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Tennis vs Diving (Play In Match)

In the first of two play-in matches, tennis takes on diving for the right to move on to play Football in the next round.

Vote Total:64%

Which Sport Creates the Ultimate Athlete?
Winner!

Vote Total:36%

Each week, two sports will engage in a head-to-head heated debate - where high school athletes and expert trainer testimonials will build a case for each sport. Then it’s your turn to chime in and vote.

Rancho Buena Vista (Vista, Calif.) diver Michael Thornbury and Huntington St. Joseph (Huntington, W.Va.) tennis star Max Meade go head to head in defending their sport.  
 

Q: Why is the ultimate athlete in your sport?
 

Meade:  Just think about the running; you’re constantly running after really fast balls on every play and stopping and starting all the time. You’ve got to be really agile and quick and fast. It’s just really an athletic sport. The most athletic.
 

Thornbury:  Because it not only takes a great amount of physical strength; you’ve also got to be mentally in control of your body. Not only when you’re learning a new dive or getting over the fear of it, but also being able to control your body so well that in a millionth of a second you can come out of a tuck at the perfect angle.

 

Q: What is the best example of something you did personally that shows why your sport has the ultimate athlete?
 

Meade:  One time when I was at the net my opponent hit a lob and I had to chase that down all the way back to the baseline. Then I turned around and hit a forehand and a winner. That was pretty tough.
 

Thornbury:  I would probably say doing a double front flip. That was really difficult because I’d become really comfortable with a one-and-a-half and I had to overcome that mentally. With other sports you can work your way up gradually, but with diving you just have to go for it and you either make it or you don’t.

 

Q:  What's the best measure of a true athlete (strength, speed, quickness, agility, etc.)?
 

Meade:  I think it’s probably strength because if you aren’t as fast or agile your strength can help you overcome a lot of those things. Definitely strength in tennis because you can hit the ball harder.
 

Thornbury: I think it’s the control the athlete has over their strength.
 

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