Throughout the course of the project, I thoroughly enjoyed the interview process with Larry Gottfried about his experience as a student athlete at Trinity University and the 1978 Stanford University tennis match. I was amazed with his ability and passion that he talked about the sport of tennis. Gottfried was a great storyteller and built up the anticipation of the match which helped me generate a storyline leading up to the match. The most surprising aspect of this project was finding out the Gottfried had actually won the match twice after he mistakenly did not call one of McEnroe’s ball out. Finally hearing Gottfried recall the match first hand made me appreciate the detail that he was able to provide me with since I would have never heard this piece of information from my other secondary sources. Reflecting back on the research process as a whole, the most challenging aspect of the project was finding secondary sources to help support the history of the 1970’s era and the booming of tennis. I tried to set the stage for the 1970-1980’s tennis era through the accomplishments of John McEnroe to show the significance of his Grand Slams. Looking at the project in a different lens, I wish I would have interviewed Bob McKinley about Gottfried’s match against McEnroe. I feel like McKinley would have had an interesting perspective about the outcome of the match. I wonder if the outcome of the match really did not have an impact on Gottfried as a player or if McKinley would have argued differently?
This project showed me that the historical research process is very exciting when finding information that was not expected from a source. However, the process requires patience. Piecing together different information from sources was harder than I expected and more time consuming than I had thought. However, creating a piece that flows well and allows information to be uncovered is very rewarding. The key strategies for interviews that I learned throughout this process will be applied outside of the classroom. I was taught very helpful tips of how to successfully interview people and how to generate open ended questions that might lead to new discoveries of a topic. Throughout life I will be using these strategies to find jobs and possibly help hire people in the future.