By Brian Faig
After winning the 2013 Platform Tennis Junior Nationals, my partner, Will Kleeman, and I were sponsored to participate in the 2013 National Platform Tennis Championships. This was the big time, the APTA Nationals- where all the top players converge once a year. It was a thrill. I realized that this was a real opportunity for me to improve my paddle game not only by playing great competition, but also through watching great players. I started looking on the APTA website daily in anticipation of the release of the draw. I was eager to find out who we would play- and whether or not I knew those players. When that day finally came and the draw was posted, I found myself amazed at the depth of the tournament and sympathetic to how tough the draw was for everyone! I saw players that I knew from the New Jersey A League having to play a seed first round! It was hard to imagine that guys who are levels above US were playing guys levels above THEM. It was a bit humbling. It confirmed to me that this tournament was going to be spectacular.
By Brian Faig
My journey to winning the 2013 Junior Nationals started five years ago, in 2008. Both of my parents had been playing paddle competitively for a long time. I was 14, a tennis player who wasn’t playing basketball anymore and was facing a long winter. I was lucky enough to get my first instruction from Patty Hogan, national champion, amazing teacher and someone really committed to Junior Paddle. I went to Junior Nationals that first year- where my partner and I were destroyed in the 14 and Under quarterfinals. The next year I was able to get onto a Men’s team and played in the NJMPTL. This was the best thing for me because it forced me to play PADDLE, not tennis on a paddle court. The importance of not missing a screen or an overhead versus hitting drives at 100 mph to guys ready to volley.