Tennis teams get ready for upcoming spring season

Women's tennis team serving ball

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Jason Chapman has been coaching women’s Tennis at Bellevue College since 1998. As of 2015, he is also the coach of the Men’s Tennis Team. Coach Chapman looks forward to having a new team of players this season. He says that the team members need to be mentally and physically prepared to play on a college team.
“Our goal is always to win the NWAC conference,” Chapman said.

Chapman said he is looking forward to the players on the teams getting experience playing against four-year schools this season. The men’s first game was on Sunday, March 8, against Whitman College. Chapman said that in March, most of the games for both the men’s and women’s teams will be against universities, which will challenge the players to compete at a level of difficulty they might not have experienced in high school tournaments.

Coed tennis practices are held every afternoon from Monday to Friday. Coach Chapman says that players do lots of conditioning exercises and that they work on communication with their teammates to increase teamwork. Chapman works on strategies for both singles and doubles during practice. On a college tennis team, players may need to play both singles and doubles tennis during a tournament rather than one or the other, as is common during high school competitions.

“The men’s and women’s teams learn from each other,” Chapman said.

Good communication skills are important on a tennis team, especially when it comes to playing doubles. Chapman says that when it comes to a doubles competition, players need to not only keep track of the ball, but know where their teammate is at all times.

“It’s not high school tennis anymore,” said Chapman. When it comes to the type of players he wants for his team, he said that they need to have played at a high level in high school  and have lots of experience in tournaments. A positive mentality is also important, as well as mental endurance since tennis matches can last for up to three hours.

“I’m very competitive. I like to compete,” said Chapman, who had eight years of competitive tennis experience prior to coaching, four in high school and four in college. He said he enjoys the strategy involved in preparing for and competing in tournaments. Chapman attended Eastern Washington University, and played on the tennis team there. He also got his first coaching experience as assistant coach of the tennis team.

“My teams are really strong,” said Chapman.

Though his teams are well-formed, he said he is willing to take on a new player if they demonstrate high ability. There will be a tennis tryout for both the men’s and women’s teams at the Robinswood Tennis Center from April 6-7. The tryouts will be held from 2:30-3:45 p.m.

Chapman also said that players who are interested in playing tennis at BC can contact him, his e-mail and phone number can be found on the BC website on the athletics page.

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