Assistant Coach Jason Cook
Coach's Perspective: Jason Cook Weighs in on USTA/ITA National Indoor Championship
MALIBU, Calif. – Assistant coach Jason Cook, now in his second year with the Pepperdine men’s tennis team, offers a look into the final weekend of the 2012 fall season. Cook accompanied senior Sebastian Fanselow at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championship, where Fanselow reached the title match and defeated the top-seeded player along the way.
Below is Cook’s take on Fanselow and the tournament in New York:
Sebastian just completed a fantastic run at the National Indoor Championship, making the finals and beating the top-seeded player along the way. Even though he was plagued by injuries throughout most of the fall season, he continued to work hard off the court by maintaining a strict training regiment. It is no coincidence that his hard work paid off for him in this tournament and will continually pay dividends for the entire 2013 dual season.
Those that know Sebastian can verify his humble nature, often poking fun at his own errors on court or even highlighting his occasional non-athletic mishaps. But one aspect that holds true despite his playful nature is that he expects a lot from himself and also from his teammates. He always seems to lead by example, even though the attention derived from being the No. 1 player often embarrasses him and makes him shy away from it. He is a senior and will be graduating in May, but people forget he is still only 20 years old. He often shows an adolescent reaction to situations that come about because of his success. For instance, during an autograph session before his semifinal match in New York, he was so enthralled in making sure that every elementary student present got his signature, he was almost late to his match and close to getting penalized. It’s not often nowadays when a public figure puts himself second and looks to please others around him -- even when doing so may be detrimental to his own success.
Congratulations are in order for a player that is able to look past the obstacle of injury and focus on improving, even though his body did not let him. His endearing attitude is felt at practice everyday, regardless if he is able to hit a tennis ball or not. Head coach Adam Steinberg expects extreme enthusiasm from every member of his team but even he has to admit that Sebastian’s excitement and love for the game surpasses his high standards. All those affiliated with the Pepperdine men’s tennis team look forward to a spring dual season that will certainly be filled with highs and lows, but one aspect will remain constant: Sebastian will fight to the bitter end and as history has already proven, he will likely be the one yelling “Ajde!” after another victory.