This week is the final profile for the Stars in the States series, but next week sport reporter Adyn Ogle talks to three young athletes who are heading Stateside later this year.
Name: Niko Barr
University: North Carolina A&T State
City: Greensboro, NC
STAYING on top of school work is as important as staying on top of the bounce for tennis ace Niko Barr.
The 19-year-old has nearly completed a year at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University where he studies business economics.
Barr said he missed friends, good food and the beach but meeting new people was what he enjoyed most about being overseas, as well as being part of a team.
Barr said he had learned to manage his time better in the United States.
“In terms of time management, I wasn’t that bad at it before college, but in college you have to get on top of your school work in order to be able to relax and not worry about getting all your work done on the last few days.
As a college athlete you don’t have that much time for study because of match play and training.
After your weight training and tennis training you feel tired and work takes longer to complete.”
Barr became a regular number one for the Whakatane team in the premier interclub side and won two club titles before he moved to the US last year.
In that time, Barr showcased his strong baseline game and said there are things he needed to work to improve his tennis.
“I believe the right mind set and preparation are crucial in order to be successful.
“In order to become better at tennis I feel I will have to work on my explosiveness of getting to the ball quicker.
“Playing in division one tennis, I feel I have improved on my footwork in terms of being able to get to most balls but I need to become quicker with my set up and get used to playing with high intensity.”