By Jonathan Hevron for WVUsports.com
September 26, 2013 10:26 AM
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Citius. Altius. Fortius. That is the motto of the Olympic Games meaning faster, higher and stronger. But what it does not mean is faster, higher or stronger than your opponent; just faster, higher and stronger.
Much like the Olympic motto, first year West Virginia University tennis coach Miha Lisac has been preaching a similar message to his squad since taking over in September.
“The path that we are taking is recognizing where we are, and most importantly, dedicating to the process of getting better,” says Lisac, former head coach at Georgia State. “The starting point is the starting point. What we are concerned about is dedicating ourselves to the process of getting better.”
On the top of Lisac’s to-do list is to create a team environment in Morgantown. With the Mountaineers traveling to Air Force Academy, Colo., for the Air Force Academy Invitational on Sept. 27, the squad will have a short period to come together under his new guidance.
“They must enjoy the process together and not just be working hard and improving when it comes to the tennis courts,” Lisac says. “We are building an environment where we all enjoy the process and grow together.”
Process. It is a common word in Lisac’s coaching philosophy and a crucial ingredient to the message of success.
“We are talking about dedication, hard work and commitment,” says Lisac. “We must institute those things when it comes to preparation on the tennis court, in the classroom and when it comes to building a close team. I am looking for someone who fits into all of those aspects that can help the team take overall steps forward.”
The Velenje, Slovenia, native credits his coaching style to his own experience and playing background. Before becoming a coach, Lisac was a four-year letterwinner at Georgia State and was a two-time All-Atlantic Sun Conference selection for the Panthers.
“Being an international student-athlete and going through the transition of moving away from my family to come to the United States and experiencing the whole process myself allows me to better help the young ladies that go through the same transition every single year,” Lisac says.
WVU’s fall season features the Air Force Academy Invite, a trip to the University of Akron, the ITA Regionals in Charlottesville, Va., and the Big Green Invitational in Hanover, N.H.; all trips the team will take under their newly welcomed leader and his message.