Just like any other Monday afternoon, Madison Tattini entered The PIT Strength and Conditioning center for her private training session. The music had not yet been turned on, and the room was empty. She was early for her session, but that didn’t matter to this Bloomington Central Catholic junior high school student.
She quietly walked into a changing room to exchange her school clothes for training attire, placed her hair in a ponytail, and grabbed a foam roller, ready to get to work.
It was the same routine she had repeated countless times, for much of her two years training in The PIT. But the previous weekend was anything but ordinary.
After consecutive sectional titles and trips to the IHSA girls’ state tennis tournament during her freshman and sophomore seasons, Tattini captured the ultimate prize on October 22, winning the 2016 Class A state title over rival and second ranked, Alessandra Bianco.
“When I saw the ball drop for match point, my first thought was, ‘Holy crap. I can’t believe I just made that drop shot!’ I chose a really risky shot to hit, and I honestly was not expecting it to go over,” Tattini said.
“Once I realized that I not only won the match but also won state, I saw all of my family and friends jumping up and down and I couldn’t wait to go join them celebrating.”
Tattini seemingly breezed through the state tournament winning every match in straight sets, including the championship.
She credits her success both at the high school level and on the USTA national circuit to an intense schedule training twice a week in The PIT, and working five days a week with private tennis coaches on technique and skill. On weekends, she frequently travels across the country competing in USTA tournaments.
“I have really seen an improvement in my speed and my agility on the tennis court since I started working out at The PIT,” she said. “The PIT has really allowed me to grow and better my game, and I am very thankful for their help!”
Tattini’s desire to compete at the highest level not only means staying on top of her game, but also keeping up in the classroom.
In addition to a packed tennis and training schedule, Tattini maintains a full load of AP classes, and is holding steady amongst the best in her class. The total package has drawn the attention of major Division I schools, including many in the Big Ten and Big 12 Conferences.
“Knowing that other people are practicing just as much, if not more than me, propels me to continue working hard,” she said. “Keeping my dreams in my mind and knowing that I won’t be able to go to a D-I college if I stop competing makes me work even harder.”
It will be tough to top what she has accomplished this year, but in her final high school season she hopes to defend her title, and help her team improve on its third place finish. Until then, she will continue to compete during the offseason, working her way up in the USTA national rankings.
Despite the busy schedule, Tattini does take time on occasion to relax and be a normal teen. In fact, immediately after receiving her state championship medal, Tattini and her dad made their way from Buffalo Grove High School to Wrigley Field where they witnessed the Chicago Cubs defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers to clinch their first pennant in 71 years.
“I can definitely say that the week of state finals was one of the best weeks of my life,” she said. “(Even after winning state) getting to see the Cubs clinch the NLCS and go to the World Series brought my excitement to another level. To add to my amazing day, once the game was over, Kris Bryant came over to our section and gave my dad and I a high five, looked us in the eye, and told us thank you for coming.
“I was in shock! I like to believe that Kris Bryant was actually giving me a high five for having such an amazing day.”
If Bryant knew, perhaps he would have congratulated her on winning state. And if her work ethic and drive are any indication of future success, she will likely have many more exciting days, similar to her experience on October 22.