Tennis enthusiasts at Webb begin their season online


Wura Ogunnaike ('23)

Webb’s online tennis players wave hello.

In December of 2020, Webb students were finally allowed to return to campus after months of uncertainty and restrictions. Last week, students on the WSC and VWS tennis teams were finally allowed to do the same.  

While some students compete on the courts, others practice from their bedrooms. The online sports program was created last semester to accommodate student athletes during the pandemic when on-campus sports were not an option, with the goal of focusing primarily on exercise.  

I think a lot of coaches were baffled about how we go about doing online zoom classes with sports,” said Michael Kozden, the jv tennis coach. So, I got some ideas, we shared ideas with coaches, and I think everybody has their own style, but I think exercise is a big component.” 

The exercise portion of the class involves five to 10 minutes of light stretching and warmups from videos by various fitness YouTubers. However, students find that completing exercises online can be difficult and not as effective as doing these exercises in person 

I think that it’s a struggle having lessons online, but it’s a good balance,” Illiana Redding (‘22) said.  

The online videos do not compare to in person practice, but some students had suggestions for how to improve the program. More exercises and participation were suggested, since the distance online makes the social part of sports harder to get across. 

“I really like the way Functional Fitness did it last year where they had different workouts every time and everyone had to open their cameras and do the workout,” Ben Thien-Ngern (‘23) said.I feel like that would be more effective in terms of working out. 

Other students shared grievances about the time differences for international students 

“I know that a lot of international students like myself, we usually have classes at 11, but tennis is at 8 so that we are forced to get up at that time and a lot of us are just tired,” Ivy Yan (‘23) said. I would say the best change is to reduce the times we meet per week.” 

While the program is not perfect, there is room for improvement and opportunities for athletes to raise suggestions. The school is doing its best to accommodate student athletes from wherever they are.  

The season has just begun, and many are looking forward to everything else that is in store.