High School Coach of the Year: Laurie Martin
As the tennis coach at the all-girls Xavier College Prep in Tempe, Ariz., Laurie Martin has a lot to balance. Not only have her Gators won three consecutive Arizona state Division 1 titles, but she also maintains teams with nearly 100 students on them. In fact, her no-cut freshman team has about 60 girls, which is more than 20 percent of the entire freshman class. Significantly, Martin was named to the USTA’s 2014 No-Cut Coach All-Star Team, and now, she is TI’s choice for High School Coach of the Year.
“Laurie’s ability to lead and maintain a high school girl’s tennis program with so many student-athletes is nothing short of remarkable,” says Glenn Arrington, the USTA’s national manager for high school tennis. “The impact of allowing so many young girls to participate and be a part of a team at their school is vitally important in today’s society. Laurie is a great role model for high school coaches.”
Martin, who is a USPTA-certified pro, divides the freshman girls into 10 different color teams, then schedules them for practice two or three times a week on the school’s six courts. Since many of the freshmen on her team are beginners, she’ll also use red, orange and green balls to get them playing and improving.
Xavier Prep pulls in students from surrounding schools. “What the freshman program has done,” says Martin, “is given these girls an instant sense of belonging to our school.”
— Peter Francesconi
Tips for success
- Communication is huge for parents and students. Martin puts everyone on a group email list.
- You have to be extremely organized. “I have it written down by the minute what we’re doing the entire hour and a half.”
- Martin’s assistant and volunteer coaches always have drills and activities scripted out.
See all articles by Peter Francesconi
About the Author
Peter Francesconi is editorial director of Tennis Industry magazine.
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