High schools need experienced tennis coaches

Thursday , April 10, 2014 - 1:04 PM

Contributed, Janet Thompson


Tennis in Utah used to be a lot of fun for everyone. The original Racquet Club in North Ogden had an outstanding tennis director who provided Leagues for everyone who wanted to have fun and improve their tennis game and play in tournaments. No one was left out. The courts were always full. There were special events held at the club where the top junior players showed off their skills. Older players like Tom Leavitt played younger players like Barbie Thompson. Joyce Wright and I challenged the number 1 Weber College girls’ tennis team to a doubles match and won. What fun it was.

Ogden High School had an outstanding boy’s tennis team, who won many state and national victories, thanks to the outstanding coaching of Lynn and Carol Benson. Many of the players graduated and went to college on tennis scholarships in Utah as well as other states. Those were the good, fun days of tennis in Utah.

Now, in the present, many inexperienced coaches are hired and seem to think there are no rules to follow when choosing and motivating a high school tennis team. Often the coaches think their favorite kids should play number 1 on the team even if their favorites aren’t the best players. They cheer for their favorites to beat their less favorites on their own team. It isn’t a happy unit of players working together to beat other teams, like the Ogden High School boys’ tennis team did back in the 1970s.

The tennis directors hired in clubs are not always the most qualified people selected for that job. They discourage kids from thinking they will ever play college tennis because they say only players from other countries are chosen for the teams in the U.S. Just this year, Parker Jones, an American high school tennis player from Ogden earned a college tennis scholarship to Campbellsville University in Kentucky. Any junior tennis player should not believe what is being said about not having a chance to earn a college tennis scholarship.

Get a good, experienced coach, female or male, who has actually played college tennis on a tennis scholarship, and work hard with them. You may be the next exceptional tennis player from Utah to play on a college tennis team, on a tennis scholarship.

Janet Thompson


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