Many young people who play sports have a very similar dream, graduate high-school and go straight to the pros, college is not a part of the plan. But Eddie Landin knew from the age of 12 that his passion and talent for tennis was about more than just playing professionally.
His goal growing up was to be good enough to get a scholarship for college and then work on getting a degree, then possibly try to compete at a higher level. In fact, when the hotel management major was asked what his goal was after leaving Georgia Southern, he quickly responded, “Start working for the hotel industry.” He added he would like to try the professional tour for a few years because taking away tennis would be taking away a part of his life and he would miss the adrenaline of being in matches.
The junior from Los Cabos, Mexico went 4-0 in the opening tournament this season. Landin, however, does not dwell on his recent success. Instead he tries to clear his mind and just focus on the present.
“I always try to forget my previous matches. Whatever happened, happened and you can be playing very different tennis in the next match. You can be playing really good or you can be playing really bad, so you just have to deal with what you’re having that day and see every game as the same,” Landin said.
It is this attitude that led Landin to have one of the top ten personal records in GS history last spring, and helped the tennis team also reach their best record in almost 30 years.
To mentally prepare for a match, Landin will think the night before about exactly what he needs to do to win. Then when he wakes up in the morning, he will start playing music, but instead of having music to hype him up, Landin prefers soothing tunes.
“For me if I put too much excitement in my system, I’ll be all over the place. I won’t be hitting the ball where it needs to be hit. I need to be calm before the match. I always tell myself calm mind and quick feet. Always stay calm in your mind so you can make the right decisions, but you have to have your body moving quick because the game is so fast,” Landin said.
Even with his talent, Landin is very superstitious and takes every precaution he can to ensure he plays to the top of his abilities. In his junior year of high school, he would remember what shirts he would wear during a win and also during a loss. Then when finals would come around he would make sure to only wear the shirts he had won in. If it was a hot day and Landin used sunscreen during a match, then he ended up losing that match, he would remember during a later game, “the last time I put sunscreen on I lost,” and would in turn wake up the next day with red arms.
After coming off a difficult weekend in Florida and playing against his first top 15 ranked team, he reflected on his mistakes, believing he beat himself.
“Sometimes you get intimidated just by the name of the school, but you realize that it is just a shirt that they are wearing. I never felt like they were on top of me all the time during the game. I never felt that I was very pressured or that they were winning every single point, it was just me making errors. It is just the mental part,” Landin said.
Landin is very excited to play Alabama State and South Carolina State at home this weekend and intends to “defend the nest.” He also said the team is “working very hard on winning the conference tournament.”