For the Love of All Things Tennis

We all know that great athletes are made into great athletes with the help of a well-bought coach who can push them to the furthest degree. But what about those athletes that don't have the wherewithal to hire a good coach? How do they make it on the courts? If your name is Julia Cobian, then your answer is just fine.

"I never had the resources for any sort of coaching so mostly it was showing myself to play,'" said Cobian, who is Santa Monica College's number one ranked tennis player. Cobian was the only woman on the team to make it to the SoCal Regionals, only to lose in the second round.

Her loss doesn't upset her one bit. "The nerves beat me," she said. "But I learn from everything that I go through and this experience has been awesome."

Cobian has not only impressed spectators, but Head Coach Richard Goldenson as well. "Julia is a tough competitor, amazingly coachable and has all the tools, great hands on her volleys and solid groundstrokes.   If she works hard in the off season, she'll dominate the field next season," said Goldenson.

Her interested in tennis first began at the age of seven, when her parents, who themselves are big fans of tennis, took her to a tennis court. "I had no idea what tennis was but it started there and the passion grew."

At Morningside High School, Cobian played the number one spot on the varsity team, in both doubles and singles, for all four years. Pretty good for a freshman with no real coaching. She also played volleyball for a few years, but her competitive level was so high she had to quit. "In tennis if you lose, it's on you," said Cobian, on why she prefers playing tennis to group games.

Her love of tennis is so strong that she switched colleges just to play. Cobian spent last year at Cal State Northridge, but had no time for tennis because of her commute from Manhattan Beach to Northridge everyday. She then decided to come to SMC, which was closer to home and gave her the opportunity to play on the school's tennis team. She still plans on returning to CSUN and getting her degree in civil engineering, but only after she plays another season here at SMC.

Although she didn't have much luck with coaches in her childhood, Cobian is really grateful to her two coaches this season-Richard Goldenson and Adam Davis. "They've been amazing coaches. More than anything they've been great moral support. For me it's been a big mental challenge and they were there step by step, not only physically but also mentally."

And Cobian really is all about conquering the mental setbacks in order to win the physical. "My most memorable game had to be against Ventura College," she said. "I lost the first set, broke down mentally, could feel the blisters on my legs but came back and won the next two sets."

While she dedicates all her free time to tennis, she has ultimate goals to change the world. "In high school I was involved with the MESA program, and in order to do it you really have to look more in depth. I have a lot of ideas on bettering the city and the world," said Cobian.

She is an athlete who loves the challenge, on the courts or in the streets. "I've heard a lot that tennis is an easy sport or not even a sport at all," said Cobian. "I challenge everyone out there to just try it out. And it's not just a girl's sport - boys, girls, any ages, just come out and hit balls!"