We’ve all thought about taking our tennis game to the next level. If you play competitively at all, you have likely asked yourself a myriad of “what if” questions. “What if I just played a few more times a week?” “What if I trained just a little harder?” “What if I entered that regional tournament next month?” “What if, what if, what if…”
Tim Kullick is no exception to this. He’s asked himself lots of similar “what if” questions. The difference, though, is that he now has the answer. He recently became the National 45s Indoor Champion. And the most impressive part of Kullick’s story? He earned the championship title in the first ever national tournament he ever played, defeating Todd Rich 6-1; 6-7(5); 6-1.
So, as you read about his journey to the championship, keep in mind all of the “what ifs” that are holding you back… and consider taking the leap like he did.
Kullick’s road to the national championship started about four years ago when he made the conscious decision to set a goal: “I wanted to be in the top 10 in the country by the time I reached the 50s,” said Kullick. From then on, he upped his game and started playing in more tournaments, both at the local and regional levels. “I played in the Pro League in Charlotte and I did okay and in the last two and half years, I played at the state level and southern regionals and did pretty well too,” said Kullick. “I won the Southern Regional in Atlanta and thought ‘If I put my mind to it, maybe I could do really well on a national level.’ I had seen the small steps where I had some success and asked myself ‘What if I enter the national indoors in Cincinnati?’”
Kullick, who was unseeded going into the tournament, faced a tough draw which included victories over the tournament’s third and fifth seeds and the top seed/number one player in the country in the 45s. Each player he faced was ranked in the top 30 in the country. “I expected I would win a round or two, maybe go a few rounds in the consolation draw,” says Kullick. “But, I never would have expected that I would have won the tournament.”
Kullick had a challenging semi-final and final match, resulting in over eight total hours of court play in less than a 12-hour period. He notes that as he has aged, his body responds differently to that level of play compared to how it did during his days of playing tennis for the University of Colorado. “I definitely have to take much more care of my body now versus when I played in college,” said Kullick. “I am not as flexible as I used to be and I am very careful to warm up and stretch out. I also have to be much more careful about what I eat and make sure to stay hydrated so I don’t cramp.”
In addition, Kullick mentions that Body Helix compression sleeves are now a regular part of his tennis regime. “When I was playing in college, I never wore any type of compression sleeves, notes Kullick. “Only now, since I have been playing at this age and at this level, did I start wearing them. And it’s been a big, big help.”
The compression sleeves proved to be especially helpful as he faced the high level of competition and extremely long matches he endured to get to the final. “I had worn the Thigh Helixes on both legs throughout the whole tournament, thinking my legs would likely get tired,” he describes. “I was dead tired and very sore, but those things completely held me together. They were great. I would have had muscle pulls, my legs were sore, my groin was really sore. The (Helixes) helped immensely.”
It’s no doubt that you will see Kullick and his Body Helix sleeves on the court for years to come. He plans to play many more tournaments, both at the regional and national levels. In fact, he’s looking forward to connecting with friends and fellow players who have followed his journey to the national title, reaching out to him to express their admiration for his accomplishments. Many regard him as an inspiration and hope to follow in his footsteps.
“It was really neat to get those emails and texts from everyone telling me I inspired them to play at a more competitive level,” said Kullick. “I never in my wildest dreams when I showed up in Cincinnati would have imagined I would have won the tournament. It was just a great, great feeling.”
Team Body Helix knows that Kullick will continue to answer his “what ifs” and we are proud to be supporting him each and every step, both literally and figuratively, along the way.