Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Kasteel talks Netherlands

As one of the only international freshman student-athletes in Augustana sports, Arthur Kasteel has brought his unique experience and mentality to the Augustana men’s tennis team.
Q: You played tennis back home in the Netherlands before you came to Augustana. Has it affected your ability to play here in the U.S.?
A: “I’ve played tennis at home (The Netherlands) for 12 years. There, we usually played on clay, which is different from the hardcore surfaces here. On clay, the ball is not that fast and bounces a little differently. I had to immediately work on faster movements at a faster pace on these (U.S.) courts. I even had to adapt my swing, because you don’t have as much time to return the ball as you do on clay.”
Q: Did your pre-season injury also play a role in your abilities?
A: “My injury before I came to Augie made it more difficult to adapt. I had to focus on reconditioning, which tennis helped me do. I needed to make small adjustments and prepare my stroke better to account for it, especially with the hardcore surface.”
Q: What were some of the highlights of your home career?
A: “I competed nationally in 2012, where about 8 teams from all over the country competed. I also won some club tournaments, the first one of which I competed in when I was only 12. I remember that I was nervous, but excited when I played there. We (my team) would always say that we were just there to have fun and to give everything that we had, because every match counted.”
Q: What are some of the main differences between U.S. and Netherlands tennis?
A: “In the Netherlands, we compete by club, whereas in the U.S., you compete by school. We also don’t have as much rivalry on a national level as the U.S. does. Here, it’s a lot about tactics and having a lot of team spirit, but in the Netherlands you’re more expected to be quiet during matches rather than cheering on your teammates. There’s a different chemistry in the U.S., but I like that there is increased competition between schools.”
Q: Why did you choose to play tennis over other sports while in the U.S.?
A: “You have to work together and work with people from other backgrounds. I also like that it (tennis) helps get your mind off stress and school and instead on something fun. Augustana was also the only college of my choices that offered tennis.”
Q: Do you have any “rules of thumb” you play by?
A: “For me this year, the team has been more successful than me. So it’s a huge part of my dynamic as a player to focus on the team. I also believe that if something doesn’t work out in a match or at practice, you need to keep fighting for it. Most of the time, you know you’ve got it in you, but you just have to get it out.”

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Kasteel talks Netherlands