Cambrian: Sports

Beach ball helps Coast Union tennis players stay on top to their topspin

Varsity tennis player Savannah Lyon, a senior, prepares to hit the beach ball during topspin practice at Coast Union on July 27. Coach Tom Coxwell is at right.
Varsity tennis player Savannah Lyon, a senior, prepares to hit the beach ball during topspin practice at Coast Union on July 27. Coach Tom Coxwell is at right. Special to The Cambrian

Several members of the Coast Union boys and girls tennis teams are staying active this summer, meeting from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Wednesdays for practice session workouts under the direction of coach Tom Coxwell.

In teaching players to put topspin on the ball, Coxwell uses a beach ball. The ball is pitched to players and, as they attack it, hitting it with their rackets swinging on an upward-curved trajectory, it makes the learning process dramatically more obvious than it would be using a tennis ball.

Coxwell also has the players going through a drill called “Round the World,” in which they up on both sides of the net, and the coach feeds the ball to one side. The player on that side tries to return it and runs to the end of the line on the other side.

This continues until someone misses three times and is out; the last two players left battle for the championship.

The eight student athletes who worked out Wednesday, July 27, were clearly having fun while they were learning and expending energy.

Coxwell said he’s not sure players showing up for these volunteer workouts will get a “leg up” during the coming season. But, he added, “If I’m doing my job as coach, they should have improved and be playing better.”

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