The Meadows’ Nate van der Post has made a habit of following his “24 units of energy” model each week to account for all aspects of his life. Categories such as academics, day-to-day errands, sleep, social life and sports and recreation are divvied up at the start of the week by what he thinks warrants the most energy.
The catch is it must fit the divisible “24” number, which also represents the total hours in a day.
“If I don’t have a lot on the docket, I’ll Snapchat my friends,” van der Post said, laughing.
Beginning Thursday, a calculated van der Post, 18, will put the social media on hold and dedicate a higher allotment of his energy to sports and recreation when he travels to Reno for what should be a jam-packed tennis weekend.
The senior singles player will anchor The Meadows (16-1) in the state 3A team competition against Truckee (9-3) in a state semifinal at noon Thursday at Reno Tennis Center, then quickly shift his attention to his individual quarterfinal match at 2:30 p.m. Friday at Tahoe Donner Tennis Center.
The 4A state boys and girls semifinal tennis matches also start Thursday at Caughlin Athletic Club in Reno.
“It’s a busy week (for Nate),” said The Meadows coach Frideric Prandecki, whose team is coming off its first region title on Oct. 5. “I expect him to lead the team and take care of business.”
Van der Post, the No. 2 singles player from the Southern Region, is looking to become the first male from The Meadows to win both titles in the same year.
“It’s been a huge year for the team, as well as me,” van der Post said. “I think the reason is because we set the goal going into the year of what we wanted to accomplish. We didn’t go into the year saying, ‘Oh, we’ll see what happens.’ We had everyone out here in August before the season even started.”
And for him, it starts with that energy model — something he’s been able to hone the past few years living on his own.
Since moving to Las Vegas from Woodlands, Texas, in 2014, van der Post often has lived alone while his father travels for work. This means, among other things, getting his groceries, cooking his meals, running his errands and doing his laundry.
That responsibility has translated to the tennis court, where he is a team captain.
“He’s someone we can count on. He’s like a mirror,” Prandecki said. “When he’s on the tennis court, he’s just as responsible as if he’s in the classroom or if he’s at home alone. It’s, ‘Yes, sir. No, sir.’ He’s always on time. He stays late and hits extra with the kids. Responsible guy. …
“I think he’s going to go far in life. How you do on the tennis court — with discipline, sportsmanship, honesty, being on time — it translates to everyday life. And he nails those things on a daily basis.”
The Meadows, which has finished as the state runner-up to Clark in each of the past two seasons, will be seeking its first state title, thanks in large part to van der Post, who often gets the Mustangs three points a match by sweeping the singles side.
He will look to do the same and be a vocal leader in Reno.
When asked last week if there would be any trouble figuring out his unit system, van der Post was direct.
“For me, I think I have a really good understanding of what I enjoy and want to do,” he said. “And I go about and make it happen to my very best. After doing this for three years, living by myself, I’m getting better at it.”
Contact reporter Ashton Ferguson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0430. Follow @af_ferguson on Twitter.