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September 22, 2005 - Image 11

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2005-09-22

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 22, 2005 - 11A

Hun no
. stranger to
toughneSS
dy Bryan Hamilton
For the Daily
It's match point.
The opponent is serving, and you're trying to
break him.
The crowd is deafening and you pant in
exhaustion.
The match time has breached two hours.
What separates you from your opponent?
According to Brian Hung, a junior on the Mich-
igan men's tennis team, it's mental toughness.
"When it comes down to it, everyone's game
is just about the same," Hung said. "What really
separates the best players from the average is
their mental toughness on the court."
Realizing the importance of such a mental
edge, Hung chose to spend his summer partici-
pating in professional and collegiate tourna-
ments around the world. Most notably, the Hong
Kong native had the privilege of representing
his country in the World University Games held
in Turkey this past August. In their 46th year
of existence, the games give collegiate athletes
throughout the world the opportunity to play
against select players in nearly every collegiate
sport.
Though it may seem like a big deal to play on
such a stage representing one's country, it is a
familiar role for Hung.
"I've been representing Hong Kong in juniors
tournaments since I was 12 years old," Hung
said. "It's a situation I'm pretty used to and com-
fortable being in."
Such experience and comfort level proved
valuable in the games. Chosen to play in singles,
doubles and mixed doubles matches, Hung and
doubles partner Jack Hui were able to defeat a
duo from Thailand. In mixed doubles, Hung and
partner Kuen Lam experienced more success,
beating a pair from Thailand and Italy, before
being outmatched by the top-seeded tandem of
Chinese Taipei in the semi-finals.
Success at such a young age may seem sur-
prising, but for Hung, early success has been a
pattern in his life. He picked up the game at the
age of 3 1/2 while watching his older brother and
father playing at a hometown tennis club. The
club had an age minimum of six to be allowed to
play at the facility but chose to make an excep-
tion for Hung when it saw his ability to swing
the racket and grasp-the game. A skill that would
certainly prove useful at the collegiate level.
When deciding where to attend college, Hung
looked for a university that would make a simi-
lar exception.
"I wanted to be able to play right away," Hung
said. "Many of the schools I was looking at were
going to have me on the bench or playing as a

. MEN'S GOLF
Duff beats injury
to shine in opener

Eileen Hengel
For the Daily
Senior Brandon Duff always
expected himself to start the season
strong. Unfortunately, he also expect-
ed to end the last season strong. After
the first individual tournament of the
2004-05 season, Duff noticed his
shoulder was tight. When he lifted
his book bag or swung his nine iron,
the pain would not go away. Benched
for observation after the first tourna-
ment, doctors diagnosed Duff late in
the fall season.
"Eventually I got it checked out, and
I had strained my labrum and rotator
cuff," Duff said.
Coming off the opening tournament
of this year - the Iowa Individual
- Duff led the Wolverines with a sev-
enth-place individual finish while the
team finished third overall.
"I knew that I wanted to start the
season really strong, and I always
expected myself to play confidently in
the first tournament," Duff said. "I had
not anticipated starting and ending last
season at the same tournament."
Nevertheless, Duff did not let the
injury deter him from his training.
Throughout the year, Duff visited a
physical therapist regularly and kept
himself active by practicing putting
and other less-rigorous elements of
his game.
"Over the summer, I did a lot of
physical therapy and played in some
tournaments around the state to get
ready for the season," Duff said.

Going into the first tournament,
Duff had not played in Big Ten compe-
tition since the 2003-04 season, but he
remained confident.
"Coming into the (Iowa Individual),
I wasn't nervous," Duff said. "When
I am on the course, I am concentrat-
ing on playing golf. I am usually more
excited on the course. And especially
for the first tournament, I was excited
to get back into Big Ten play."
As one of the team's four seniors,
Duff realizes this season is his last
opportunity to win the Big Ten title.
"We hope that he just gets bet-
ter," fourth-year coach Andrew Sapp
said. "All he has to do is work on his
golf game and get off to a fast start.
With confidence, he will continue to
improve."
. Duff's injury deferred what he con-
sidered to be a potentially successful
2004-05 season.
"Late in the fall, (Duff) was diag-
nosed and was just cleared in March to
play," Sapp said. "I didn't know what
he would be able to do this year, com-
ing off the injury. But I knew that Bran-
don had the talent, and we've expected
this from him since the beginning."
Duff's finish, along with senior
Christian Vozza's and freshman Bill
Rankin's top-10 individual perfor-
mances, automatically qualified the
trio for the Wolverine Intercollegiate in
Ann Arbor on Sept. 24-25.
"This season, our team is very deep
with a lot of returning players," Duff
said. "Our hopes are that we have high
finishes in every tournament."

EUGENE ROBERTSON/Daily
Junior Brian Hung has played extensively while representing Hong Kong in International tournaments. Over the
summer, Hung participated in singles, doubles and mixed doubles matches at the World University Games In Turkey.

low-seeded player my first year. By coming to
Michigan, I was able to play No. 3 singles and
No. 1 doubles as a freshman."
It looks like playing Hung right away was a
beneficial move for the Wolverines. In each of
his first two seasons, Hung led the Wolverines in
overall singles victories, and he helped the team
finish third in the Big Ten last year.
But in order for Hung to take his game to
the next level, he needs an approach that goes
beyond the everyday regimen of practice.
"For me, it's about the mental part of the
game," Hung said. "I used to get down on myself
when I wasn't doing well out on the court. This

year, I really need to believe in myself more."
Whether mental toughness is achieved through
simply adopting a winning attitude or by chal-
lenging oneself against top-notch players, Hung
believes he's mentally ready to take that next
step.
"I really think that playing against some of the
top players from other countries will only help
me get better against collegiate players this year,"
Hung said. "It really helped my confidence."
If Hung is right, and mental toughness real-
ly is what separates good from great, then his
experiences this summer will propel him toward
a great season.

SPIKERS
Continued from page 10A
talks to her teammates one-on-one
and gives them the individual atten-
tion that they so frequently need.
Coming into a program with such
high standards and aspirations, the
captains take educating the younger
players very seriously. They take
time out to teach their teammates
about what it means to be a Michigan
student athlete. As captains, their
job doesn't end when they leave the
gym. They understand that, as lead-
ers, they have to wear many hats.
"Sometimes it's encouragement,
sometimes it's pushing and some-
times it's challenging them a little
bit," Rosen said of Cobler, Bruzdz-
inski and Miller. "I think they fulfill
all of those roles at different times.

They are playing well, they are f1ad-
ing by example, and making sure to
educate the younger players on what
the expectations are and what col-
lege life is like."
Despite the fact that it's still early
in the season, the Wolverines have
already been through quite a bit.
They got off to a rocky start before
coming back to win both the Michi-
gan Pepsi/Nike Invitational and the
Georgia Invitational. Even though
the team is happy with its recent
success, the captains have a slightly
different perspective on the team's
progression.
"I feel like it is my responsibility
as well as the other captains' to lead
us in the direction that we need to
go and to make sure we are always
getting better and always looking
forward," Cobler said.

University of Michigan Ph.D. students,
Postdocs, Fellows, Scientists/Researchers, and
Masters students* are invited to attend a
presentation about consulting careers
given by McKinsey & Company:
Friday, September 23, 2005 at 4:00 p.m.
Michigan Union - Pendleton Room
or
Friday, September 30, 2005 at 4:00 p.m.
North Campus IQE Building '- Room 1610
www.apd.mckinsey.com

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