Bounce Into the New Season With Boys Tennis

Sierra Zielske, Staff Writer

   The WJ Boys’ Tennis team got off to a great start this spring season with a 5-2 victory over Quince Orchard on Tuesday. The team’s head coach Mitchell Duque has spent a little over a month helping prepare the team no matter how much experience they have.

   Duque has always looked for players who may not be the most skilled, but those who, “give their full effort each practice and match that we play and to be coachable, meaning they are open to trying new strategies that are presented to them.”

   According to Duque, no matter their experience, his players need be very consistent with going to practices and working on their skills at home. The players need to be prepared throughout the season especially since there is a mixture of newer players and more seasoned players.

   This year Boys’ tennis team has four new players and the coach has to teach them their new roles on the team. Coach Duque might have to teach the new players some new techniques and freshen up the skills they know now to be mentally prepared for the season. Senior captain Jackson Devadas playing #1 is back again and ready for his final tennis season at WJ.

   Devadas has been a member of the team for all four years in high school and has been, a starter for the last three years according to Duque.

   Working alone, Duque wants to ensure that his players are well prepared and warmed up before their match.

   Said Duque:“ I want [the players to] have an adequate time to warm up on the court before each match by arriving at away matches at least 20 minutes before the start time.”

   Duque also feels that his players should have time to snack on something when school ends, before their matches so that they won’t be hungry throughout any games.

   Pep talks after an athlete’s performance are very common, for example Duque meets with his players to evaluate what worked and didn’t work throughout their match, and for the players to receive their input on what happened and to speak about his observations on what should happen next game.

   Like any other sport, Boys’ tennis is sure to have their ups and down, but the key is to keep their composure throughout the season.Though there will be pressure to meet expectations set for the team last year, staying calm and working out their issues will prove to be much more beneficial for the team.