Offseason pushes coaches to improve on their athletes


Camden Southwick

Coppell tennis coach Rich Foster advises doubles teammates junior Matthew Abbey and sophomore Vinay Patel at the CHS Tennis Center on Thursday. Foster is preparing the team for the spring season with practices and socials to build camaraderie between old and new players. Photo by Camden Southwick

Nanette Pottoore, Staff Writer

Mile-runs, gyms, and more workouts. As Coppell transitions from fall sports to winter sports, fall season coaches are working to improve their athletes in preparation for the next season. 

Coppell tennis coach Rich Foster helps motivate tennis athletes during the offseason by encouraging socials and team building activities to allow for the teammates to bond with one another. Because the athletes already start the school year with matches and practices, there is not enough time outside of practicing for the athletes to get to know each other. 

Not only does tennis have a fall season, but it also has a spring season, with just a few months in between for a break. 

“We really only get eight weeks [of offseason],” Foster said, “Because there is a fall and spring season for tennis, so it is an incredibly short amount of time to work with.”

During the break, there is a service project done every year as a way for teammates to bond. In January, the tennis program is volunteering at a local courthouse and spending time donating clothes and serving food to those in need.

“We really just want to give back to the community,” Foster said, “Because we have been greatly supported by our school, so we want to return the favor.” 

As for workouts, Foster focuses on the footwork of the athletes by having mile-runs or practice matches to ensure the players are fit for the spring season. 

“A good athlete has agility and can endure intensity, so I like to spend the offseason on working with our players one on one with their core workouts,” Foster said.

Some athletes will also prepare for the spring season through private practices. 

“[Foster] really strives to help us improve ourselves and getting us more in shape,” Coppell senior Aishwarya Kannan said. “I already see a tremendous improvement in my stamina ever since we worked on running, but I’ve also practiced outside of school to help myself.” 

Foster helps mentor each player in shaping them for the spring season. 

“I really just become a facilitator during the offseason; sometimes we study and analyze potential competitors,” Foster said, “From there, we work on how to improve each individual for the upcoming season.”  

Coppell assistant cross country/track coach Donald Kemp prepares the runners so they improve on their mileage for the upcoming season.

We like to call ourselves a workout family because that’s what we are.

— Don Kemp

“We want to have our runners ready for the next season,” Kemp said, “We also want all our players to run track [which is a spring sport] so we do as much as we can to prepare them.” 

During the offseason, athletes continue to run and workout in order to maintain fitness.

“We never stop running,” Kemp said, “However, we do ramp it down a notch with less intensity and less mileage to give [the athletes] a break.”

Some runners practice mornings and afternoons for the track season. Kemp also focuses, not only on running, but on core work as well. Workouts such as pushups, leg lifts and situps are done more during the offseason to improve on fitness. 

Because cross country and track deal with running, the offseason allows for athletes to work on keeping in shape through weights and other physical workouts. While they still do runs, Kemp, along with other coaches, helps incorporate other gym exercises in their practices.

“I want our [runners] to do the best of their abilities,” Kemp said. “As a coach, their wellness is what matters to me and I want to do what I can during the offseason to help reach their goals as far as fitness.” 

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