For the love of the game

Published 8:22 pm Friday, July 13, 2018

New Albert Lea girls’ tennis coach is ready to roll


After spending seven years coaching B-squad volleyball and teaching at Alden-Conger, Therese Netzer is set to take on her first coaching endeavor while working at Albert Lea as head coach of the girls’ tennis team. 

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After accepting a job teaching in Albert Lea, Netzer, a 2003 graduate of Albert Lea High School, said she never expected to be a coach again. However, when the tennis position opened up she decided to give it a try.

“I never played tennis in school,” said Netzer. “I started playing as an adult just for fun several times a week. It’s been about 10 years now and I just love the game and I knew a lot of the girls who had played before and they were great kids, so I thought I should give this a try.”

Netzer said she plans to make being on the team fun, while bringing a competitive aspect.

“I think the girls have to love coming to practice,” she said. “If it’s not fun for you, you probably shouldn’t be doing it. With that being said, I’m also pretty competitive. I like to have a purpose behind everything I do. A big part of playing a game is competing and doing the best you can. Maybe that doesn’t always mean winning, but it means improving, reflecting on errors that you make and trying to be better.”

Netzer said the team has an amazing group of leaders and their sense of community is very high; those aspects are going to be the team’s biggest strengths. One of her biggest goals throughout the season is to work on getting the girls into a positive mindset and growing them as individuals.

“Being mentally tough, not tough on yourself, but tough on your game … but trying to better yourself and having an optimistic outlook is going to be a big focus this year,” she said. “I think the girls have a good base set of skills; we can work on skills. Being our own worst enemy, being our own opponent and putting ourselves down is what needs to be changed and I think that’s what can turn things around.”

So far this summer, the team captains have organized hit arounds two days a week; they are lifting weights twice a week and some of the girls have been attending various camps to improve their skills. Netzer said many of them have also been attending the community tennis nights Mondays and Wednesdays at the high school courts.

The team would love to have any students who are still on the fence about joining the team to come out. Netzer said tennis is a great sport to learn and can be played for a lifetime. Anyone interested is encouraged to join the team’s Facebook page, contact coach Netzer or one of the team captains: Alexis Saltou or Samantha Skarstad.

“I’m just excited,” Netzer said. “I’m really looking forward to the season and so far it’s been great. I just hope the girls have a positive experience and that we bring a competitive attitude.”

About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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