Tennis: Building Gradually
story Josh Ragbir
Correction: Volume III Issue 5 dated February 10, 2015
It has come to our attention that the article “Tennis: Building Gradually” did not report that Mollie Saltskog ´17 is a member of the Varsity Tennis Team. While she has stepped down this semester for medical reasons, she was the female co-captain and has been the founder and key driver in establishing the tennis team.
Fashioned on the room door of tennis co-captain Lee Koon Min ’18 is a poster that boldly states ‘Varsity Tennis: Recruiting Now’—a last grasp at a solution to the team’s most pressing concern—numbers.
The Yale-NUS College Tennis team, coached by Associate Dean of Students Kim Cheah, currently consists of Lee, co-captain Hannah Yeo ’18, Liam Rahman ’17, Alex Pont ’18, Julianne Thomson ’18, Pratyush More ’18, Holly Apsley ’18 and Tamara Burgos ’18. This puts their roster at eight, barely enough to field a full team in the upcoming Inter-Collegiate Games. “Our biggest priority at the moment is to recruit enough genuinely interested players,” Lee said.
Yet in a school of just more than 300 busy students, finding genuinely committed players is no easy task. Yeo said that while there may be ways to circumvent the dwindling numbers—like holding joint training sessions with other teams—the time commitment required of players cannot be avoided. “It’s very easy to slip into the mentality that tennis is just something you do once a week, casually,” she said. “When tennis conflicts with something less casual, tennis is probably going to lose out.”
The team hopes to iron out some of their problems this semester and lay the foundations for the future. Before the Class of 2019 matriculates, which may increase their numbers, Yeo is looking to improve the team’s efficiency and chemistry. Her ideas begin with training. While increasing the frequency of tennis-specific trainings may not be possible, Yeo thinks that the issue of intensity can be addressed. Both captains have communicated to the coach, Ms. Cheah, their desire to make trainings more physically gruelling and their willingness to be held accountable for gameplay mistakes, both in training and on the court.
Both captains also hope that the administration can play a role in creating more efficient communication structures and networks so that Yale-NUS is not left out of the loop. Yeo cited the National University of Singapore tennis team’s connections and explained that “tournament organizers know NUS and email their captains directly, who then text the players in advance—it’s simple and efficient—two things we’re really missing.”
The team will face off against the College of Alice and Peter Tan, Tembusu College, Cinnamon College (USP) and Ridge View Residential College on Feb. 14.