Hello there bloggies!

Hope you all had a great holiday and hopefully a little break from work or the lab!

As you may know, I recently finished my postdoctoral fellowship and started a new position in industry. During that time, I spent a lot of time trying to think of what my perfect job would be. I explored every relevant career that I could think of.

A science writer.

A professor in academia.

A staff scientist in someone else’s lab.

A consultant.

A scientist in industry.

None of them seemed to be exactly right. Not even the one I ended up going with (though I do think it’ll still be good experience and may be the best choice for now).

But today it dawned on me. I was catching up on my favorite podcast in the world: No Challenges Remaining by Ben Rothenberg (Twitter) and Courtney Nguyen (Twitter). For those unfamiliar (and you should definitely go take a listen if you are a tennis fan), No Challenges Remaining discusses tennis results and tournaments as well as some of the other ongoing issues in tennis (e.g., diversity, tennis coverage, horrible Euro pop music, Polish tennis players playing video games, and random rants/raves). Here is a link to their Twitter and Facebook.

I love it so much I even contributed to their kickstarted last year, awkwardly tweeted Courtney #AwkwardGrunts while she was on Radio Roland Garros (obvi that tweet was read on air, duh!), and received this lovely postcard that perfectly sums up why I enjoy them so.

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(Spoiler! My name is John!)

On this particular podcast, they were discussing the relative lack of readily available statistics and analytics in tennis relative to other sports. Other sports rely on intense film study, meticulous annotation, and huge amounts of data to reveal opponent tendencies and to develop effective strategies in matches. These information are also widely curated and made somewhat available to fans.

But not so in tennis. There are some stats and film breakdown. But no where near the levels that other major sports do. Just look at baseball and all of their numbers (…and acronyms that I never understand…WHIP, OPS, IBB…WTF).

And that’s where my dream job dawned on me: tennis statistics.

What I’ve always enjoyed about being a human geneticist is taking a large amount of hopelessly complicated data to reveal new information about human biology. This would take these same skills and apply them to my most favorite sport. Not to mention I’d be able to write/communicate these new tennis insights and to possibly travel extensively as tennis is a truly global sport. It checks a lot of boxes.

Now, I know this is a crazy pipe dream that’s completely unrealistic and that I’ve only started thinking of today. But sometimes you need a small crazy dream in your life. So I’m hoping to do intense googling and maybe even devoting a little blog space to good ole tennis. It may mean nothing. It may mean something. But I think it’ll be fun nonetheless.

Anyone with any thoughts on tennis? Or combining two disparate things like tennis and statistics? Comment below or on twitter @DrFsThoughts.

That’s it for now bloggies! Wishing you a happy start to the new year!

-Dr. F

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