Entering the quarterfinal round at the Lakewood Ranch Intercollegiate Clay Classic this past weekend, Michigan men’s tennis sophomore Carter Lin was the underdog. Though matched up with the No. 1 seed in the tournament, Princeton’s Tom Colautti, Lin did have an advantage: he was playing in his hometown of Lakewood Ranch, Fla.
Lin went into the match not intent on winning, but on improving specific components of his play. The alternative approach was successful, with Lin coming out on top after splitting the first two sets.
“Each of (the players) had something specific they were working on,” said Michigan associate head coach Sean Maymi. “(We don’t) stress so much about how we we’re going to win this match, but more of how we’re going to go about it and the process.”
The team, described by Maymi as well balanced, is looking forward to its spring season, which starts Jan. 23. Until then, the Wolverines’ main focus is day-by-day development.
Such development is what has earned Lin positive results during recent match play. Though Lin was not able to pull out a win in the semifinal against Minnesota’s Ruben Weber, his coaches have noticed progress since his arrival in Ann Arbor last January.
“He’s put forth good effort to make sure he’s a staple in our lineup,” Maymi said. “He’s consistently one of the hardest-working guys.”
Leaving Florida on Sunday evening, the Wolverines wrapped up their fall season and are looking forward to play in 2016. Between now and then, individual effort is crucial.
“You find out whether (individual players) are going to be successful when they’re doing it themselves and practicing on their own,” Maymi said.
Maymi, along with the rest of Michigan’s coaching staff, will have keen eyes when analyzing the players on their return for spring season. They will be looking for improvement, whether it be advances in skill or physicality, or both.
Finishing off the fall season on a high note is a positive, according to the coaching staff, but singular success is neither the program’s intention nor its destination.
“Doing well in one tournament doesn’t do much for us unless the whole group continues to get better,” Maymi said. “There’s still a lot of work to go.”