Five Questions for Sean Dizon...SF Native, Player and Coach
San Francisco native Sean Dizon is the Associate Tennis Director at the YMCA Presidio and the assistant coach of the University of San Francisco women’s tennis team.
Sean was a ranked junior in Northern California from 1992-1998 and was the AAA All-City High School Champion for Lowell High School in 1998, helping the school win the league title all four years. Sean then played NCAA Division 1 tennis for the University of San Francisco, and went on to play for various USTA League teams in District, Sectional, and National competitions. Sean is still an avid USTA League player and is currently captaining a 9.5 combo team.
1.How did you first get into tennis?
I learned the sport from my father. He was an avid 4.5 tennis player who took up the game in his 30's and played NTRP Tournaments and USTA League. He and my mother supported me and took me to USTA Norcal tournaments as a junior growing up.
2.How has tennis changed in San Francisco from when you were growing up?
Tennis in San Francisco has definitely grown since my childhood. There are more people participating in recreational leagues and more juniors enrolled in clinics and academies. I grew up playing at Golden Gate Park and SFSU on weekends and the courts were always busy, but I would say they’re even busier now which is great for the game.
3.You just played in the San Francisco City Championships and won 5.0 mixed doubles with Daisy Maunupau and were a finalist for the 5.0 men's doubles with Alex Kotlyar. What were some highlights from your matches?
I grew up playing at Golden Gate Park so it was exciting to play at the Goldman Tennis Center in an official tournament. Daisy’s father Lou Maunupau was my high school coach so it was fun to play mixed doubles with his daughter. As for my 5.0 men’s partner, I’ve known Alex for years ever since I started coaching when he was 12. The highlight in the mixed doubles final was coming back after being down. In the 5.0 men’s division, Alex and I were able to play three matches together and reach the finals. We had some very close sets but just being able to compete was so much fun.
4.What is the most rewarding part of coaching and what advice do you have for players getting ready for a match?
It’s been gratifying watching all the people I’ve coached over the years improve as players and people. The tennis community is so small that everywhere I go I run into someone who I’ve helped along the way.
Preparation is key but it doesn’t guarantee success. I tell my players, you can only control the process, not the outcome. I also tell them to reflect on what went right and what went wrong after each match and take notes. Tennis players and all athletes should always have the mentality of trying to get 1% better each day.
5.What interests and hobbies do you have off the court?
I’m an avid 49ers and Giants fan. I grew in the 1980’s and was inspired by the 49ers Super Bowl victories. My birthday is around the Super Bowl so my family and I would celebrate both occasions together.