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 saved 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 have 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 among the extra effectively rounded gamers we’ve recruited,” mentioned head males’s tennis coach Paul Goldstein. “Kyle [Kang] has simply a fully world class elite forehand, arguably one of many higher forehands that I’ve had the possibility 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 wonderful competitor,” Goldstein mentioned.
The gamers descriptions of themselves echoed Goldstein. Godsick characterised himself as “an all-around participant“ who’s “all the time seeking to end the web.“ Kang famous the energy of his serve and forehand and his skill to play “aggressive,“ “big-style tennis.” Rivera mentioned his fashion is to “play huge tennis and are available ahead and serve the primary ball and go for my photographs.”
Goldstein mentioned he recruited Godsick, Kang and Rivera not just for their world-class tennis skills, 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 study.”
As is perhaps anticipated, every of the three had their very own coaches, a dynamic with which Goldstein is acquainted. “In every of these circumstances we’ve tried to have communication with their coaches from dwelling previous to them getting right here,” he mentioned. “[We] preserve that dialogue in order that there’s continuity. I feel 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 one of the best info doable.”
Now, Goldstein’s aim is to combine these freshmen into the crew, a course of that’s effectively underway.
“These three specifically have a very robust reference to each other,” he mentioned. “That bleeds over to the remainder of the crew and makes that transition, I feel, quite a bit simpler.”
“We’ve acquired actually robust management on our crew this yr. And I feel with each crew … it’s incumbent upon those that have been right here prior to now to assist the first-years get built-in and I feel our leaders have achieved that effectively,” Goldstein mentioned.
Godsick, Kang and Rivera selected Stanford due to Goldstein, his workers and the wealthy legacy of this system, and due to Stanford’s educational excellence. Nevertheless, 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 figuring out what you could have and due dates.”
“I simply need to be extra conscious and be diligent in my work. It’s been an adjustment but it surely has not been too laborious,” Rivera mentioned.
Kang praised the position of educational advisors as a part of the scholar athlete assist system. “They’ve been actually nice at serving to us handle ourselves and ensuring we’re specializing in the correct issues,” he mentioned.
Godsick echoed his teammates’ sentiments. “Being a school pupil isn’t straightforward. I don’t thoughts that in any respect. I feel it’s really serving to me develop and have the ability to mature and study many alternative abilities, whether or not it’s communication abilities, time administration, work ethic … and I’m assured that Stanford is the correct place for that,” he mentioned.
In accordance with Goldstein, the freshmen are all adjusting effectively to the brand new surroundings. “They’re checking all of the bins in an enormous, large manner and I’m feeling actually optimistic about that,” he mentioned.
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 need to have a form of holistic expertise,” he mentioned. “It’s the trifecta for me. It’s tennis, it’s lecturers and social life.” Goldsick mentioned whereas all three have been essential, pupil atheletes wanted to make sacrifices at varied factors.
Within the first week of college, the three freshmen participated in an alumni occasion, which Goldstein mentioned helped the transition course of: “The profit there’s … you get the sense that you just’re a part of one thing larger than your self.”
In accordance with Goldstein, this sense is very vital in tennis “as a result of it’s such a person sport after which for the primary time you’re on a crew.”