SAN ANTONIO – Jackson Ross’ tennis career began early: he started playing at six, his first tournament was at nine and four years later, he began homeschooling via Laurel Springs in order to devote more time to the sport that ultimately would earn him an Auburn athletic scholarship.
“I think for myself I’ve been able to work really hard and it’s found my motivation for a certain thing and I’ve been able to go after it a lot and so I think it’s taught me how to be determined and how determined I can be whenever I really want something,” Ross said.
Ross, an FIT High Performance Tennis Academy product, spends five to six hours a day training on the court and at the gym and is currently ranked in the top 300 in the world in the International Tennis Federation junior tennis rankings.
Michael Castillo, FIT’s Director and head coach, said he’s seen Ross improve the mental component to his game more than any other attribute.
“He has that passion even more than before than before,” Castillo said. “So that’s a good sign. That’s what he was telling me before like keep helping him, keep working with him because he was listening. I saw that passion on him.”
Ross has traveled to countries such as Bolivia and Costa Rica as a part of a rigorous tournament schedule, matching up with the best junior players in the world while competing in both singles and doubles matches. The competition aside, international play has allowed Ross to experience other customs and lifestyles.
“Every country has a different culture,” he said. “And if you’re able to realize the different cultures that are around you, I think it helps you live the culture that you live better...There’s a lot of times where I’ll go to countries where you’ll see a lot of people who don’t have as much money as us, but they’re still living great lives, they’re still really happy. I think that’s something to think about a bit.”
Ross will compete in both singles and doubles competition at Auburn.