Seymour girls tennis head coach Sharon Wood took a day trip to Bloomington last Saturday with her husband, assistant girls tennis coach Bob Wood.
The two decided to stop at Bloomington High School South, where 15 representatives of Seymour participated in a US Tennis Association tournament.
Coaches aren’t actually allowed to coach their players during these USTA-sanctioned events, so it was strange for Wood to sit there and watch her players play as fans.
It was hard for me, for Bob as well as for me,” Wood said. “We were really happy that they had their game under control, but you just wanted to run up to that fence and cheer them on or give them a tip.”
But as Wood said, she was very happy with how everyone was playing. Six of the 15 participating owls finished in their class.
Claire Combs and Emma Woodard played doubles together, winning the 14U doubles. Lane Woodard was also there, but he didn’t have a doubles partner, so he randomly joined a guy from Jasper, and the duo finished second in the 14U doubles series.
The number 1 singles player for the Owls’ varsity team this year and The Tribune’s Girls Tennis Player of the Year, Brooke Schafstall, was also in attendance. She teamed up with Jessica Hougland and the tandem won the 16U doubles.
The only singles player to qualify for Seymour was Group Eight Shun Takeuchi, who took second place in the 14U singles streak.
They played great,” said Wood. “The most important factor for us is that we’ve been preaching to our kids for years that you can improve in tennis, the opportunities are there, but you and your family have to make the commitment to do the tournaments. .
Of the 15 Seymour representatives in Bloomington on Saturday, 10 experienced their first USTA tournament.
Without coaching, many players also had to figure things out on their own.
You are the ref. You are the coach. You are the player,” Wood said. “You have to self-analyze and reflect during the game.”
This USTA event took place a day after Seymour concluded his record-breaking five-day high school tennis camp last week.
More than 80 kids showed up last week to attend the camp run by Wood and boys’ tennis head coach Brandon Davis.
Wood called it “tennis fever” and now it’s spreading beyond the school camp. There was a wide variety of participants from Seymour last Saturday, the youngest being 12 and the oldest 18.
“The team camaraderie, although not all of them are on the high school team, just for the city of Seymour, Seymour Tennis, it was great to see them interact with each other,” Wood said.
Wood believes it was a big step for the Seymour tennis program to allow a growing number of children to work on their game outside of a camp or a planned practice environment.
She knows from experience with her own daughter that these types of tournaments can help a player improve and see other types of styles and competitors like how Lane Woodard teamed up with a kid from Jasper without ever playing together and the two performed well as a team.
The mindset is starting to change from just thinking about doing something to actually going out and doing it.
“We see that our tennis players are really starting to improve,” Wood said. “Instead of thinking about going to a tournament or taking some lessons, they are doing it now. As a coach it just makes me very happy.”
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