By: Patricia Kaowthumrong, Asian Avenue magazine
Playing tennis for more than 20 years has given Fairview High School tennis coach Chad Tsuda’s the opportunity to cumulate the technical skills needed be a successful coach, but also taught him the importance of teaching his players mental skills as well.
“Teams that believe in themselves the most seem to come out on top,” he said. “If I can teach them to believe in themselves, hopefully that goes farther than just the tennis court,” he said.
Born and raised in Boulder, Tsuda attended Fairview High School where he won two state titles in a No. 1 singles spot. He then attended the University of Colorado in Boulder on a scholarship and played tennis for four seasons before the school’s program was discontinued.
He has been coaching Fairview’s boys tennis team for five years now and also teaches at Rich’s Tennis School in Erie with his brother Alan, who has also competed on a national level. Rich Berman, head of the tennis school, was also Tsuda’s coach.
Tsuda always thought playing tennis would take him out of Colorado, but traveling to Europe and the Southern United States to play in tournaments opened his eyes and made him realize how thankful he was to live in his native state.
“Having the opportunity to travel through Europe and play college tennis throughout the states, I felt discrimination first hand, a feeling I did not grow up with,” said Tsuday. “This feeling changed my life. It helped me coach the sport I loved and help others in the process.”
Studying sociology and ethnic studies at CU-Boulder also opened his eyes to diversity and his Japanese-American heritage. Tsuda said his family and friends have also kept him in Colorado. He loves coaching at his old high school; Tsuda said he helped change the team mentality upon his arrival.
“I think when I came in all the players were pretty much happy to just make state,” he said. “I changed their mentality to strive for more and taught them to believe in themselves.
Although the Fairview team has won state titles with individual players, Tsuda hopes to help them achieve a team title.
“A team title is something I’d really like to give back to my high school,” he said.
Last season Tsuda led the team to their highest placing yet under his direction; they came in second after Cherry Creek High. This year he has high hopes for his team to accomplish an even greater title and thinks teaching his players how to focus and be confident are keys to success.