Boys tennis: Coach of the year Tim Shideler is a man of many hats
By Josh Lichtenfeld Post-Tribune correspondent November 26, 2012 11:12PM
Valparaiso's Tim Shideler is the Post-Tribune boys tennis coach of the year. | Andy Lavalley~Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 28, 2012 6:23AM
To say Valparaiso boys’ tennis coach Tim Shideler maintains a busy schedule is a significant understatement.
Between coaching his alma mater, giving lessons as a certified instructor at Northwest Athletic Club in Michigan City, being a parent to children in spread out age groups, and owning and maintaining a local chain of businesses, Shideler is a man of many hats.
“It’s great to be able to work at the sport that you love and give that to the community as much as you can,” Shideler said about tennis.
In fact, while a lot of leaders may have stepped away after the graduation of their own child from the team, Shideler has remained for two years and counting since the exit of his standout son Marc in 2010. It’s this drive that has helped the elder Shideler continue to build on the Vikings recent trend as one of the strongest threats in the state.
In the most recent chapter of Valparaiso’s success, the top team in the ultra-competitive Duneland Conference rebounded from a hard-to-swallow loss in the 2011 regional to make its second trip in three years to the state quarterfinals. Shideler’s team turned early pit stops into big finishes. And for his leadership amongst the odds, the Valparaiso native is the 2012 Post-Tribune Boys Tennis Coach of the Year.
An interesting twist to the scenario is that after a statewide realignment of the tournament and end to the Vikings streak of regional titles in 2011, Shideler wasn’t necessarily forecasting another trip to the big stage.
“Starting the season we didn’t know what to expect, so we didn’t have a goal to go to state,” he said following Valparaiso’s 18-4 season.
Instead of looking for redemption or looking to add more accolades this year, Shideler kept a relatively simple outlook from match-to-match.
“In practice we worked on things that would keep them positive — making them believe in how good they are is something that we always talked about,” Shideler said.
So, when the Vikings lost 4-1 in September to Culver Academies, Shideler and the boys used the match as a point of reference for their eventual showdown with the Eagles at semistate. And before that rematch, they also retooled against the same Penn team that knocked them out in 2011, with a similar 3-2 outcome in the most recent regional battle.
“Take care of what you can,” Shideler said of the team’s attitude.
To go along with senior standouts Ben Kalisch (first-team all-state list at No. 1 singles) and Marty Pochop (second-team all-state list at No. 2 singles), Shideler also saw others in the program step up their efforts.
With a number of this year’s squad moving on to graduation, Shideler will be back in rebuilding mode before next fall.
“We have a good core of kids that are coming up, but you don’t replace a Ben or a Marty,” he said. “The guys that are coming back are just looking forward to playing next year.”