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#1 Scoutermom

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Posted 26 August 2017 - 10:34 AM

I want to blog but I'm not a blogger. I want to share my experiences but I don't have a large social circle. So, if you will indulge me, I think I'll write my coaching experiences here and satisfy my needs while (hopefully) entertaining you in the process.

 

__

 

Here's my first installment:

 

Net Talk or

My life as a first year D3 collegiate tennis coach -

 

Anyone can coach. This is something I've heard multiple times in the last few years. It has a variety of meanings and I often think about the implications of those words and how they apply to real life. My life.

 

The coaching seed was planted back in the spring of 1985 when I first joined the Sierra High School tennis team. I remember the first time I met the coach. She had long blond hair, stunning green eyes, and a white VW Cabrio convertible. She wasn't the greatest tennis player (I honestly don't remember anything about her ability to play tennis) but I remember her and how she made me feel. I remember being a part of the team (or not, as was the case sometimes, but that's another story). I watched her and thought "I could do that. What a fun job that would be."

 

With high school studies, planning on and attending college, and then life...well, coaching became just another dream.

 

Until now. Yes, I have been a USPTA certified Pro, taught tennis, and captained USTA teams but I haven't coached a team. There has never been anything on the line more than teaching skills, filling classes, and having fun. With coaching, it's about the skills, abilities, experiences, and competitions of others. I find this to be a weighty responsibility. I want to be a person who can teach, correct, communicate, and inspire. I want my players to grow, improve, and find joy in tennis. I don't want to call myself a coach, imparting a moniker or title just to satisfy my ego. I want my players, my mentors, my colleagues...those who truly matter... to help me become a coach. I want to earn the title.

 

And that is what I have been working toward earning this past week. I told my players that if they would give me 100%, I would give them 100%. I believe we have all been striving toward that goal and I couldn't ask for more than what these women have given. To be honest, I am terrified I will fail them. That I am not enough. But then I see them rising to my challenges and giving their all day after day and I am empowered to try, to work harder at being the person I want to be, to earn their respect and the right to be called their coach.

 


Edited by Scoutermom, 26 August 2017 - 10:41 AM.

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#2 MerryAtHope

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Posted 26 August 2017 - 12:16 PM

I totally think you should set up a blog! It's not hard to do (places like blogger.com have preset formats--you just choose one, enter your title and go pretty much!) Great title, and I hope your team does well.


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#3 JanetC

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Posted 26 August 2017 - 01:25 PM

You will also have to recruit new players, and having a blog could help attract players who are a good fit. Maybe the athletic department would host it.
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#4 Scoutermom

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Posted 26 August 2017 - 04:18 PM

You will also have to recruit new players, and having a blog could help attract players who are a good fit. Maybe the athletic department would host it.

True. I'll speak to my AD on Monday.  Good idea.


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#5 snowbeltmom

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Posted 26 August 2017 - 07:26 PM

There is a blog called Division III Tennis - Let the Rackets Do the Talking.  The blog has writers from regions throughout the country writing about men's tennis.  The bloggers have been trying to recruit writers who are involved in the women's D III tennis.  You may want to contact them.  It is a fantastic blog and very popular in the D3 tennis world.

 

Good luck to your team! 


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#6 Scoutermom

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Posted 26 August 2017 - 08:20 PM

There is a blog called Division III Tennis - Let the Rackets Do the Talking.  The blog has writers from regions throughout the country writing about men's tennis.  The bloggers have been trying to recruit writers who are involved in the women's D III tennis.  You may want to contact them.  It is a fantastic blog and very popular in the D3 tennis world.

 

Good luck to your team! 

Thank you for the information. I will check on it tonight.

 

 :)



#7 snowbeltmom

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 03:45 AM

Thank you for the information. I will check on it tonight.

 

  :)

I forgot to mention that the blog added a feature last year called the Recruiting Hub.  This provides an opportunity for coaches to provide information about their schools and their tennis programs.  You should email D3 Atlantic South if you are interested in being featured.


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#8 Scoutermom

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 08:13 AM

I have checked out the website and it is definitely centered on men's tennis programs. I sent an email to the general email address so now I'll wait and see if I get a reply.



