Barcelona native Alejandro Reguant leading on and off courts in Tucson
Alexander the Great once said “I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion.”
Sophomore Alejandro Reguant is that latter lion. The co-captain of the Arizona men’s tennis team has helped lead the Wildcats to an overall 8-4 record so far, knocking off an undefeated Nebraska team to wrap up a perfect homestand this past weekend — while also staying undefeated in singles play, extending his unbeaten run to eight matches.
The sweep of NAU and Nebraska came at a crucial point in Arizona’s season, as they were coming off two straight weekends of trips to Indiana and Iowa, which saw the Wildcats take off from Tucson with a 5-1 record, and return with a record of 6-4. Through the turbulent and revealing two weeks, Reguant never even thought about panicking.
“Even though we lost, there are still a lot of positives that we can take away from those two weekends. They were two tough places to play, because it’s just completely different than what we have been training here in Tucson,” Reguant said. “We went to Indiana and Iowa, which are both cold places, and so we had to play indoors. The courts are pretty quick, and the ball doesn’t bounce too much, which is completely different than here, where its hot and the ball bounces a lot higher off the court. I would say it was hard to adapt to the different courts, but the overall team effort was good.”
Despite coming up short both weekends, Reguant and the Wildcats were able to focus on the positives.
“We are still a very young team and all of these freshmen are just starting to experience the different environments and places that we have to play,” Reguant said. “I think our second trip we played much better than the first so that is a good sign that we are improving.”
Starting the season undefeated is no small feat, but the sophomore captain isn’t getting caught up in the stress of maintaining that high standard, channeling the pressure and attention into passion, and that passion into leadership.
“I don’t feel any pressure for myself, the only thing I’m worried about is winning as a team. It doesn’t matter if you win your own match if the team loses,” Reguant said. “Even if you win you’re still disappointed because the team lost. Obviously, it gives me confidence because I’m playing pretty well right now, and I am confident about my tennis, but my concern is more about the team than myself.”
But even for a natural leader like Reguant, it’s one thing to have those traits — it’s a whole other game to not only apply them, but to have them make a positive impact in the people around you. That process didn’t come easily at first for the sophomore.
“At the beginning it was hard because I have never been captain of a team, and I really didn’t know what I was supposed to do most of the time. I have been working with coach, and with all of my teammates and I think I am learning,” Reguant said. “I would say next year this role is going to be a lot better, and I want to improve my leadership skills every year.”
As he continues to adapts to the ever-growing and daily responsibility of being a team captain, the little nuances that make up the lead role isn’t lost on the Barcelona, Spain native.
“Being a captain, you need to always be at your highest level. You need to always be present, you need to come to practice with your maximum effort and maximum energy because you need to set an example for your teammates,” Reguant said. “I wouldn’t say that is hard, because I have a lot of passion, but you just can’t take any days off, you can’t relax, you can’t have a loose practice and that’s the hardest part of being captain I would say.”
Reguant appreciates being team captain and enjoys what the role entails.
“I like being a captain because I love the team environment, and I love being on the same page as my teammates, but it’s not that hard here because everyone is so goal oriented that I don’t have to worry about that,” Reguant said.
As the Arizona men’s tennis team continues to build a contagious culture fueled by youthful energy in the team, the maturity that comes with time and experience will only solidify the foundation currently being set. Even as a sophomore, while still adjusting to life in a brand new country, Reguant has emerged as one of the cornerstones that this young team is built upon.
While Reguant settles in to his second season of college tennis, he is looking to pass the lessons he learned his freshman year on to the four other freshman on the team; how to find their feet in a competition that they are not used to — and for three of the freshman, how to adapt to a country that they just moved to months ago.
“We are a lot more talented this year than we were last year, but since we have a lot of young guys they need to realize that college tennis is a completely different sport than junior tennis,” Reguant said. “College tennis is all about fighting, and who wants it more is going to win. So I think we need to develop this mindset of wanting it more than the other team, which we are on the right track to do that. As we play more and more the young guys will realize what it’s all about and we are going to do better once that happens.”
As the lion-like leadership of Reguant continues to mold this team into its fullest potential, the herd of sheep that has followed him are turning into lions, by watching and listening to his every move. Before you know it, the Wildcats will be a pack of lions, and Reguant will be at the front, roaring for all to hear.
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