Most athletes spend the summer building strength and endurance to prepare for the fall season.
Castle boys tennis coach Craig Bottorf said summer is as much about conditioning the mind as much as the body. He said summer conditioning allows a player to be fit and strong in advance but it also provides the mental perks of confidence that comes from knowing the time and effort was put in to be ready.
“Even if the skill isn’t there, it gives a mental advantage,” he said.
Bottorf said playing high school tennis isn’t just about the competition. He said he hopes players grow in maturity and leadership skills while learning to play as a team.
“We’re hoping that by the time we reach the end of the season we’re fit, we play good tennis and we play as a team,” he said.
Because tennis is a game mostly played individually but still a part of a team, Bottorf said it can be difficult to get players to work as a team. He said the challenge is to shift the focus from individual results to the results of the team.
“Somtimes it’s a challenge to get them to work as a team,” he said. “To get them to believe the team result is more important than their individual result can be difficult at times.”
But Bottorf said he is already feeling good about th is year’s team. He said the team has a great group of incoming freshman with competitive experience as well as a core group of seniors who have been competing together for more than four years.
“They bring a lot of experience,” he said. “It’s a special season with a special group of guys. It feels special already.”