While some would consider this a small award, it’s a big honor for me and I’m going to talk about it! This sport, my teams, and my players are my absolute passion. To be acknowledged by my peers in the Tri-Valley League as Coach of the Year is validation of that passion and what it can do.
I know that tennis is just a small part of most of my players’ young lives. That said, I also believe that a tennis court is the perfect place to develop the competitive drive, ethics, and self-awareness it takes to be successful on the many playing fields of life.
When I am coaching a team, I try not to forget that tennis is just a part of why we are out on the courts together. Yes, it’s about crushing inside-out forehands and poaching the living daylights out of our opponents. It’s also about committing to each other and to ourselves; being more together than we can be alone and taking pride in our own development as well.
This year’s team is a shining example of what’s possible when we make that commitment to each other and to ourselves. I owe this award and my current state of euphoria to the players on this team, who put their trust in me. These girls are awesome and they deserve the season they’ve had. Thanks Julia Gan, Mckenna Madden, Emma Liberman, Cecelia Sanborn, Summer Christensen, Eva Herman, Annie Lu, Madeleine Nelson, Jackie Cai, Maki Kobayashi, Janice Ng, Sarah Polowczak.
I also consider myself very lucky to work with so many great people at the Cate School and in the Tri-Valley League.
Wade Ransom & Patricia Collins keep the athletics department running smoothly at all times and I know I can always count on them for anything we need to do well. I feel that their support is essential to the success of this program and they do it all from the background.
She’s new to Cate tennis, but Sara Scott is an absolute stud! I have an amazing assistant coach and she has really helped us to achieve lofty goals this season.
Throughout the years, I’ve learned from a number of other coaches out there, who have helped me to become a better coach:
Kurt Haggstrom, my lefty coach growing up, helped me learn how to win left-handed, which I now pass on to a ridiculously above-average number of lefties at Cate.
Bob Walton, my high school coach, taught me everything I know about lineup strategy.
Barbara DeGroot let me be the side-kick to a legend for my first five years at Cate. I’m also inspired by some of the coaches I face on a regular basis, like Charles Bryant from Carp, who continually motivates his girls to perform above what others may have expected of them.