October 19, 2011

Meet Your Islanders: Nathan Robinson, Men's Tennis

Meet Your Islanders: Nathan Robinson, Men's Tennis

After a season-ending injury during the 2010-11 season, senior Nathan Robinson has overcome injuries that have set him back since having a stellar sophomore year. This season, Robinson returns for his senior year with full vengeance.

After transferring from Tyler Junior College in 2010, Robinson recorded a 10-7 singles record and was named Southland Conference Newcomer of the Year. Last season, Robinson won his season-opening match in singles ,limited by injuries, he finished the season 1-2 in singles matches and 6-6 in doubles. Despite his interruption in athletics, academically he earned the Dr. Robert McMinn Economics Award for having the highest GPA (4.0) of all juniors majoring in economics.
 
Robinson is next up in the "Meet Your Islanders" features for GoIslanders.com, a unique way to get to truly know your Islander athletes. Media Relations Intern Amy Carrizales will conduct the weekly in-depth feature on Islanders athletes.
 

Amy Carrizales: Coming off of an injury your junior year, how have you prepared yourself both mentally and physically for this season.

Nathan Robinson: Last year when the injury happened, I basically lived in the training room rehabbing and strengthening my ankle. I am still a little cautious when playing because I know how easily I could hurt my ankle again, but it doesn't affect my mentality on the court too much.

AC: How did you feel going from being named Southland Conference Newcomer of The Year in 2010 to sitting out the remaining of the 2011 season due to the injury? 

NR: It was such an honor to receive that award, and to sit out last year to my injury was extremely disappointing. After sitting out for about a month with my ankle injury then reinjuring it two days before conference was very tough. Although I couldn't play, I was still happy to support and do whatever I could for the team.

AC: Which do you prefer to play, singles or doubles?

NR: Singles. I really enjoy singles because you are out on the tennis court by yourself and have to strategically figure out how to beat your opponent.

AC: Who is your doubles partner and what is something about him you admire?

NR: This semester I have played doubles mostly with our new freshman Fernando Llorrens, a very talented Spaniard.  I most admire his ability to fight and compete hard.

AC: Where is your favorite place you have competed at? Why?

NR: My favorite place I have competed at is the Boy's 18's National Championships in Kalamazoo, Mich. This is the US Junior nationals in tennis and the winner receives a Wildcard into the Men's US Open. All the best players in the United States play this tournament. Although I didn't win, it was an experience I will never forget.

AC: What is your favorite thing about Coach Moore?

NR: My favorite thing is that he is the hardest working coach I have ever met and he truly cares for his players. I have learned so many valuable lessons about tennis and life from Steve. Additionally, anybody that has ever met Steve knows that he is a great storyteller.

AC: What do you like most about Texas A&M- Corpus Christi?

NR: I'm sure this is a favorite for everyone, but I really enjoy being on the water and having a beach 15 minutes from my house.

AC: If you could play a match against any professional tennis player who would it be ?

NR: Roger Federer. He is the best player of all time and has done so much for the game of tennis.

AC: As a senior, what is a personal goal you have set for yourself for this season?

NR: I have a few personal goals, but the only biggest goal I have is for our team to repeat winning the Southland Conference Title and to win a round in the NCAA Tournament. Last year we had a very tough match with Baylor, and I would love to end my college career winning a match at NCAA's this year.

AC: What is one thing about you that most people don't know?

NR: I am a little embarrassed to say this, but I am terribly afraid of flying. I absolutely hate flying and all the guys on the team love to make fun of me when we do fly. The guys love to manipulate this fear of mine and I always seem to get messed with when we are flying.

AC: As a junior you earned the Dr. Robert McMinn Economics Award for having the highest GPA (4.0) of all juniors majoring in economics, how do you balance athletics and academics so well?

NR: College has taught me so much about time management and planning ahead. The reason I have done so well in school, thus far, is because I always try to stay on top of my schoolwork.

AC: As far as tennis, what is the best piece of advice you have received throughout your college career?

NR: The best advice I have received is to focus only on the things you can control. There are many things that can go wrong during a match, and I am constantly trying to not let things that are out of my control effect the way I play.

AC: Who on the men's tennis team has the craziest personality? Why?

NR: The new freshman, Pietro Jordao, definitely takes this title hands down. He is extremely funny and outgoing. He is consistently asking everyone to teach him some English phrases. His favorites are: "I'll appreciate that," "There is a new Sherriff in town," and "I just jumped the ship."

AC: What do you like most about game days? What do you like least?

NR: I like the anticipation and nerves that I get every game day. There is nothing that can compare to the feelings that arrive on game day. The only thing that I dislike is waiting to play. 

AC: Now that you are back in competition, do you feel your old injury is a setback for you in any way?

NR: The old injury isn't a setback at all for me anymore. Occasionally I can feel a little tenderness in my ankle, but it is nothing that bothers me. I do try to protect it a little more than the past, but it does not hinder my play. Additionally, Coach Moore has implemented several rules for me, such as no sliding on the court, to protect my ankle.

AC: Do you have a specific routine before a match?

NR: I am a very superstitious person, so I do have some weird routines. I won't name everything but typically I will eat the same meal, warm up with the same person, and text my parents before all matches.

Favorites:

Song: Anything by Bon Iver

Food: Chocolate Cake

Place: Hawaii

Quote: "The hungry dog will find the bone" – Steve Moore