permission to print: Gale
The Olentangy Orange tennis team is preparing for its next season. The team’s preparations are working through restrictions on activities and practices.
The team conditions twice a week when weather permits in order to prepare the students for the upcoming season. They are conditioning differently this year compared to previous seasons by avoiding the weight room out of caution and conditioning on the courts instead.
“The coaching staff has decided to not hold any inside practices at this time to keep the risk of exposure to a minimum,” tennis coach Matthew Rutherford said. “Normally we would condition in the weight room, but even though the weight room staff has done a superb job keeping kids safe, the coaching staff felt most comfortable with keeping everything outside for the near future.”
Conditioning is held at the middle school tennis courts every Monday and Wednesday. Masks and social distancing measures are put in place to ensure safety when kids are off the court.
“Because our sport is played outside and typically players are 20 feet away from one another, there is little to no risk, in my opinion, other than when players are congregating in areas. So, we have made those adjustments such as keeping players spread out and wearing masks when players are in close proximity to one another,” Rutherford said.
By conditioning, the tennis team is preparing for the upcoming regular season, set to start March 8. The team hopes to be in an excellent place with great capabilities and composition.
“We hope to improve our overall fitness, but also improve our leadership and team bonds. The off season is a great time to be able to work on our team chemistry and our mental toughness,” assistant tennis coach James Savinell said.
Students are still allowed to join the team until the season starts March 8. The tennis team and staff welcome new members and help each other achieve greater heights.
“Those interested in joining the tennis team can talk to Coach Rutherford or Coach Savinell in the math wing, or can come to an opening tennis meeting in February,” Savinell said.