Home Boys' Lists Girls' Lists Men's Teams Women's Teams News Photos Contributors Links Help Sign-UpOnline Store
Latest News | Categories | Authors | News Archives

News & Features

Class of 2007
From Tennis to Rugby, Pheil Discovers A New Passion

The end of Christiane Pheil’s tennis career started with a phone call.

During her sophomore year at the University of Colorado, Pheil was talking with her mother about some turntables she had just purchased. Pheil had taken an interest in mixing music, and was learning some basic skills from a local DJ.

Christiane Pheil Played Two Seasons at Colorado
© Colorado Athletics

“Halfway through the conversation, my mom was like, ‘How is tennis? I feel like you talk about school and I feel like you talk about music a lot. But you never talk about tennis anymore,’” Pheil said. “It was a simple statement, but it really hit me that she was right. It was almost like I was pushing it out of my mind.”

Although Pheil still loved the competition, she realized tennis was no longer fun. The sport she grew up playing in Asheville, North Carolina since age 6 had become more like a job.

“I had played for 14 years and was playing up to six hours a day year after year. A lot of times people start getting on autopilot, where you wake up, brush your teeth and play tennis. It’s not even a question,” said Pheil, a four-star recruit in the class of 2007. “It was such a big part of my life that I didn’t even realize I wasn’t enjoying it as much.”

Pheil knew something had to change, and scheduled a meeting with her coach at Colorado, Nicole Kenneally, to discuss her feelings.

“She was the type of coach you were able to be very transparent with. She could feel it from me. She knew I was struggling during those years,” Pheil said. “It wasn’t like I was not trying as hard or training as hard because my work rate and effort was always really high. But she could tell mentally I wasn’t necessarily there and the passion wasn’t there.”

The “surprisingly easy” conversation provided relief for Pheil. They decided to give it a week to make sure Pheil was secure in her decision to stop playing.

Once Pheil assured Kenneally that she wouldn’t change her mind, they developed a plan for how Pheil would transition out of tennis.

“The best thing she let me do was train with the team in whatever capacity I wanted, so I ended up going to the gym every day with the girls and conditioning with them. I had grown really close to them,” Pheil said. “Having the full support of my coach and my team was so valuable during that process. I got really lucky with the cards I was dealt in that situation.”

This Article Is Available Only to Recruiting Advantage members
Please log in to access premium TennisRecruiting.net content.
Register Now For Free!
  • Content Updated Daily
  • Complete Rank Lists
  • Exclusive Articles
  • Recruit Interviews
It's Quick, Easy, and Free!

Yonex EZONE Blue
Unleash the power of sweet with the all-new EZONE Blue. Nick Kyrgios' racquet of choice is the all-new EZONE Blue. Featuring Yonex's signature ISOMETRIC technology, ...
See More
11/19 Margaret Lucas chooses UAH
11/19 Natalie Lutz chooses Lenoir-Rhyne
11/19 McKinley Smith chooses Army
11/19 Alli Kogoy chooses Brevard
11/19 Nick Lagaev chooses Arizona
11/19 Csilla Fodor chooses Purdue
11/18 Alana Wolfberg chooses Oklahoma State
11/18 Ayumi Miyamoto chooses Oklahoma State
11/18 Robin Parts chooses Wisconsin
11/18 Noah Banken chooses Loyola - New Orleans

Full Listings: Boys' Commits & Girls' Commits

  Stanislas Wawrinka
Yonex VCORE Pro 97 (330) Racquets
Buy Now: $229.00
Review, Feedback, Demo, Video
  Denis Kudla
Yonex VCORE 98 (305) Racquets
Buy Now: $219.00
Review, Feedback, Demo, Video
  Denis Shapovalov
Yonex VCORE 95 Racquets
Buy Now: $219.00
Review, Feedback, Demo, Video
  Pierre-Hugues Herbert
Yonex VCORE Pro 97 (310) Racquets
Buy Now: $229.00
Review, Feedback, Demo, Video

Page updated on Monday, November 05, 2018
Contact our web team with any corrections