After facing a challenging ski injury, Girls Tennis Co-Captain Sarah Coddington ’23 was told that she would not be able to play her final season on the team, but that did not stop her commitment to her team. Coddington has spent the early days of the season acting as a leader and friend to her teammates by never failing to show up to practice and continuing her love for tennis.
“I mean, definitely being at practices and not being able to play has made me realize how much I [love the sport]. I watch them play. I watch how much fun they have. Last season, it’s really sad. So I think it’s made me buy my love for the sport again, which being very athletic growing up and just being really into sports, it comes and goes, your motivation, dedication,” said Coddington.
Head Coach Deborah Chase commended Coddington on her abilities to affect the team, even if she is not on the court. Due to Coddington’s experience on the team, she is able to give her teammates constructive feedback and advice that she would not have been able to notice while playing.
“Unfortunately, she can’t be the way that it would normally be this year because she is injured and that’s been really hard for her and hard for us, but she’s been really invaluable in her helping to coach the girls because she knows so much about the sport and because she knows so much about them, you know, and it’s her fourth year with them. She has been able to really help them in ways that may have been more difficult if she was also among them,” said Chase.
Kendra Tomala ’26 entered her first season with the team this spring, and immediately felt comfortable around Coddington and her supportive attitude.
“My first impression of Sarah [was] she was super friendly. She was really energetic, I guess she’s injured this season. She can’t play in matches or anything, but she is always there. She shows up that practice at matches and she just is really supportive, and energetic, and she cheers everyone on,” said Tomala.
Coddington emphasizes the importance of having positive energy and spirit on the team. She makes the effort to talk her teammates through matches, improving individual relationships with her teammates which can be challenging to maintain when off the court.
“I think as cheesy as it sounds a team spirit, I think because we have some new-coming freshmen, the team’s not big, it’s like eight kids. So I think it’s really important to have a great relationship with everyone on the team. I try to be as helpful as I can, I like to check in with the girls. I think just uplifting them because we have freshmen on the team, they get really nervous before the match and playing with the new doubles partner,” said Coddington.
Tomala appreciates Coddington’s feedback during practice and matches, particularly because she delivers in a motivating way. Coddington never stops cheering on her teammates during matches, which has helped Tomala push through the mentally and physically challenging moments of matches.
Tomala said, “Sometimes during practice, she’ll sort of be like a coach, she’ll help out on the drills. So, in that way, she is a good leader, but also she gives her advice like during practice and then during our match, we only had one so far, but she makes sure to be really loud. She cheers everyone on, um, and it really keeps up our spirits even if you know, the match is not doing so well. She’s always there.”
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