Tennis team welcomes new members with bonding and a goal of unity

Team dinners and get to know you games have become a priority for the team

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By Photo by Cassidy Doran

After practice, the Girls Tennis Team gathers at junior Shelby Hudson's home to eat dinner on Thursday, Sept. 11.

In order for new tennis team members to get to know each other, head coach Alyssa Meyer incorporates more team dinners and games at the beginning of each practice.

With 12 new faces on the team, sophomore Alexa Cash, as a returning member, appreciates team dinners and games. Cash says it can be a challenge to get to know everyone.

“It’s just different because it’s less returners than newbies, but it’s kind of fun to help and see them grow,” Cash said. “We’ve been doing team dinners more than we did last year. The last one was taco night at [junior] Shelby Hudson’s house. At the first one, the coaches weren’t there, but at this one coach [Natasha] Cox and coach Meyer both came so that was really fun to interact and talk to them.”

Meyer said tennis is more worthwhile when teammates are also friends.

“We do things like team dinners to improve team unity. Everyone comes, we hang out and sometimes play volleyball,” Meyer said. “They help the girls enjoy tennis more and be more successful.”

Cash agrees with Meyer’s goal of strengthening the team’s bond. Playing games before practice like Who’s Your Celebrity Crush? or What Is Something You Do Better Than Everyone Else? helps teammates grow closer in a mostly individual sport.

“A lot of us know of one another but don’t really know each other, so that was really fun to do because some people who aren’t in my class, I don’t really get to see,” Cash said. “It wasn’t a gloating game or anything, it was just funny things like “oh I fall down better than anybody else. [It was just] a goofy way to start off practice to make it not so serious.”

Cash said getting to know the rest of the team now will pay off later in the season when players need support.

“Tennis is already such an individual sport, so having team dinners helps us become one and see that we’re not just playing by ourselves,” Cash said. “There are girls that are willing to help you if your struggling and cheer you on when your doing [well] so it definitely is [worth the effort].”

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