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Where Are They Now?
Talking with Jay Goldman
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Jay Goldman was a standout tennis player for the Arizona Wildcats between 2007 and 2011. At Arizona, Goldman competed primarily at the top of the lineup. Goldman traveled to Tucson following a storied junior career out of Worceser, Mass., and the IMG Academy Tennis Program.

Cats standout Jay Goldman
courtesy, Arizona Athletics
Harry Cicma got the opportunity to catch up with Goldman and discuss college tennis.
 

Questions and Answers

Harry Cicma (HC): What were your best memories playing for Arizona?

Jay Goldman (JG): I had many highlights, but the one that stands out is when Arizona beat UCLA for the first time in school history, and I was able to contribute by winning singles and doubles.

 

HC: What did you enjoy the most about college tennis?

JG: It was the first time that I experienced team camaraderie and support from fellow players. Many of the matches had a Davis Cup atmosphere. I've never experienced so many people show up to root against me, but it was nice to have a cohesive group of teammates that supported each other through travel and competition.

 

HC: Your brother, Michael, played NCAA Tennis for Assumption College, how did he help your career?

JG: Mike is four years older than me and was the first person I really wanted to beat. In all seriousness, he was instrumental in my training before I went to Bollettieri. We hit every day; he took me to tournaments, scouted the competition, and was always there to support me.

 

HC: You've had the chance to train with Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Jesse Levine, and Kei Nishikori, what was that experience like?

JG: I know Jesse and Kei very well; we had lot of great practices and matches and pushed each other very hard. I'm really happy for their success. Serena is a really nice person. After training, Serena and her boyfriend at the time took me out for a great meal. I can't say enough how genuine she is. And Maria doesn't know the difference between the US Open center court or playing on practice court 22 at Bollettieri. She is a ferocious competitor.

 

Goldman trained with the best
courtesy, Arizona Athletics
HC: What are your goals moving forward in the sport of tennis?

JG: Right now I'm on the mend from a painful overuse tennis injury in my foot. It has been over two years that I've struggled with this injury. I've gone to many of the top orthopedic Surgeons and it looked as if I was headed towards a surgery that would potentially alleviate the pain but would prevent me from competing in tennis again. Fortunately, a previous coach and friend Rod Moreira recommended I visit Dr. Marc Darrow, a prolotherapist in L.A. After only a few treatments, I'm very optimistic that I will be able to avoid surgery and renew my iPIN number soon. I can't wait to be back on the court again.

In the meantime, I'm working at Good As Gold Coffee - my family's coffee service business. I'm currently helping to update our new website.

 

HC: What advice would you give a young player looking to play top Division I or pro tennis?

JG: To me, the first question becomes what would you like to achieve in the sport of tennis? Many of my friends used their tennis skills to get a scholarship at a great school and start learning about the field they want a career in. This is the best scenario to have the most enjoyable college experience. If your eventual goal is to play pro tennis and you don't need to risk the house financially to do so, don't go to college. There will be a college that will happily take your money when you've finished the tour.

From 16 to 19 I trained at the IMG Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Bradenton, Florida. It is an oasis for the serious tennis player. I worked with the best coaches, trainers, sports psychologists, and hit with some of the most talented players in the world. The program was tennis-specific, challenging, kept me injury free and was geared to make me successful.

From my college experience at Arizona, I found that the focus changed from my personal success to the success of the coaches and to the team. There is pressure both from your teammates and coaches to play when you are injured and participate in practices and conditioning that is not specific for your personal needs or body type. We worked with the trainers who normally work with football players, and I believe they trained us improperly for tennis. I think this training resulted in more injuries than necessary.

Some of my friends have had similar experiences, while others have had positive experiences. It is up to you to do your due diligence and really research the school, coaches, trainers, schedule, and past players - who have nothing to lose by telling the truth. There are some college graduates who still have fulfilling pro experiences after college. Good Luck!

 

Editor's Note: The University of Arizona has a new group of strength coaches that have been put in place since Goldman graduated in 2011.

 

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About Harry Cicma

When it comes to college tennis, Harry Cicma is your man. Cicma covers tennis and other athletic stories for NBC Sports, writing articles and producing video segments.

He is co-founder and host of World Tennis a weekly tennis show on NESN, and host of of Tennis Live Radio's College Corner.

Cicma competed as a junior in USTA/New England and went on to play college tennis at Rutgers University. As a professional, Cicma competed at the ATP Newport tournament and the San Jose Siebel Open. He reached a career-high #75 in the ATP doubles team rankings and #1262 in the ATP Entry System.

In media, Cicma has run the gamut. He has worked for NBC, CBS, ABC, ESPN, FOX Sports Net, the Tennis Channel, and World Team Tennis. Cicma has announced NCAA sports as well as the US Open Tennis Championships on both TV and radio.

 
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