Remis, Turtledove named to USTA
Junior Leadership Team
May 18, 2018
Samantha Remis and Nathan Turtledove have been named to the third annual USTA Junior Leadership Team, which recognizes America’s finest junior tennis players who exhibit leadership, sportsmanship and character on and off the court.
Remis, a resident of St. Louis, and Turtledove, of Leawood, Kan., are among more than 30 players nationwide named to the USTA Junior Leadership Team. Each player was nominated by his or her USTA section for their excellence in tennis and in the community.
“These players are our future leaders, and the values they’ve shown to embody both on the court and in the community are evidence that our future will be in good hands,” said Lew Brewer, the USTA’s Director of Junior Competition. “They are the perfect role models that represent our nationwide Net Generation efforts, and they truly deserve to be recognized with the USTA Junior Leadership Team.”ADVERTISEMENT
Remis, 16, has been ranked among the Top 10 players in the Missouri Valley section in the USTA’s 14- and 16-and-under standings. She was the 2017 Missouri state singles champion out of John Burroughs and has placed third or higher at a number of USTA Missouri Valley junior tournaments in the last several years. She was the 2017 St. Louis Metro Tennis Player of the Year, has won multiple sportsmanship awards at USTA tournaments and is a part of the USTA Missouri Valley’s Leadership Council.
Turtledove, 17, played No. 1 doubles and No. 2 singles for the Missouri Class 1 state champions The Pembroke Hill School in Kansas City, Mo., and was the state runner-up in doubles. He’s won numerous sportsmanship awards in USTA competition, is a USTA Certified Official and was named a 2017 Heart of America Volunteer of the Year for his district. Additionally, he’s the CEO and Head Stringer of Tdove Tennis, a racquet-stringing and refurbishing company, is a junior representative and organizer of a clothing, shoe and racquet drive for the Stephanie Waterman Foundation and also volunteers at the Genesis School.
Each year, more than 120,000 players compete in USTA junior tournaments. Players compete in levels of competition through earned advancement in the 10s, 12s, 14s, 16s and 18s age divisions. USTA junior tournaments help kids take their game as far as they want – high school, college or pros – or just have fun competing.
In their own words:
Samantha Remis: Tennis is so much more than just hitting the ball in the court for me. Over the years of playing, tennis has become much more than just a fun, after school activity that I thought it would be. I love to play, which makes the difficult parts of the game all worth it. This love of tennis keeps me from quitting when it gets tough and taught me to never give up on tennis, but also on anything in life. I have learned to always believe in myself and how to figure things out on my own from being on the court by myself in a close match. I have always been a competitive person, and tournaments have shown me how to use my competitive spirit to drive me farther in a match, which translates to all aspects of life.
Being a good sport is very important to me. I am proud of being known to be a fair opponent, and staying positive throughout matches. I believe that being a good sport not only shows my love for tennis, but shows my respect of my opponent, and the people watching. I always strive to have good sportsmanship no matter the situation, and I think that this has helped me win matches, and become friends with other people in the tournaments.
Nathan Turtledove: Tennis is not just a sport, tennis teaches you skills for your life. Do you play with integrity and honesty? Are you able to find the good in others and compliment someone else’s shot, realizing that it doesn’t take away from your own game? I look back and see how I handled a loss in the 12s and have a different perspective in the 18s. (I also would like to take this opportunity to apologize to some of my 12’s opponents for when I may have lost my cool).
It is an important lesson to learn — you can’t get caught up in the highs and the lows (wins and losses), as you never know when something will change. I am currently sitting out the start of my high school season with a stress fracture in my back. I would give anything to be playing!
I have learned to look with a long-term view. My coaches have told me to stick to following the process and not to look for shortcuts. How was the last year? What progress have I made? What are my goals for the next 12 months? This doesn’t just apply to tennis, but to also school, my business and my life. In school, although it often comes down to "how can I ace this test?" (pun intended), it should be, "how can I learn this information?" It doesn’t matter who wins the sprint, but rather who wins the marathon.
When I act as a USTA Official, I have a different perspective on a double fault or a bad call. I can really see through a different lens — that it is just one point in a match. When you are on the court playing, it may feel like a huge deal, but it does not determine a match (unless it is match point, or if you chuck your racquet and receive a code violation which can turn into a point, game and match penalty). I don’t recommend chucking your racquet across the net while I am officiating on your court after receiving a prior warning and point penalty.
In business, it’s not just about earning a little pocket money now, but growing and expanding in order to improve my business for my customers and learning how to promote, merchandise, manage inventory and keep books. These all become the life lessons for the future.
I have volunteered and worked with kids in underserved communities. When they play tennis, they have such joy and fun. It is important for me to remember that feeling of enjoyment while playing tennis, for we place expectations and pressure on ourselves. It is the balance of training, competing, stringing, officiating, helping to run tournaments and volunteering that makes tennis a complete lifestyle for me. The key is to always remember, that although tennis may drive you crazy, insane, and mad, at times - it is still just a game, one that I love will never be able to walk away from.