Webster Women’s Tennis have injured players this fall season, and new members have to work a little harder to make up for those injured players that will be out for this season.
Senior Madison Watts is out for the season due to a shoulder injury. She said she goes to physical therapy to get strong enough so she can play for the spring season. Even though Watts is not playing, it does not stop her from cheering on her team and motivating new members.
This year, it is a young team with four freshmen, two sophomores and two seniors. Watts said the group is willing to learn, and they have their own strengths. She said that encouragement is extremely important by supporting the teammates and being there for every match.
The assistant coach, Kaylen Kress, said it is important to have the seniors support the freshmen because they feel the pressure, and they are new to playing college sports. Kress said that injured players like Watts are responsible because they want to get back on the court.
“[They] check up on the trainer, going to their doctors, getting everything done,” Kress said. “Martha and I are on them [as well] but they want to get back on the court [and] it’s special to have girls who are eager to get back on the court.”
Head coach Martha Davis-Goldstein said that some of the injuries are not from tennis competition but have been irritated by the activity. She believes the team is staying positive and focused for this season.
Davis-Goldstein is looking forward to seeing the progress from individual players and is advising new members to focus and understand that it is not about winning all the time.
“When you are relaxed and focusing on say, breathing, and seeing the ball, you will play better tennis,” Davis-Goldstein said. “Our ultimate goal is for the player to find out how to play their best tennis. If they play their best tennis, and if it is better than their opponent then winning will automatically happen.”
Kress said that getting everyone to be comfortable in the uncomfortable and to not be afraid to try new things is the only way to grow as a team. Senior Sara Rice encourages freshmen to be fearless and to give it their all. She said that as teammates, they can rely on each other and see a lot of different playing styles, personality and drive for the sport. Kress said what the team needs to work on is teamwork. She said they need to trust each other and that is what they are working on at practice.