Courtesy of Christine Dooley
When asked to think of a team sport, tennis usually isn’t the first thing to pop into your mind. But here at Wilson, our tennis team is striving to become one of DC’s top programs. Coached by Christine Dooley, who played tennis in high school and currently plays on an adult team, Wilson tennis strives to work hard and support each other on and off the court.
After hearing there was a head coaching position open, Dooley gladly took upon the position. Taking over with such short notice did not allow her much time to work with the team before the matches officially began. “The team has adjusted well,” said junior and team captain Gabe Vanni. “It was a shock at first just to get a bit of rhythm going but now we have a real structure.” Under its new leadership, the team, currently 4-1, is now able to focus on competing and performing their best.
As the season has passed by, Dooley has been able to form a young but motivated team that she is excited to work with. “We have a lot of depth in underclassmen and I’m really excited to develop them,” said Dooley. With only two seniors on the team, Dooley sees nothing but positives for the team’s future.
The tennis team made cuts at tryouts for the first time this year. Dooley sees this as an indicator that the tennis team is finally increasing its popularity at Wilson. “That’s a sign that kids want to get involved,” she added.
Dooley said that in her time coaching, she’s learned that some philosophies apply to all sports. “I really believe in a strong work ethic and having the team support each other. That’s how you win,” Dooley said.
Mental strength is a fundamental skill needed to be a top-tier tennis player. And it is that aspect of the game that stands out most for the Tigers. “What I most love about the Wilson team is that everyone supports each other and that they are always putting in the maximum effort,” Dooley said.