Eagle Spotlight of the Week: Edio Castanhel
AMR: How has the season been going for you thus far?
Edio Castanhel: It’s been better than the fall. When I came last fall, it was a lot different here than in Brazil. I used to play on clay courts, not hard, and it’s a completely different game. It took me a long time to get used to it.
So what did you work on between the fall and spring to improve your game?
I worked mostly on my serve and I improved on my volleys. I didn’t go to the net that much and here I’ve seen that I have to go to the net a lot. Mostly I’ve been working on my serve and coach has been working on my volleys.
What are your goals for your freshman season?
I want to try my best and work as a team. I hope to win for my team, not just me.
How did it feel to win your first collegiate match?
Oh, it was really cool. It was much different than in the fall when I was competing by myself. Now, you’re working as a team. When you finish your match, you go support your teammates. In a couple of my matches this season, I was the last match on the court and my teammates came out to support me.
What has been the toughest transition for you into collegiate tennis?
In tennis, I think the most difficult thing was the surface of the court between clay and hard courts. To transition, I had to play more on the baseline, play more in the back. There is more power here; the points are not that long.
What about transitioning into college life? How has that transition been for you?
The hardest thing was the language; that is hard. I’m still probing my English. I had to get used to studying a lot and practicing a lot. It was really tough. I had never done it like that. It was either study a lot or practice a lot, not both at the same time. It’s still hard. In class, I have to translate what the teacher says. And practice is hard. By the time you get home, you’re tired, but you still have a lot of work to do. So it’s hard, but I think I’m managing well.
I had only been here for three weeks before, so it’s hard to understand the accent of people here. But I was mostly fluent in English from school.
Now that you’ve had a little time to settle into the environment here, how are classes going for you?
They are going well. I am a business major, so I am taking the requirements now. Last fall was harder because I had to take ESL classes and now I’m taking calculus, economics, and business. My roommate is in one of my classes, so he helps me. Another one is a Spaniard, so he helps me too.
How are the upperclassmen helping you settle here at Georgia Southern?
They give me a lot of confidence. They know college tennis is a lot different than what I used to play, so they try to make you feel comfortable. They have more experience, so they try to teach you things they already know.
Can you talk a little about the team dynamic? There are 13 players on the team and within 13 players, 11 countries are represented. How does that impact the team?
It is really fun. You learn about other cultures. We play a lot of jokes on each other. We have players that speak Dutch, Spanish, another with an English accent. It’s kind of funny.
What is practice like for the team?
On a 13-person team, you always have to be fighting for your spot since you only play six. Practice is tough. Coach really pushes you hard. You have to show every week that you are continuing to play well while everyone else is improving at the same time.
In Brazil, you were coached by Larri Parros who coached Gustavo Kuerten, Brazil’s former World No. 1 professional tennis player and three-time French Open Champion. Can you tell me what it was like to be coached by Parros?
I mean he coached the number one player in the world, so everything that he said was unbelievable. Every word he said and everything he taught me was good. He showed me that you had to work really hard if you want to go somewhere. He was a really hard coach. I had to work really hard. We would start at 8 a.m. and go through 6 p.m. of physical activity. He told me to be serious in what you are doing. When you’re in practice, try hard. Especially on Saturdays, practice would start at 8 a.m., but you could be on the beach in Brazil. But he always told me to try your hardest and do your best.
- Category: Men's Tennis
- Published on Wednesday, 18 March 2009 00:29