Flashes Tennis

A note from Coach Bowman.

As I am entering my second year of coaching tennis I would like to share some of the questions about the game that “come up” during the season. “Coach, can my opponent reach over the net with the tennis racket after they strike the ball? Is a player allowed to stand so close to the net?” Here is the rule as far as I know; Imagine a player (a doubles player in this image) standing very close to the net. A ball is hit to this player (the player standing close to the net) and a volley stroke is returned. When this player finishes her volley stroke, the stroke of the racket is completed over the net (because she was initially standing very close to the net) on the opposite side of the tennis court. Is this legal? Yes, it is legal as long as the volleyer did not strike the net when the stroke was completed. In addition, if the volleyer strikes the ball before it enters her side of the court, it is illegal. In other words, a tennis ball must reach the other side of the net before it is struck by the opponent. This makes sense. Lastly, if a player strikes the net at any time during play, the point belongs to the opposing player or team.

More and more frequently during these competitions, the players are asking more and more questions as they compete against other teams. They are becoming confident as they stop the game to “find the coach” as conflicts or questions arise during a set of tennis. My favorite question of the year is, “Coach, can they sing during a set of tennis?” No! That is distracting and or an impolite strategy on the court. Words that can be spoken to your partner are for example, “yours,” mine,” and “get back.” Other necessary communicative words are acceptable. When an opponent or team is intentionally distracting by singing an opera song, then it is time to call “time out” and “find the coach.” There will be more stories stranger than this during the season, l.o.l.

Changing the topic from rules of the game to our actual competition taking place, we competed against Santa Clara on September 28, and lost 7-11. Do not be disillusioned by this score, for the girls tennis team is pretty remarkable. Speaking of remarkableness, Maria Gonzalez, a new player for this year, took up the challenge of playing singles during this competition. She played a total of three sets, one set against the number one, two, and three player. She was competitive and she was out there to win! Maria came very close to beating the number one player for Santa Clara as the score 4-6, could have gone either way. I was thrilled as a coach to see her determination. Next time Maria! During this match against Santa Clara, the team had some great wins along with hard to swallow losses. This means, to me as a coach, that they are getting more and more confident out there on the court with the drive to play their personal best. We will compete this week against Laguna Blanca, and Villanova. All for now.