Results begin with practice: Inside JBU Tennis

For John Brown University, 12 men and 10 women make up the Golden Eagles tennis teams.

Five days a week for approximately two hours in the afternoon, the team comes together to warm-up, perfect skills and prepare for upcoming matches.

Senior Luke Pascoe, who has played tennis for JBU since freshman year, said practices are fairly consistent each week, having a typical line-up of each of the activities the team members will execute that day.

“We’ll get to practice and do warm-ups for about 30 minutes, then we’ll typically move into drills for the next 30 minutes,” Pascoe said. “After the drills, we’ll shift into different types of matches—doubles, singles, tiebreakers, and sometimes full sets.”

Pascoe notes how this schedule allows the players to become more equipped for various matches and perfect their skill set.

JBU women’s tennis junior, Krizana Saucedo, said practices stay consistent, the weather being the main culprit for changing up the normal practice schedule.

“When weather is bad, we’ll go inside and do various drills and serves, if a match is coming up,” Saucedo said. “If there is not a match coming up, we’ll turn our focus more to conditioning.”

Senior men’s tennis team member Alex Baker notes how the team has gone through some adjusting to be where they are now. In the summer of 2012, JBU announced tennis coach veteran Paul Pautsch would lead the Golden Eagles tennis program. Through the new leadership, the team took on a new approach to the set-up of practices, leading to more time of practicing the technical skills of the sport. However, Baker also noted how it ultimately comes to the players to bring the team to the best level they can be.

“The players need to have extensive experience before joining the team as that helps everyone get better,” Baker said.

The tennis team puts in many hours each week to prepare for upcoming matches, which are sometimes held on JBU’s own campus. Saucedo said one of the largest misconceptions of the tennis program is that there are no home games.

“We do have home matches — and you should come. We like people to come!” Saucedo said.

For those curious about fan etiquette at a tennis match, Saucedo told spectators that they should cheer on the team, as long as its not during the point. Fans should not be afraid to cheer on the team before and after the point, however.