Sometimes the Best Decision is the Hardest
No one ever said life was easy. Dave Adams from Andover, MA came to that realization when he was presented with a difficult decision his senior year of college.
Adams had excelled as a USTA New England juniors player. However he was also a standout baseball and basketball player. It was seeing his brother play competitive tennis at Rutgers University that gave him the inspiration to continue his tennis career.
In 2008, Adams graduated from Andover High as the number one player on his high school team and among the Top 20 players in New England.
Adams considered many colleges, including ones in New England and California, but ultimately had his eyes set on the University of Connecticut (UConn).
“As soon as I visited UConn and met the coach, I was pretty much set,” said Adams. “I had a friend who was a player at UConn and I did a few overnights with him. After meeting the team and spending time on the campus, I became comfortable and knew it was the right fit.”
His freshman year at UConn was a humbling experience. He took a hit to his confidence when he was no longer number one after joining his college team.
“Tennis at UConn was different.” Adams continued, “I wasn’t playing number one singles and I wasn’t the best on the team, but that helped me lose a selfish mentality and it helped to humble me.”
During his freshman year, Adams rotated between five and six singles. He began to play number three doubles his sophomore year and consistently stayed at the number five singles spot. During his junior year he moved up one spot in singles and doubles, playing number four singles and number two doubles.
As a senior year project, Adams applied to participate in a very time-consuming program where he and nine other undergraduate students were put in charge of managing a one million dollar stock market portfolio.
“I knew it would be a huge commitment, but I didn’t know how time consuming it would actually be,” explained Adams.
An overwhelming workload wasn’t the only unexpected challenge Adams faced in the beginning of his senior year. He had developed a minor shoulder injury at a young age, but the pain had gotten worse in recent years and especially bad his senior year. Adams had to make a decision between playing tennis at the possible expense of his health and academics or taking time off to invest in his future.
After discussing the possibilities with his family, friends and coach, Adams decided to take the fall semester off from tennis to focus on his post college career.
“Last fall was a really weird semester for me,” commented Adams. “I knew potential employers would be familiar with the stock market project I was involved in, but I couldn’t imagine not playing tennis. In the end, focusing on my academics and searching for a job were my top priorities.”
This decision turned out to be the right one for Adams. He came back in full swing for the spring semester and is the team’s number three singles and number two doubles player. He also was successful in scoring a job as an Analyst at Moody’s Investors Services in New York City starting this July.
“This season has been my best season yet as a college player,” said Adams. “Coming back, after taking the fall off, gave me a whole new perspective on the game. I was happy to be on the court everyday and incredibly motivated to play my best. ”
Adams plans on continuing his tennis career after college by joining a USTA league. His experiences playing competitive tennis throughout his life have helped to prepare him for the challenges he will face as he starts a new chapter in his journey.