Blood, sweat, and tears, that’s what True North Academy tennis player, Dylan Chang pours into the game every time he steps on the court.
It wasn’t something that Chang did right away, but since he started playing as a four-year-old, and had great mentors, he picked up those skills quickly.
During his appearance at the 2022 FHSAA State Championship, we were able to learn more about Chang, how it feels to graduate early, his collegiate plans, and what he does to elevate his performance.
Chang has a couple of major influences in his life when it comes to tennis, and two of them have been there every step of the way. “My uncles were the ones who got me involved. They coach at the Tennis Academy,” he said.
His uncles, Kev and Andre, have each contributed in their own ways, teaching Chang different aspects of the game that he uses every day.
“Uncle Kev taught me how to hit a one hander because my two used to be horrible,” Chang said. Uncle Andre on the other hand has worked with Chang on the mental aspect of tennis. “Uncle Andre builds up my confidence level and everything.”
He also mentioned two other people that have shaped him into the player he is. “My main coach, Coach Wilson, taught me everything I know right now.” Chang also shouted out his older sister as “she really helped me a lot.”
His two uncles coach at True North, so despite being homeschooled he chose to compete for them. He put on a memorable performance at the FHSAA State Championship, while representing True North.
The True North Academy standout took home the Overall Doubles Championship, finished runner-up in the Overall Singles draw, and his team fell a line short of playing for a state title.
Right after that loss in the team play, Chang asked us to give him some time because he needed to go cheer up his teammates and be a true leader. When we asked him what ‘team’ meant to him he said, “To me it means family, that’s what we build our team around.”
Even though he is a great leader off the court, while he’s on it, Chang finds the most fun from playing singles. “I like to fight out there, three-hour grind matches even though my body can’t take it, but I still like to go out there and compete.”
Chang is set to graduate high school early and plans to take some college courses and train before setting off on his college journey. “My dream school is UT Austin [Texas],” he said. He lived in Texas until he was 12 and used to watch his sister compete at tournaments in the area and fell in love with it.
Check out the full interview