Why tennis? Interview with Jonathan Pearlman
Should my kids play tennis? (or sports in general)
This is a question that many parents will ask at some point,
Maybe a good place to start is with a few former college players, let them share their own experience.
What former college players tells about their own tennis experiences?
Q&A Jonathan Pearlman, Harvard Graduate, Former tennis player of Harvard University
Coached by Nandor SR and Nandor JR between 2006-2012
Nandor Veres: Hi, Jonathan, say something about you, what do you do currently,
Jon Pearlman: I am the founder of Creating Substance, a fitness and nutrition brand. In addition, my debut novel, Living Legendary, will be published this fall.
Nandor Veres: Initially, when and why did you begin playing tennis?
Jonathan Pearlman: I grew up in New York City, but I would often go to Florida with my family for vacation. It was during these trips, from the ages of 7-10, that I started taking lessons. I made a lot of progress and began playing10-and-under competitions in the Northeast.
Nandor Veres: Why did you start tennis?
Jonathan Pearlman: I played many sports as a kid, not just tennis. Basketball, baseball, golf, and soccer. It wasn’t until I was 13 years old that I focused my efforts exclusively into tennis. I think having this multi-sport background was beneficial because it allowed me to have a broader perspective. Once I became fully invested in tennis, I was fully confident it was the right decision because I had these other sports experiences.
Nandor Veres: What is your best tennis memory?
Jonathan Perlman: My senior year season at Harvard was special because we had an incredible group of players, all motivated, hard-working, and charismatic. We completed one of the most successful seasons in the school’s history, finishing with a 23-3 record, an Ivy League title, and a second-round showing at the NCAA tournament. The experience of being on this team with a group of highly-motivated players supporting one another was amazing.
Nandor Veres: What is your worst tennis memory?
Jonathan Pearlman: Any time I had to stop playing tennis for an extended period of time -- either due to injury or some other circumstance -- and then having to come back. Suffering to get back to where you were after having been away from the court is horrible -- and I think virtually any player would agree. The suffering I endured during these “come back” times has molded my current mindset. I still integrate physical fitness and tennis into my daily schedule because I want to keep fit for the rest of my life.
Nandor Veres: What do you love most in tennis?
Jonathan Pearlman: I love the hard work that’s required for success -- and the payoff when you see the results. Tennis is so demanding because it invovles physical fitness, mental toughness, skill development, etc. -- and so you have to stay sharp on so many planes. I love hard work and committing to something, and tennis has grounded me in my life overall. It gave me a constant purpose and motivation, and enabled me to find success in other fields as well.
Nandor Veres: Has tennis taught you anything about yourself – and others?
Jonathan Pealman: Tennis is great because it is a sport that’s played internationally, and therefore you can find a common ground with so many people of different backgrounds and cultures. I watched the Olympics last month and it’s amazing how sports can bring people together from all around the world. The “language of sport” (physical performance), and what’s required to learn this language, is universal, and therefore those who pursue sports are bonded by the process. You can make life-long connections with others who share this love and passion for sports, even if you don’t necessarily have anything else in common.
Nandor Veres: What reasons would you give to children and their parents to participate in tennis?
Jonathan Pearlman: If you’re invested in tennis, you will be able to find success in your life as a whole. Tennis will make you focused, disciplined, and grounded. Not only this, but you will pursue a healthy lifestyle because the components required for peak physical performance are also intertwined with physical and mental longevity. Eating healthfully. Avoiding alcohol and drugs. Taking care of your body through stretching, yoga, and massage. Connecting with like-minded people. Also, physical development assists mental growth because with exercise, you will be able to think clearer and maintain your focus longer. Children who pursue sports will certainly enjoy academic success too.
Nandor Veres: If it would be up to you, going back in time would you start to play tennis again?
Jonathan Pearlman: Yes! Having tennis in my life has allowed me to accomplish more than I ever could have imagined. It has given me health, physical fitness, confidence, academic success, proper values, and a grounded mind. I still play tennis every day.
Good luck with your new book! I really enjoyed it!!!
You can find more information about Jonathan Pearlman's work on www.creatingsubstance.com