New Tennis Coach During COVID-19

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Gina Lee

Sophomore Jett Lee returns a serve during a practice match.

Going back to sports in the middle of a pandemic is hard enough as it is. Teams may not get the connection that they usually feel with their teammates. They may have to postpone their games or cancel them all together. And on its own, getting a new coach can be a difficult adjustment for the team. There are different rules, expectations, and there can be difficulties in trusting the new coach. 

This year’s tennis team is having to go through both of those struggles. Although it sounds like a difficult task, the flexibility of the team really shines through with their quick adjustment.

This year’s tennis team has a new head coach, culinary teacher Mario Hernadez. He is also the new culinary arts teacher.

“COVID-19 affected the summer schedule in a significant manner as it limited our abilities to have practices, but we made the best of it and enjoyed meeting much of the team during skills practice this summer,” Assistant Coach Navauda Miller said.

Tennis is a sport that is easily adapted to COVID because they already play more than six feet apart. There are just minor adaptations that have to be made.

“Tennis is a non-contact sport and is played from a safe physical distance so luckily much of what we do already helps make us a bit safer from Covid,” Miller said.

New coaches can be hard on a team. However it can also be beneficial.

“Having a new coach is really neat because he brings completely new perspectives on tennis,” senior team captain Lauren Overton said.

Students are seeing different styles and passions in Hernandez than that they saw in the old coach.

“The old coach wasn’t an actual tennis coach they really tried with us though,” front player sophomore Jett Lee said. “The new guy is an actual tennis guy.”

Through these adjustments that the tennis team has had to make they still find success.

“We’ve played three games so far, the first one ended up getting canceled early because of rain, but we lost the second,and won the third,” Overton said.

Hernadez has brought lots of new things with him. New traditions, goals, mottos, and techniques.

“His main goal is consistency with players,” Lee said. 

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