jack:  I did not know that,

Nick:  yep, yep. So I

Jack:  mean

Nick:  but again like I guess going back to the academy of life and whatnot. No he didn't, he went there and he was already well established player, He had been working with a private coach for a long time, if I remember correctly.

Jack:  Yeah, that's that's what happens, right? And

Nick:  yeah, so when I just when I talk to people about going to the academy and I'm saying I like to tell people to get to a level where they invite you. Yeah,

Jack:  that makes sense, that makes sense because you're gonna grind in good habits, but if you're if you're a journeyman or you know sort of a weaker player, it's not going to help you that much because it's gonna make your old habits more ingrained.

Nick:  Exactly, so um but yeah, going back to the future's now, I remember freshman year, you know, you signed up when you got into the qualifiers, you showed up, you paid your 50 bucks entry fee and you got into qualifying and now, I mean it's pretty shocking to see how much talent is and the pro rankings are in these low level futures um had just signed up for one and Naples florida and I think the number one seed was 310 in the world and The entire qualifying draw was in the 700's 800's. So I mean these guys are pretty well established and they're still grinding out these low, low level futures, which in return makes it very hard for people like me who just graduated college had some success and want to try their luck and but the opportunities that are really low, I mean,

Jack:  is it there's there's less tournaments, more people. Are there more players than there were, Is that why or at a small level or is it just less places to play?

Nick:  I think it's uh probably a bit of both, you know? Um I know for a fact that there is less tournaments nowadays, I think that there's less of that middle Ground where these guys that were 300 in the world, 2 600 700 are not playing, sorry, they will be playing now, those tournaments don't exist as much. And so there's a less number of futures classes, you know, I mean at some, at some level there's Whatever age you get to across the world, you know, between the 18 and 22, 24 range where they're like, okay, we finished our juniors, I finished my college, let's try to go pro

Jack:  for

Nick:  two years, Year 1/2. We were all stuck doing nothing and we're just kind of waiting for our chance. So there's kind of like a backlog of kids that are trying their luck and trying to get out there and play.

Jack:  Why interesting? I didn't because of Covid and the whole

Nick:  shutting down

Jack:  All the courts and all the 10ants. Oh, I didn't even put that together. Sure. Now you've got players from two different three different years almost to graduate.

Nick:  Yeah. And you

Jack:  know, there's

Nick:  a natural filtration system, you know, that goes through in the future system where guys either make it or they don't and that filtration systems kind of stopped and so now everyone's trying to rush into it. So it was crazy. I mean, I was I was like the 375th alternate um for this

Jack:  three

Nick:  170 alternates ahead of me and which and all very good players. Like I recognized some names, you know, top D1 guys guys nationally ranked that on the alternate list.

Jack:  Yes, that is incredibly tough. I mean, that's that's a that's a podcast in itself just talking about down there tour. Well, let's do that. Let's do that. Let's do that another time because I really, you know, nick, I see you as a student and a friend and a player and good for the game. And it's just, and I think a lot of people would be interested to see what your journey is like. So let's do this again. I I hope we can do this again

Nick:  anytime you just let me know,

Jack:  okay, Anything you want to plug or say to the good folks before we sign off.

Nick:  I know you

Jack:  I know you use

Nick:  I

Jack:  know you use vocal rackets now. You like those, give a shout out to vocal

Nick:  best rackets I think, I mean just off this best, I've fallen in love with their company and so they've been really great to me and uh I love using their rackets. I've used

Jack:  It about 15, 15, 20 years ago. I used the V1 classic. Do they still make that one?

Nick:  I believe they do. Yeah, I can check for you right now. I use for any players out there that like the pro staff or What's another one? Like the head prestige, go check out the C10 pro from vocal amazing racket. Uh soft but still total players racket nice and heavy, similar to the same thing from what you're getting with those, but I think they're better and we were in stock and stock, which a lot of companies aren't right now. So,

Jack:  and you know when I first, when actually, when I last saw you last summer um on court, you were really sold you like vocal for a while and not vocal I'm sorry. Yonex.

Nick:  Yeah, next, yep.

Jack:  I

Nick:  can't lie. I those are my two favorite companies right now. I think they're doing the best. I do like the feeling more of the vocal rackets. Um, I was playing with the john XVII Corps, uh, not be core. Um, Or maybe 95

Jack:  red

Nick:  one does the ship of love kind of version I think

Jack:  and that's unbelievable

Nick:  racket. I still like that. But it was missing a little something for me, it was just kind of a little bit of feel and uh a little feel from the racket, a little bit of, I get a little bit more reception I guess you could say with this vocal, so I love it

Jack:  and getting

Nick:  back into tennis and coming, coming back from a broken thumb and a handful of injuries which you've seen me try to get through. It's been good to get back into this with this racket, so

Jack:  check it out. I'll have to check out the world, I'll have to check them out.

Nick:  They look, it looks like they still make them so

Jack:  good. Alright, well I have to, one of these days hey nick, thanks so much for taking your time out today and talking tennis with us.

Nick:  Thank you. I appreciate it man.

Jack:  Alright, stay living at the 45

Nick:  always.

View Transcription

Nick is a 24yo player that's trying his best out on the tour, hoping to pick up ATP points. He grew up at tennis academies on both coasts. Nick has a very interesting past junior tennis life. Young players and tennis parents can learn a lot from our conversation.