PHYSICAL FITNESS MONTH
SPOTLIGHT: DANIEL WHITLOW II
May 28, 2019
Sharing the healthy benefits of tennis with the next generation of players.
His tennis journey began the summer of 1985 when he attended a D.C. Parks and Recreation tennis camp. Daniel Whitlow II was 11 years old when he got his first taste of being out on a tennis court in Southeast D.C. After that summer of fun, Daniel decided to stick with tennis and investigated different ways he could continue to play. That determination to play translated to more than 30 years of tennis with more than 20 years of actively playing USTA Mid-Atlantic adult leagues.
In his youth, Daniel pursued tennis training with such enthusiasm that he became a prominent member of his high school team. He made significant achievements as a freshman when he and his doubles partner were runner-ups in the City Championship, and as a senior when he helped his team win the City Championship title for the first time in over a decade. ADVERTISEMENT Transitioning from high school tennis to college, he earned a spot on the University of the District of Columbia’s tennis team, where he and the team achieved a school record, at the time, for most season wins.
Tennis continues to play an important role in Daniel’s life. He notes, “tennis has helped me maintain a healthy profile and kept me fit to participate in other sports.” Playing tennis not only keeps Daniel physically fit, but it keeps his mind sharp and focused all while building lasting relationships on and off the court. It also helps him with his career and professional life.
For more than 22 years Daniel has been a Physical Education teacher and prides himself in teaching his students the importance of an active lifestyle. In order to relay this message to his students, Daniel says, “I try to get students to visualize long term ramifications and outcomes based on their behaviors today.” He uses the benefits and the excitement of tennis as a way to motivate kids to stay fit and healthy because it is a lifetime sport that ensures a healthy body, mind, and soul. In addition to teaching, Daniel has been a coach for several high school tennis teams and has mentored student-athletes as they went on to the next level of sports.
“The adrenaline rush of competing against others, the camaraderie associated playing with teammates, and the chess game involved in matches using strengths and weaknesses, are all vital components to my makeup and wellbeing.”
Today, Daniel continues to build his tennis foundation by being an active player on USTA Mid-Atlantic Leagues and setting goals for himself. Daniel focuses on cardiovascular health and flexibility to keep him in top shape.
“My goal every year is to make it to Nationals - that will be my biggest milestone if I get there. I am working on improving my cardiovascular endurance to compete against ‘the best’,” he says.
Daniel fell in love with tennis because it is challenging and is a sport that he can play for the rest of his life. He shares his passion with anyone thinking about stepping out onto the tennis court, “if you are looking for a sport that is challenging, fun and will keep you fit, then tennis the sport for you.”
Now is a perfect time to join in on the excitement USTA Mid-Atlantic Leagues offer because May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. And don’t forget to check out Sylvia Okala’s or Caren Penso’s inspiring tennis stories as well for additional motivation to get out on the tennis courts.
To follow along, check out our Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for more inspiring stories and an opportunity to win some prizes too. You can also show how tennis helps you get active by downloading and using this fun Physical Fitness Month Facebook filter!