Eddie Landin’s journey from Los Cabos to Statesboro

Derik Wuchte

In the fall, things began to click for sophomore Eddie Landin. He found himself winning entire flights without dropping matches, winning through consolation rounds and reaching the finals in some tournaments. This change in his playstyle and mindset has begun to carry over into the spring. The Eagles are 4-2 now and, with Landin heading the number three spot at a 4-1 record, they will be looking to make strides until the season ends in April.

The Drive

Hailing from Los Cabos, Mexico, Landin has made tennis a major part of his life. To him, the sport is more than just two out of three sets. It is a passion. Having come here to Georgia Southern, he has learned a lot about himself and the way college operates. It is a team sport.

“Before coming to college, the thing that was special about tennis is that you only depend on yourself,” Landin said. “You don’t have to depend on someone. But now that you’re in college, it’s a team thing. Everyone has to be onboard and giving it their best.”

When a player finds themselves reaching that level of understanding, the sport changes. It becomes about time and effort. Someone is no longer grinding for individual success; he is now deciding to work harder for the benefit of everyone else on the team.

“You have to put a lot of time in the sport,” Landin said. “I feel that, with tennis, there’s so many things that you can improve on. There’s so many things that you have to do in order to get better. If you really like the sport, you are set. If you don’t like the sport, it’s going to take so much time out of you. It’s so demanding sometimes.”

The Journey

International players, such as Landin, have a number of reasons for playing college tennis in the United States. One of the primary ones is opportunity. Landin saw Southern as a chance to be part of a new level of competition. This was going to be a new part of his life that he wanted to try out.

“Where I live, in Mexico, there wasn’t that much tennis level,” Landin said. “When I reached 13 years old, there was no one to play tennis with. I had to travel to different cities, look for tennis academies and so on. Since I was 13, I left my parents in order to keep improving. I’ve met a lot of people all around the world: In Mexico; I was Canada for two years; out here in the states.”

From such a young age, Landin has traveled across the world. It has been in the pursuit to grow stronger as a player and become better at the sport of tennis. Even now in college, the traveling does not stop. It is part of why Landin loves the sport and why he is thankful for being here.

“For me, it has been a journey. A big journey.”

The Difference

Having come here to Southern, there have been experiences Landin never would have anticipated. The normal college tennis match is much different than any other normal tennis match. It is typically livelier with a much louder crowd. Landin has learned to like how college works and the idea that every match on that day matters to team success.

“The college atmosphere; the team atmosphere. I’ve never had that before. When you play juniors, as I said, it’s all on you. There’s no one really there for you. When you are on a team, you have each other’s backs. You are training your partner right next to you on the next court. The intensity is way more.”

“It’s funny sometimes. Say if you are playing in the match and you are visiting another university. You make not very good calls, but not intentionally. All the crowd goes to you and starts saying stuff to you. You are just playing around with everyone: the crowd, the opponent; everyone.”

In contrast to what Landin said, with the team counting on each individual player’s success, the pressure is much more. To clinch a match means to be the deciding victor. It means obtaining that 4th point that will give the team the win.

“You get way more nerves, especially if you have to clinch. Those have been one of my toughest moments,” Landin said.

“In doubles last year, I used to play with former senior Kyle Hoffman. We had several matches played in doubles together. We were at the point where we were at the last court playing. We had to clinch for that point. Some moments, we did it right and we got the clinch. Sometimes, it was the other way around.”

The Future

After college tennis, players either continue with the sport or they find themselves returning to a normal life. It varies, but Landin has an idea of what he wants already.

“I’m thinking of being an assistant coach so I can also do my masters and get more education,” Landin said. “Maybe I would like to try the pro tour for one year, two years to travel around and everything. Knowing that now I have my degree, I can do a little bit of traveling, working with people and playing in tournaments. Otherwise, I think I’ll go back home. I’m a hotel management major and where I live in Mexico, it’s very touristy. That’ll be another plan.”

As a sophomore right now, there are still a few years left for Landin’s career to develop. He has already made it this far, however, and he is always looking to improve. Tennis has done a lot for his life. The journey is only reaching its halfway point for his college career. There is a lot left to be said before it’s over and Landin has no expectations of slowing down before this journey ends.

Georgia Southern will be competing against North Carolina Central and Coastal Caroline this weekend of Feb. 20. Their first home match of the season will be at the Wallis Tennis Center next Friday on Feb. 26.