#9 snowbeltmom

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 11:16 AM

I have checked out the website and it is definitely centered on men's tennis programs. I sent an email to the general email address so now I'll wait and see if I get a reply.

 

While the bloggers are anonymous, it is my understanding that most, if not all of them, played D3 themselves, so they are very familiar with the players and coaches from their respective regions.  Since I can't get to as many matches as I would like each year due to distance, it has been fun to read the weekly previews and the bantering that goes on in the comments section.

 

I would love to see the women's side of the blog develop, especially since my D will be heading the D3 route in a couple of years. 

 

Good luck to your team!  I hope to read more about it on the blog.

 

ETA: On the off-chance that you don't get a response from the email you sent to the general address, contact d3atlanticsouth directly,  He will definitely get back to you.
 


Edited by snowbeltmom, 31 August 2017 - 11:20 AM.


#10 Scoutermom

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 08:33 PM

Update:

 

We just returned from a long weekend of matches. After having driven 6 hours a day and then being "on" for more hours a day than I can count, I'm tired. So much has happened since my last post that I cannot write coherent or cohesive sentences that fully capture the essence of my experiences.

 

Let's just say that my team is currently 3-1 in our conference. We've had two historic match wins and won two points from a school from which we have never won points. This has been a phenomenal start to our season. We're well on our way to achieving our goals.

I can say with all honesty that I am tired. Tomorrow is a Day Off and all I have to do is paperwork. Thank goodness.


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#11 Scoutermom

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 08:34 PM

What an emotional roller coaster the last four days have been. We had three matches in two days and had to drive 6 hours one way to get to our opponents. I won't bore you with details but I will share that the first school we played was one which we usually lose 0-9. The records I was able to find go back to 2009. We lost but were able to take 2 points to end with a score of 2-7. We were thrilled. Beyond thrilled!

 

The next match was a critical match for us. We haven't been able to beat this school in years and it has been a barrier to moving up in our conference. I was a bit concerned that the players had put too much effort into their morning matches and they were indeed talking about tired legs and being a bit worn down. We had to eat lunch in the van and pulled up to our second match only 35 minutes after concluding the prior match. The coach was gracious and gave us an extra 30 mins to recover. My team took the courts and brought everything they had left. We ended up winning the match 5-4. The winning point was in a third set tie break so we were all on pins and needles until the very end. This win is huge. Huge. We found out after the match that we were expected to lose 0-9.

 

The third match was on Sunday and, once again, we were expected to lose (more about how this is decided in a bit). We didn't know that, of course, and went into the match thinking we were going to win. My players stepped up their game and we swept the match 9-0. 

 

Our weekend record was 2-1. With our wins we are now 3-1 in our conference. We weren't expected to win more than one match.

 

Here's how things are anticipated. Each coach is given a pre-season ballot and ranks the schools in the conference from 1st through last place. The number of points each school receives are added and then the overall ranking is published. I found out today that our school received precious few points and we are near the bottom of our conference's rankings; not the last school but close enough. It was predicted that we would beat one and only one school, the school ranked last. We haven't even played that school yet and we've already put up three wins and taken 2 points from the #2 ranked school. We still have to play the #1 & #3 schools and those will be tough matches; we've also lost to them 0-9 for the past 10 years.  

 

I also found out today that there are a lot of politics that occur off the courts. I had inquired why none of our players have ever received any end-of-season awards or accolades and was told that the coaches vote on those and the top 4 schools have a lock on the votes due to an historical voting bloc. It's a real shame. I know I'm going to be a mess when it comes to voting time.

 

I am actively trying not to think about the end-of-the-season or the initial naysayers who placed us toward the bottom of the lineup. My gals have already proved them wrong and we have three more schools I think we can beat. Each and every point, game, set, and match we win is precious and we savor every one. 

 

--

Please don't think that I, for one minute, believe the other schools' wins are any less special than ours. They are just as important to those schools.


Edited by Scoutermom, 11 September 2017 - 09:18 PM.

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#12 Lilaclady

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 10:10 PM

Wow that's crazy. So happy for your team. Woot!!!! All the best going forward.
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#13 fourisenough

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 08:54 PM

Thanks for sharing. I'm enjoying hearing your stories.
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#14 JanetC

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 09:44 PM

Congrats on your early success!
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