Tennis vs Soccer
In the second matchup of round one, tennis takes on soccer for the right to move on to round two.
Which Sport Creates the Ultimate Athlete?
Tale of the Tape Overview
Each week we will match two sports against each other in a tournament style bracket and you, the fan, can vote for which you think produces top athletes. The winning sport will advance in our tournament bracket and at the end we will crown one sport the "Ultimate Sport". Along with the matchups, we will feature one top athlete from each sport and they will engage in a head-to-head heated debate.
Voting will take place for each matchup Thursday-Wednesday. Good luck!
Crew Soccer Academy standout Nathan Kohl, of Hilliard Darby (Ohio), and Fenton (Mich.) tennis star Madison Ballard go head to head in defending their sports.
Why is the ultimate athlete in your sport?
You have to be in great condition. In spurts, you have to get around somebody, so you have to be quick and strong to get by and hold him off. You have to have the right accuracy on goal to cross a ball in perfectly. You have to be quick, fast and composed.
In tennis, you’re literally fighting someone else to get more points or get further than someone else. You are your own person, and you’re by yourself, fighting your opponent’s mental attitude.
What’s the best measure of an athlete (e.g., strength, speed, quickness, agility, etc.)?
There is more than just one attribute. If you have quickness, speed and can jump, you’re athletic. Usually if you have all three qualities, you can play any sport and be pretty good.
Mental toughness, 100 percent. If I’m on the tennis court, and I’m constantly getting mad at myself, I’m degrading my confidence. When you do that, in any sport, you cannot succeed.
Who’s the best athlete in your sport, past or present?
Cristiano Ronaldo — he’s unbelievable. He can jump, he can run, he’s quick, fast and explosive. He’s definitely the best athlete in soccer, and he could even be better than some football and basketball players, to be honest.
Roger Federer, for the way he glides on the court, his mental attitude and the way he is toward other people. You never really see an athlete behind the scenes, but he puts himself out there, and you can see he’s an all-around nice person. He’s one of my favorite players.
What’s a drill specific to your sport that you’d like to see an athlete who participates in a different sport attempt?
I’d like football or basketball players to try a shooting drill. They don’t understand how hard it is to shoot a ball into a corner so a goalie can’t save it.
The “Z Drill” — a forehand, backhand, an approach shot and then a volley. You have to keep doing it over and over. Then I run five sprints. It gets tiring, and it’s pretty intense. You’ll get upset after a while.
Ultimate Athlete Top Picks
St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) quarterback Josh Rosen defends tennis as the toughest sport.
Paramus Catholic (Paramus, N.J.) cornerback says you have to be a superior athlete to play football.
Star wide reciever says you have to be an ultimate athlete to play football
Whitney Young (Chicago, Ill.) superstar Jahlil Okafor has no doubt that basketball is the top sport
Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.) wide receiver thinks football is the best sport by far.
Whitney Young (Chicago) guard Miles Reynolds is thoroughly convinced that basketball produces the best athletes of any sport.
Westlake (Austin, Texas) cheerleader Kathleen Cooke says cheerleading is definitely a sport
Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Cali.) QB Chase Forrest says you need toughness to play football
Star Makarome won the Class 4A-District 5 singles and doubles championships as a sophomore.
MOC-Floyd Valley star says playing three sports makes her a better athlete
McQuin Baron of Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) is one of the best water polo goalkeepers in the country.
Caesar Rodney (Camden, Del.) three-sport athlete Alexis Prillaman says soccer is his first love
Roselle Catholic (Newark, N.J.) and NJ Playaz star says it's a no brainer for basketball
Papillion-La Vista South (Neb.) star Kelly Hunter is one of the most accomplished high school athletes in the country.
Novi (Mich.) junior golf sensation Garret Buckley’s affection for the game developed at age 4.
Pearland (Texas) softball ace Samantha Show has been honing her craft since age 4.
Boys' Latin lacrosse star follows in his siblings' footsteps and explains why he is an Ultimate Athlete.
The son of a three-time MLB All-Star, the Florida State commit's work ethic is what sets him apart as an ultimate athlete.
Bernie Montoya's runs through the Arizona heat give him the right to call himself an Ultimate Athlete.