There is no surprise that tennis has been a part of Trevor Foshey’s life since he was 10 years old. Trevor graduated from Mississippi State in 2019 and continued to get better throughout his college career. In fact, he was named the ITA Southern Region Most Improved Senior in 2019. Trevor set himself up for a stellar senior year by ending his junior season as the SEC Tournament MVP in 2018 and made the SEC All-Tournament Team as well. Following his time at Mississippi State, Trevor became the assistant men’s tennis coach for Liberty University who is ranked top 50 in the country. He is in his second season there due to Covid cutting his first year of college coaching short and plans to be there for years to come.
- At what age did you start playing tennis and when did you fall in love with the sport?
I started playing around 10 years old. I played AAU basketball and traveled around the state of Florida and made a decision a couple of months after I started playing tennis to stick to that sport. So from 11 years on it was strictly tennis. There was no way to juggle both sports financially for my family and I.
- What was your junior career like? How prepared did you feel for college tennis come high school graduation?
I was blessed to have some good tough coaches in juniors. They constantly tried to push me. I lived at the tennis courts in Winter Park, FL. We would have to drive an hour each way to the courts. I was homeschooled so I trained in the morning and in the afternoon, 6 hours a day. My mom worked at the tennis center a little bit so I would be there till 10 pm a few days a week. There was definitely a wake-up call for me when going to Mississippi State, freshman year was super tough. The intensity at practice was different and the conditioning was intense well.
- When did you start your recruiting process, and what was it like?
I started getting letters and emails in my junior year of high school. As an American, we commit to schools early to get it done with and show our friends where we are going. I actually did not end up committing until February my senior year although my goal was to commit early. I was interested in a few schools like Notre Dame, Memphis, Arkansas, and Mississippi State. Staying focused on not trying to perform for others but focusing on what you need to do individually is super important. I was able to take 5 official visits and loved them.
- What was it like coming into Mississippi State with 7 other freshmen?
I knew that coming in there was only going to be 2 returners. The reality is that we are all fighting for 4 singles spots, but we did not really see that. I think the coaches did a fantastic job of trying to go away from that mentality and have us understand that we are one team and make each other better. I do not remember ever wondering who is going to play what position. The reality was that we were trying to get through one day at a time because of the toughness of practice and conditioning sessions. We got a lot closer through those challenges.
- What was your biggest challenge as a freshman and how did you overcome it?
The time management issue was the biggest initial challenge for me. Knowing how to balance academics and tennis is a routine and is tough because you need to have balance and consistency. Then, doing those when tired and fatigued makes it even harder.
- Did you enjoy being on a mostly international team? How much did you learn about the other cultures?
I loved it. I was all in. Our team was from all over the world. I did not know what to expect going into college because I never left the U.S to play. Just to see their progress with speaking English or adjusting to the culture was special. To see the struggles and how other people grew up in different countries was unique as well.
- Was there a breakthrough moment during your college career where you felt uber-confident?
Definitely junior and senior year I felt like I was on another level. I would say towards the end of the junior year going into the SEC tournament. I felt like I was solidifying a spot in the lineup and was getting some bigger wins.
- You became more successful as you gained more and more college playing experience. What is attributed to your success junior/senior year?
I think it was just the consistency over a long period of time. I just kept working hard and had people in my corner pushing me. At some point, it pays off. It might not be your freshman or sophomore year but it could be the end of your college career or even your first year on tour. Once the confidence starts to brew and you start to feel like you deserve to win matches you are going to break through.
- You know what it’s like to clinch matches. Can you share some of the emotions from your memorable clinches?
To clinch a match you have to be the slowest to win. I was around such quality players so it makes sense. You either like to be in those moments or you don’t. It can go either way. I had the mentality of I got to be in that moment which a lot of people would love to have. Of course, you do not want to let your team down, but you look away from that mentality. At some point, you have to accept where you are at and play your heart out. It all goes back to trusting your practice and your teammates. When you are so close to your team you want to do everything for them and clinch a match.
- Do you remember your 10 match win streak during your senior year? Does this statistic show how laser-focused you were in your last year of college?
I think that was just a testimonial for everything that I put in. It was a culmination of everything that I had been doing. There was always healthy motivation that helped me a lot.
- At one point during your college career did you decide you wanted to coach college tennis?
I think it was very early on. Of course, I wanted to try and play pro in the beginning, so freshman year that is all I thought about. During my senior year, I definitely knew I was going to be coaching college tennis.
- Since coaching at Liberty what is one thing that you have learned about yourself?
I still had a lot of growing to do in my own spiritual life and on-court life transitioning from player to coach. It was not easy to transition from player to coach. The head coach at Liberty definitely has helped me with that transition. Liberty is very special to me for my life and for my faith.
- Have you developed your own coaching philosophy yet?
It is going to take time. I do not have a philosophy down pat but I am moving towards that. I have had college coaches that are huge mentors to me so I know what I like. I always liked picking my coach’s brains which contributes to a philosophy. I have a lot to get to know. The base to building a team culture and a family is key.
- What is it like coaching guys that are so close in age to you?
These guys are great. They have never seen my age as a negative impact. I am 24 now so I have a few years over them. I can relate to them because I was recently in their shoes. I have been learning to adapt to work with each guy.
15. What is your most memorable experience at Liberty so far?
I would say our win over FAU and our close match with USF is the most memorable experience so far. The road trip was special because we saw our hard work pay off and some adversity as well due to injuries we had. We had a mission trip last year that was super special as well.
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I am praying that God will keep me around college tennis and around Liberty for a little while.
- If you could title a book about your tennis life, what would you title it?
- What advice would you give a college senior looking to coach college tennis?
Work your tail off day in and day out. You need to have a reputation as someone who is working hard. You have to be someone who the head coach is looking for. Work hard and be a leader on your team. Results help, but they come from working hard and being a leader.