Thank You, Team

By Sean O'Neill, HPD | Jan. 25, 2020, 12 a.m. (ET)

What makes a Champion?

  • God-Given Talent
  • a Great Coach
  • a Super Club
  • Tons of Tournaments
  • Perfect Practice Partners
  • Innovative Tactics
  • Pure Sweat

or maybe all of these and a little bit more.

If you look at the great image of our National Champion Lily Zhang (taken by USATT Photographer Grant Bergmann) you will see a champion in action making sure the ball never touches the ground without a fight.

Do you let balls go by in practice or matches without a second thought? Do you like surprising your opponent by returning the un-returnable? 

As a player I enjoyed returning that extra ball.  I found that opponents don't like it when you don't give away any free points.  It drives them crazy when you hustle for every ball no matter the score.

I played in my first tournament in 1976, that might seem like a long time ago to many on our team, but I can remember the excitement of fighting for each ball to try to win a trophy in the Under 11 age division.  I lost both my matches in a three player round robin and went home empty-handed.  I wanted one of those trophies so badly.

However, I didn't give up and fought for each ball I would get another chance to win a trophy.  

I'll keep this first posting short, but I do want to thank Virginia Sung for giving me the opportunity to serve our team as the High Performance Director. I have that same excitement I had in my first tournament to help our players, coaches and staff to give our team the best chance for success to return that extra ball.

  • Good Luck to Kai, Kanak, Yue, Crystal, Amy and Lily as they compete in the German Open in Magdeburg, Germany - Here is the official website.
  • Our Junior stars have the Czech and Swedish Open next up on their calendar.
  • The Hopes Regional events have been posted and I will share some more info on this re-branded program.