If there was every a man who exemplified true love for tennis, it is Bill Kellogg. To say that Mr. Kellogg is active in the tennis community would be an understatement. Mr. Kellogg is the president of the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club, and serves as the tournament director for the 2010 National Hard Court Championships here at the club. He is also a competitor in the Men's 40's Doubles Hard Court Championships.
Sitting down with him was a great opportunity, and it was amazing to meet a man who believes in this sport and what it can do. Not only does he have a great tennis career under his belt, but he also is now the President of the Southern California Tennis Association. This is a man with many different commitments and activities, and he handles them all with grace and a smile. TAnd to think, he almost played baseball...
Racket- Wilson Pro Staff Hyper Carbon
String- Wilson Synthetic Gut
Tension- 62 lbs.
Why did you start playing tennis?
My mother used to take me out to the public park and hit with me. Also, my dad played in a tennis match every weekend with his friends. Well, it was his turn to watch me on the weekends, so I would go and sit and watch them play. Sometimes, after the sets, they would let me hit with them. That would really be the highlight of my day! Then, I would go home and hit the ball against the garage door. It was always my goal to knock a hole in the garage door. I never did.
When did you really begin to take tennis seriously?
Actually this was a big decision. I was 12 years-old, and I was playing both little league baseball and tennis. At that moment I wanted to qualify for a national tournament, but I was still pitching for my baseball team. It was hard to decide, but I ultimately thought tennis would be the best path for me.
How was playing college tennis at Dartmouth?
It was good! I played #1 at Dartmouth for all four years, and served as the captain of the team. Actually, as a senior I was selected to play in an All Ivy League doubles team league. To this day, I still have the best win/loss record at the school.
What did you learn from this experience?
You really learn how to compete. You are forced to play in different conditions with all different types of people. It is a struggle to learn how to control anxiousness when playing competitively.
What was your proudest moment in your tennis career?
I have a few really proud moments. I would say that being ranked #1 in the Men's 35's was really exciting for me. But, I would say that getting to play with my daughter in the Father/Daughter Championships, and win the whole tournament was a really proud moment for me.
What was a really big challenge for you during your tennis career?
I would say that opponents that aren't very good sports are very challenging to play against. Especially in the juniors, there are so many kids that want to win too much. They end up resorting to cheating and using bad line calls. It is something you just have to learn to deal with.
What would be one piece of advice you would give to fellow tennis players?
Don't take it too seriously. Always remember that it's a game, and it's meant to be fun!