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Noah Rubin’s “Behind The Racquet” with Sam Schröder • Tennis | 10sBalls

Editor’s note: 10sBalls thanks Noah Rubin for giving us permission to repost these great stories.

“Tennis has had a huge impact on my life, starting when I discovered wheelchair tennis and the possibility of exercising while in a wheelchair. In 2017, I was diagnosed with colon cancer. I underwent 25 rounds of radiation therapy, chemotherapy and had major surgery. Despite all of this, I still played tennis once a week, even if I could only practice for 15 minutes. Tennis was that important to me. I genuinely believe tennis saved me.

Last year, I won the US Open. I had received a wild card because it was the first Grand Slam I had ever played. This win solidified my place at the top of wheelchair tennis and got rid of my status as an underdog. Now I know I can win, as long as I am physically and mentally at the top of my game. Therefore, I have been putting more emphasis on meeting with my mental coach.

On the court, I stand out because I’m able to play defense while looking for that small opportunity to bend the rally into a play where I can be offensive and finish the point with a winner. I stand out because I am the only top-ranked player who plays with a hand brace.

It’s very natural to have a fear of failure. You have to learn how to control this fear so it does not affect you during matches. All of us have a specific goal. For most of us, this goal is to compete in the Paralympics and return home with a gold medal. We work towards this goal for years without much rest so there is a certain fear of underperforming when it matters most. I have this fear because I have put so much into my dream. I regularly work with my mental coach to make sure that I will be prepared for the Paralympics.

There have been a lot of painful moments in my life, starting from the time I was a kid. I spent a lot of my youth in hospitals and had many surgeries to fix my hands and feet. I regularly broke bones and missed a lot of school. But none of that compared to when I was diagnosed with colon cancer. I had just turned 18 years old and had qualified for my first Wheelchair Tennis Masters event. This diagnosis was unexpected and very difficult to process. But we all stayed positive. It was a very difficult time for all of us, but I became a stronger person mentally. This journey was one of the biggest reasons I have had so much success over the past few years, why I am able to fully dedicate myself to tennis on and off the court, and why I will keep fighting for every single point during a match, because having cancer taught me to never give up.”

Sam Schröder (@schroder.sam)


You can check out more Behind The Racquet stories on the link below:

Facebook | Behind The Racquet

Twitter | @BehindTRacquet

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Also listen to Noah Rubin’s Podcast

Behind the Racquet Pod Mike Cation & Noah Rubin/Tennis Channel Podcast Network

and check out his new clothing line!