In her first year in charge of the FSCJ tennis program, coach Sabaea Carrington has the Blue Wave off to a strong 6-2 start. She spent some time before Monday’s training to discuss FSCJ’s season with the Campus Voice.
What is the team’s biggest strength this year?
“I’d say the bond between them. It’s a phenomenal group of girls.”
In some ways, tennis is an individual sport. How do you get a tennis team to work together well, especially when they have such different backgrounds?
“It’s not often easy. I’ve been fortunate that the group of girls I have this year is phenomenal–they’re good people, they’re kind people, and they’re accustomed to reaching out to one another. They schedule their own bonding time outside of tennis, invite each other over for movie nights or game nights. I think tennis is ultimately what brings them together.”
What does the typical training routine look like?
“During the season, we do Monday through Thursday from 8 to 10:30 a.m. As much as possible, I try to keep them on the court, but we’ll also incorporate the Fitness Center’s weight training–legs, arms, back… Then because they don’t have class Fridays and Saturdays, it goes a little bit longer, maybe 10 to 1.”
What are the main goals for the year?
“This year, my main focus was just for them to have the college tennis experience I had, which was very joyous. It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. My focus has not so much been on winning or losing, but it’s truly about using tennis as a vehicle to learn lessons in life and how to cope with different situations. It’s a metaphor. How do you carry yourself when you lose in life? How do you react when someone cheated you, when they called the ball out when it was actually on the line? These scenarios happen in life. So that’s my main focus, to make sure the experience is enjoyable and to help them learn.”
What do you think is the level of awareness for people at the college about this program?
“Because I’m fairly new myself, I’m not entirely sure what the awareness is like… I’d say, overall, people are aware. I don’t think that they know our schedule specifically to come out and support the matches. And that’s one of the initiatives we decided to improve upon this year. We’re going to try to create some posters and put them up around campus so that people can become more aware of when to come out and cheer for us.”