Francis Antoine Hout is haunted by a little regret Sport | the sun

“I think maybe I should have played a year or two in the professional circuit to see how far I could go in the standings,” Hoot said. “Throughout my NCAA career, I’ve played against a number of players who have gone pro. I consider myself as good as them. I tell myself I had to do the same. To get to this level, we make tremendous efforts and sacrifices among the rookies or on the American track. So even today, I tell myself I could have tried. It makes my heart ache when I think about it. But hey, I decided otherwise and today, I’m living very well with my decision. I’ve had great years and am very satisfied with my career.”

It was to finish his studies that prepared him for his post career that Huot gave up on trying his luck on a professional level. He entered the baccalaureate in premedical, a program that required him to earn a baccalaureate degree in biology and a minor in chemistry, and he had to spend a fifth year at Virginia Tech in order to earn his degree. After graduating, he returned to Quebec to start work.

“The biggest flaw in tennis is that only the best athletes make enough money to live well. And they make a lot of money. A guy like Federer makes $110 a year. But that’s a whole different story for those less. Be 125e In the world, it is still unusual. But financially, it is difficult. You don’t have the means to get the people around you to help you as a coach or a doctor.


Hoot was about ten years old when he discovered tennis. It was his mother who enrolled him with his sister for lessons at the Avantage Club. Already playing several team sports including soccer, he quickly became addicted to tennis, an individual sport where he loved the prospect of being solely responsible for his successes and failures. And his lessons ended, and he began to exercise regularly.

On the verge of starting high school, the young athlete decided to enroll in a tennis sport study program. He does not hide the fact that football would have taken care of him as well, but this discipline was not introduced as part of the study of sports.

“I really liked my experience. It was tennis that allowed me to succeed in school. And that’s the most important thing I remember. Without sports, I don’t think I would have had my career now. I was a kid with a lot of energy. And I needed sports to be successful in school.” I also thank my parents for making me play sports when I was young. They never pressured me. But they felt that when they brought me to the Avantage Club, I was happy. And because I was doing so well in school because of tennis, they were made a priority.”

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Huot was 16 years old when he saw his career take an important turn. After tennis occupied a greater place in his life, he made great progress in a short period of time. Several former snowshoes from the Athletic Studies program like Marc-Andre Tardiff, Sebastien Drapeau and Michel Tremblay, who all went on to play for an American college, started telling him about their NCAA experience and telling him he should put in a double. Bites into training to get there. These words did not fall on deaf ears. Huot not only started training more, but also spent a lot of time playing with Tardif, Drapeau and Tremblay.

“Tennis, I ate it. And this is where I took it to the next level. I owe a lot to these guys. They really helped me. They convinced me that going to American University would be the best solution for me. Thanks to them, I got better. I wish today for all the young people who play tennis or any sport Others may enroll in a university in the United States. It is an extraordinary experience.”

Huot first ended up at Georgia State University. He states that although he found himself in a large city (Atlanta) and did not speak English, his adaptation was relatively easy. First, because the team had another Quebec player in their ranks, Nicolas Brochu, but also because despite being an American, his coach lived in Montreal for a few years. Finally, he was able to count on exceptional academic oversight in the state of Georgia.

English is perhaps the easiest language in the world. There are three verb tenses. Easy to learn. In a month, even if you’re not bilingual, you’re in business.”

His first season in the NCAA ended, Quebec took charge of Virginia Tech as he continued his athletic career. Finishing fourth on his team in Georgia, he found himself in Top Two in Virginia which allowed him to get better scholarships.

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“There is always a little pressure when you go to the States because sports portfolios in tennis are limited. The higher you play on your team, the higher your portfolio. So I had no choice but to perform if I wanted a better scholarship. My parents helped me financially, but their budget is limited. At the time, the Canadian dollar was worth 62 cents to the US dollar. I can also count on Simon Légaré and the Wilson Company, who have supported me throughout my career.”

Hoot says playing in the NCAA was the best of both worlds for him. Being a team sport there, his love for tennis as well as the team sports he practiced for a long time came true. “I loved playing an individual sport that is played as a team.”

help the youngest

His college sports career ended and Hoot returned to the Quebec City area where he continued to play at the regional and provincial levels. He was also a regular member of the Louis-Despré Tournament, an event he won multiple times. Grateful to the “veterans” who gave him a helping hand while he was in the juniors, he played with the juniors in an effort to help them improve their game so that the NCAA doors would open for them, too.

“I think this is the best path for 99% of the young people. So I did a lot of training and teaching to prepare those who want to go right.”

In 2010, shortly after his victory in Louis-Despré, Huot left the active competition. He explains that there are two reasons for his decision. Wounds and pride. Having to deal with frequent minor injuries, he was tired of the pain. Then he explained that when he appeared in the tournament, the only option for him was to win it. Participating in a tournament when he wasn’t 100% physically ready or because he didn’t have time to prepare well and open the door to losing wasn’t an option for him.

Retirement went well for the Château-Richer native. First, because he started his career. Howe is now an orthopedic representative at Zimmer Biomet. He specializes in knee prosthetics, hip prostheses and all medical equipment needed for the operating room. But also because at the same time he met his wife and soon after, the family gained the upper hand. The couple have since had two children, two boys who are now six and nine and already playing tennis.

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“The beauty of tennis is that you can play it all your life. So I never stopped. When I did it was because of my injury. I try to play once or twice a week, but I’m on the court with my kids about seven days a week.

“So I’ve found friends of mine in the past who are in the same situation as me and we play together. Guys like Marc-André Tardif, Sébastien Drapeau and Marc Desmeules. He’s so cute. When we play, we’re each other.” a challenge as far as possible. The competitive side cannot be lost.”

Huot doesn’t hide that at a point in his life when the stars seem to be siding with themselves to let him start competing again. Now 41, he says he’d like to take part in the minor tournaments and even bring Louis Desprey back. “But for that, my boys will have to train me,” he jokes.

In his wildest dreams, the Château-Richer native sees himself participating in the Senior World Championships. A team competition that takes place once a year and brings together several countries. To get there, Huot will first have to qualify for the Canadian national team. Only the four best players in each category are selected in the world. He also wants his children to follow in his footsteps in tennis.

“I want them to have fun like I had, have unforgettable experiences like the one I had and make friends like I did. Today all my best friends played tennis.

“It is often said that sport is a school of life. And that is the truth. It teaches you to deal with stress and nervousness, to have a work ethic. All this, later on, will lead you to be better at your work. What I want is for my children to enjoy playing tennis and thrive there.”


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