Reaching to the End: Women’s tennis team to compete in state after end of school year, players, coach break down elements of motivation

GET+HYPE%3A%0AThe+women%E2%80%99s+tennis+team+huddles+up+before+a+match+against+Cathedral+on+April+23.+Head+coach+Bryan+Hanan+said+the+team+is+a+strong+group+that+both+alone+and+together+push+each+other+to+improve.+%E2%80%9CA+lot+of+our+kids+are+very+self-motivated%3B+we+have+a+lot+of+competition+here%2C%E2%80%9D+Hanan+said.+
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Reaching to the End: Women’s tennis team to compete in state after end of school year, players, coach break down elements of motivation

GET HYPE:
The women’s tennis team huddles up before a match against Cathedral on April 23. Head coach Bryan Hanan said the team is a strong group that both alone and together push each other to improve. “A lot of our kids are very self-motivated; we have a lot of competition here,” Hanan said.

GET HYPE: The women’s tennis team huddles up before a match against Cathedral on April 23. Head coach Bryan Hanan said the team is a strong group that both alone and together push each other to improve. “A lot of our kids are very self-motivated; we have a lot of competition here,” Hanan said.

Veronica Teeter

GET HYPE: The women’s tennis team huddles up before a match against Cathedral on April 23. Head coach Bryan Hanan said the team is a strong group that both alone and together push each other to improve. “A lot of our kids are very self-motivated; we have a lot of competition here,” Hanan said.

Veronica Teeter

Veronica Teeter

GET HYPE: The women’s tennis team huddles up before a match against Cathedral on April 23. Head coach Bryan Hanan said the team is a strong group that both alone and together push each other to improve. “A lot of our kids are very self-motivated; we have a lot of competition here,” Hanan said.

Kelly Truax

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If the women’s tennis team makes it to State, the team will be competing on June 7 and 8. The tournament starts eight days after the end of the school year, making motivation a topic for team discussion. Head Coach Bryan Hanan said the team has had an overall good season, but the loss of two games has motivated them to continuously work harder.

“On the team in general, this has been an enjoyable year. It’s the first time we lost—twice this year—in three years. So, I think it’s been challenging because that’s something some of the girls haven’t experienced, and I think it’s great. I’m glad we’ve been challenged,” Hanan said. “I think at first some of the girls were like, ‘Oh my gosh, we lost two matches,’ but I asked myself how we respond to that. This is sort of the normal (trend). We’ve been spoiled a little bit, so I think it’s actually been a really good motivation factor for them. (The losses remind them) that we can be beat and that we’ve got to sort of bring our best (every time). We can’t just show up any more.”

Ana Mercado, tennis player and junior, said it’s her teammates who keep her motivated.

Mercado said, “Throughout the season I really rely on my team because I love them so much; they’re my family, and they’re my best friends in the whole world. I know practice is really hard to go to sometimes, but you have to remember that it’s a team effort and if one person of your family doesn’t work, then the rest of us are going to fall apart.”

Veronica Teeter
HITTING OUT:
Senior Franny Werner hits a backhand during practice. Werner is a prime example of the importance of motivation: she finally made her first varsity team in her last season. “There are 15 other girls here wanting to move up and play varsity sports, so most of the girls out here are self-motivated. Their goal is to want to get better and make top seven, and they have individual
goals as well,”
coach Bryan Hanan said.

 

Hanan said he motivates his players by encouraging them to hang out outside of scheduled tennis events so they can grow closer as a team.

“Obviously we want to win; we also want to make this a fun and enjoyable experience. We want the girls to get along, and we want to do things outside the court. We want them to have friendships outside of the tennis club and we compete to be here and compete with everybody on the team, but we have one goal to work together for the State Championships. That’s really what I try to push towards since we can only do it together,” Hanan said.

As for Franny Werner, tennis player and senior, she said her motivation continued through her four years on the team, but she has taken on a new role as a senior.

“(Over the last four years,) I’d say my motivation hasn’t changed that much. Being a senior on the team means you have to be a leader, and you help motivate everyone. So I guess I kind of have to be motivated more. I mean, it puts more (pressure) on me to be motivated, but it’s not hard to do because I’ve been waiting four years to be a leader, so it’s fun now. I feel like it being (my last season) helps me, knowing that I don’t have a lot of time,” Werner said.

Besides the teammates motivating each other, Hanan said many of the girls on the team motivate themselves to become better players.

“A lot of our kids are very self-motivated, we have a lot of competition here. If you’re not motivated playing in this program, you’re probably not going to last real long. There are 15 other girls here wanting to move up and play varsity sports, so most of the girls out here are self-motivated. Their goal is to want to get better and make top seven, and they have individual goals as well,” Hanan said.

Veronica Teeter
HIGH-FIVE:
Senior Franny Werner high-fives her doubles partner, sophomore Katelyn Conley, during a match against Cathedral. CHS lost the match 2-3; this was their first loss in three years. Werner said, “Being a senior on the team means you have to be a leader, and you help motivate everyone to play, including yourself.”

While there is self-motivation and competition among the team, both Hanan and Mercado also said the competition stems from an athlete wanting to get better individually and not to take down other teammates or steal positions.

“Over the years I think I’ve gotten much more competitive. I’ve been pushing myself to play higher in the line up because last year I played 10 doubles and now I’m playing one or two (junior varsity) games. I just know that I really want that spot,” Mercado said. “I’m not competing against the girls; I don’t see them as a personal person. I see them as I want to play doubles with them or I want (the position they currently have.)”

Regardless of the amount of motivation, athletes such as Werner said she still reaches low points within a season.

“Yes, (I experience occasional low points) because I’ve been (playing tennis) for so long, and it’s my last season, and while it’s fun, sometimes it can kind of be a burden. It’s worth it in the end. (To get out of a slump) I usually remind myself that I’ve been playing my whole life and I really like tennis; it’s fun with my friends,” Werner said.

Hanan said he notices the players’ low points and tries to remind the athletes of what they’ve worked for to bring their motivation back.

Hanan said, “We sort of remind them, ‘You’ve won a lot of matches; you’re a good player.’ I think sometimes they forget that. (We tell them), ‘Keep doing what you’re doing.’ Our strength is a lot of times stronger than somebody else’s strength. We tell them they don’t have to make changes, but stick to what (they) know works for them.”

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