From the Saddlebrook Tennis Academy in Tampa Florida, Buddy connected with 30-year-old Patrick Daciek, who is a former top ranked American junior tennis player, former ranked Division 1 college tennis player, current pro coach, current pro player, and current pro hitting partner. He can do it all and fortunately for the sport of tennis he has plans to stay in the game as a top coach. This pertains to your future too, as he’s given Buddy his insight as to many the options available to you on your tennis pathway.
To put it simply, Buddy caught up with Patrick, because as a life so dedicated to the sport, he can offer a simple explanation on direction, most suitably if you wanted to start tennis early, progress through the levels and see where you can take it.
HOW/WHERE/WHEN TO START TENNIS?
1st get introduced to the game, preferably at a young age.
-Local Club, Park or School courts - lessons, clinics, hitting with friends and family, hitting on the wall, or ball machine. At this point, learn fundamentals and scoring.
2nd get introduced to official competition.
-Local Tournaments- learn how to compete against players your own age and level. (State level, low level sectionals, and UTR events in your age group)
TESTING ADVANCED TENNIS
-Junior sectionals- build your sectional ranking to compete against the best players in your age group and section.
ADVANCING THROUGH TENNIS
-High School tennis- stay local, be part of a team and enjoy competing.
- Nationals- build your ranking and compete against the best players in the country.
ITF Juniors- if you are doing well at the national level play against top juniors across the world. Travel and learn about other cultures and game styles.
-College tennis- further your education while competing in college. Good transition plan between juniors and pros.
-Futures- the starting point for professional rankings. If you’re doing very well in juniors or college test your skills at the futures level where you can compete against players ranked as high as 100 ATP/WTA.
-Challengers- if you've made it this far you are most likely playing full time as a professional. Here you will run into some players who also play grand slams.
-ATP/WTA and Grand Slams- if you've made it this far congratulations, you're a full-time professional tennis player competing against the best in the world.
AFTER SEEKING YOUR PEAK
-Long term, as in a lifetime of tennis, can look like tennis for exercise with friends or in clinics at clubs. Career-wise there is professional coaching, from introducing newcomers into the sport all the way up to working with the top ranked players on the pro circuit. Tennis can be considered a networking tool to progress in business relationships. Mostly, tennis is just fun. It’s a lifetime sport.
If you want to contact Patrick for advice, consultation or coaching, reach out to the Saddlebrook Tennis Academy at (813) 973 - 1111