What is your coaching style?
I am very energetic and demanding, but also very understanding. Trust, respect and responsibility are key terms that distinguish a successful relationship between coach and athlete. I believe that the athlete has to work harder than the coach. A coach can influence an athlete in many ways, but true champions are usually self-motivated individuals and they are willing to do a lot of work on their own when nobody is watching.
What happens in a typical practice?
We usually practice 2 hours a day. Usually, we have a 20 minute warm-up with the ball where players are free to do anything they want. Then, we have drills or live-ball exercises focusing on different techniques, patterns, or strategies (45 minutes), after that, we play points (30 minutes singles or doubles) where we focus on different rules and patterns that allow players to develop the points in different ways. Then, we finish practice with serves and returns (25 minutes). I want practices that are dynamic, explosive and fun.
How has the team changed since you started coaching?
I am a very different person with a new set of ideas. Our practices are more dynamic than before, and I will give them more responsibilities and hold them accountable for their actions next winter and spring terms. More specifically, I want the team to practice more on their own because I believe that this is the only way they will feel more accountable for their goals and aspirations. Our schedule will be different because we will play more matches against Division I teams.
What kind of students do you look for in your program?
At Carleton, academic excellence is the first priority. I am looking for students that expect excellence in the classroom, but students that enjoy training, competing and being part of an athletic team. I want students that are willing to listen and students that are not afraid to explore and try new things. When students are competing on the tennis team, I want them to have a great time and enjoy the experience even when things are challenging.