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“Coaching and life are both journeys!”

  • Post category:Tennis

Patrice Murray, head coach of the Monmouth University women’s tennis team, granted an exclusive interview for Tennis World USA, in which she talked about many interesting and important topics regarding college sports. Patrice, 38 years coaching at Monmouth University, was a former No.

1 tennis player for Monmouth, in the 1978-82 season

. She took over coaching when her college tennis coach retired from Monmouth, in Fall ’85. She got a Masters of Science in Educational Administration Principal Certificate, in 1989.

She answered a number of questions, which you can read below.

The head coach is not only a coordinator, but she/he must also act as a motivator, psychologist, glue of a group for his student-athletes. How would you rate your journey in the last season?

Tennis coaching and life are both journeys!

Coaches and athletes get to choose the path to take when faced with decisions. Hopefully, the decision is well thought out and one that they will be comfortable with. Without a doubt, it is the coach’s responsibility to create a climate of positivity.

Coaches have to be role models and set the example for their players to emulate. They also have to be a sounding board and offer advice when asked. This season, having open lines of communication for the players to express their feelings to each other and to the coach were very important.

Learning that there are 10 personalities on a team and how to be flexible and respectful of everyone’s opinions are essential qualities to develop.

How do you rate the season of the Monmouth tennis team?

We had a decent 2022-23 season (6-16) against quality opponents.

Had a number of very close matches that we hope to turn into wins next season! The Colonial Athletic Association is a strong tennis conference. We are up to the challenge!

Considering the fundamental collective team for collegiate tournaments, who are the student-athletes who surprised you the most during the season?

We had 6 returning players, so we were familiar with their games.

They all worked hard over the summer and came into the fall season ready to go! There were two new players on the team, freshman Hana McKinney and sophomore transfer Lana Brezanin. Thrilled with both players! Tremendous additions to the team with their work ethic, talent and grit!

What are the margins for improvement that the tennis team has in view of next season?

We need to improve our doubles play. We would usually win one doubles match, but not win the doubles point. Need to develop consistency and to be more aggressive!

Tennis, like all other collegiate sports, has a fundamental role in the development of the social life of young people. But tennis, as both an individual and a team sport, plays an even more central role: at Monmouth, is tennis as valued as any other sport?

Tennis at Monmouth University is valued like every other sport!

Tremendous backing from the athletic and college administration, all the way up to the President of the university! The other coaches and players from various teams will come out to support the team throughout the year! Alumni also are interested in the team, too!

There is a lot of talk about mental health: is it a topic that is also talked about in the Monmouth locker room?

Monmouth has excellent resources for student athletes who might need help. There is no stigma attached to athletes who would benefit from speaking with a sports psychologist, counselor, professor, administrator, etc.

It is encouraged if we see a student athlete struggling. Open lines of communication and trust help build the relationship between the coach and the player. The player needs to be able to share their feelings and we collectively come up with a plan of action.

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