Mike Miller | Posted: 15 Feb 2023 | Updated: 22 Feb 2023

Meet Wally Thayne

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Wally Thayne posing for a studio shot
Wally Thayne posing for a studio shot Wally Thayne awaits a shot Wally Thayne chasing a shot Wally Thayne hitting forehand

PROVO, Utah — In his second year at BYU, Wally Thayne is contributing quality results at the top of the team's singles and doubles lineups. Learn more about Thayne’s tennis journey, including how he got to BYU and the things he’s done to succeed this year.

Early Success

Thayne has been playing tennis ever since he can remember. His dad played professionally and is now a full-time tennis coach, giving Thayne an opportunity to love the game from a young age.

His dedication to tennis paid off early, including when his Newbury Park High School team won the program’s first conference title in 48 years. The subsequent trip to the state tournament is one of Thayne’s favorite tennis memories.

Journey to BYU

After high school, Thayne’s first collegiate season was at the University of Utah. He then further explored his career options, signing with BYU in the summer of 2021. Thayne says he chose BYU because of the team’s amazing coaching staff and culture and the school’s outstanding academics.

“I felt a strong connection with Coach Porter right off the bat, he really believed in me and my game," he said. "I knew right away he was the kind of coach I wanted to play for."

Strong Start

Thayne’s season started with an at-large bid to the ITA All-American Championships in the fall, which he earned by having a high UTR. His eights wins across the fall and spring include an upset of the No. 9 seed at regionals and a straight-set win over New Mexico's top player, who was previously undefeated.

One thing Thayne worked on last summer to improve his game is his forehand shot, which he says has always been a weaker shot for him. But now, everything has finally come together, and the forehand is another weapon in his game.

The Mental Game

Another aspect of Thayne’s performance is his ongoing focused mindset. After working with the team’s sports psychologists, he has found a personal approach to tackling the mental side of competition.

“I do meditation on the court,” Thayne explained. “I do a lot of meditating and focusing on my breathing when I’m playing matches and in big moments.”

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