Tiedemann's proudest moment in college sports was playing well enough to be on the varsity roster.
Bobby Tiedemann - Sophomore tennis player at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota
CHS Class of 2016
Major - Business Finance and Business Data Analytics
Career Hopes - Move back to Crookston and farm with his father, grandfather and uncle
Other CHS Sports - Hockey and Soccer
How did you decide to play tennis collegiately?
My two favorite sports were always hockey and tennis growing up. I thought about playing junior hockey and went to tryouts. I had a couple colleges talk to me about tennis and at the time, I just felt like tennis was the right thing to do. I really liked St. Mary’s so I gave it a shot and I’ve enjoyed it since.
What other schools were you considering?
For tennis it was St. Mary’s and St. Scholastica for the two main ones. I knew I wanted to get a little ways away from home so I don’t come back on weekends. It was a little warmer at St. Mary’s and the campus is beautiful. I really liked the coach so I made the decision pretty quickly.
What was your biggest accomplishment in high school sports?
I would say going to state my junior and senior year with the tennis team. The team atmosphere is a totally different experience than individually. It’s fun to have all the guys down there and we had some fun 4-3 wins down there. My senior year, I placed third at state in doubles.
What is your biggest accomplishment in collegiate sports?
After playing some challenge matches at the beginning of the year, I played really well and ended up making the varsity roster list. I was really proud of that because I had to work hard in practice to beat out some of the other players on the team.
Who was your favorite coach in high school?
How did Coach Geffre help you with your game in high school and what is something he did or said that has stuck with you?
I had a lot of success with him over the years. He’s a great coach and he’d always have us playing our best tennis come section time. He’s definitely a winning coach. He would always say, “Keep your hands at the net and close the net.” That’s one thing I always think about.
What did you notice as a big difference between playing in high school and playing in college?
In high school our season is short. But in college, it seems like there’s much more strategy involved like trying to pick out your opponent’s weakness and trying to expose it. Every match is tough.
What surprised you at your first college practice?
Everybody hit the ball so well and the pace, consistency and depth is just amped up from high school. People have more spin and hit it deeper so it’s much harder to win points and matches are so much more of a grind.
What is your daily routine when in season?
I wake up an hour before classes, go to classes, then get homework done between classes. I get home and get hydrated before practice, then I go to practice and I’ll come home and finish up any homework or hang out with friends.
What do you miss about playing in Crookston?
I really loved just playing for the town. Our section matches always had a bunch of people supporting us. It was a great community to play for.
What is your trick to keep up with classwork and stay consistent in your game?
It’s different because you’ll go to class for only four hours a day maybe and there’s a lot more free time. You have to make sure you prioritize your time or you’ll just fall behind. That’s one thing I had to figure out my first few semesters. I have a planner and that’s big to stay organized. Otherwise, I’d forget about assignments.
Does playing a sport help you manage your time?
Yes, definitely. In the spring when it’s tennis season, I find myself timing things better because I know I have to get things done. But in the fall, sometimes I’ll put things off.
How has playing collegiately helped you prepare for life after school and sports?
In college, you’re not winning every match. The players and talent is just too good sometimes. It’s good to learn how to deal with defeat and rebound from it, try to work harder and succeed next time. Dealing with defeat is a huge part of life and you need to learn how to handle it.
How do you plan to stay around the game once you've graduated?
I would like to after I graduate stay involved with tennis. I love the game and want to continue to play for the rest of my life.
Do you think you'll be mentally ready when your collegiate career ends?
After graduation, it will be different never competing in competitive sports again so I think that will be strange. But I will be able to handle by doing other activities I enjoy such as hunting and fishing.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about playing a sport in college?
I would say work your hardest in high school and try every day to make yourself a better player. Practice is where you improve. You can’t just show up at games or matches and play well. Talk to coaches and reach out to them. My sister, Ally, asked me how I enjoyed it and I said it’s where I’ve made my best friends.
Did you try and recruit your sister, Ally, to play tennis there?
I know the coach really wanted her to come. I told her we’d like to have her, but in the end, it’s her decision. She chose Duluth and I think she’ll really like it.