by Eva Dorn, Staff Writer
This season you may see a few new faces on the Girls Varsity Tennis team. Like all sports seasons there a couple of new players, but this 2016 tennis season is especially unique because the team has a new coach, Nadia Hassan.
Hassan is a Spanish teacher and a group exercise instructor at ACAC Midlothian. Hassan played tennis at CNU. Before playing at CNU, she played at Midlothian High School. This 2015-2016 school year is also Hassan’s first year being a teacher.
“It’s a challenge being a first time teacher and coach, but it’s a great experience,” Hassan said.
Hassan’s father, Feisal Hassan, is helping her to take on the challenge. Feisal Hassan is serving as the assistant coach. He is a professional tennis coach at ACAC Midlothian.
“It’s really nice having my dad as assistant coach, but the players like my dad more than they like me most of the time,” Hassan said.
Hassan and her father are using alternative training techniques with their players. Hassan is teaching her team yoga to help them with their strength and balance. Hassan is also making her player run sprint drills instead of distance running.
“I believe my player should do more sprint drills than distance running, there have been many articles that say it is better for the players. In tennis you need powerful and fast movements, and sprint drills and yoga help to make it easier for the players,” Hassan said.
Physical training is clearly important for Hassan, but she also wants to create a positive coaching experience for her players. She wants to make sure that she is a positive and encouraging influence on her players.
“Playing tennis in college wasn’t a positive experience for me because of my experience with the coach. As a coach I really want to create a positive environment for my players,” Hassan said.
An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that Ms. Hassan played at VCU. Ms. Hassan’s father played at VCU.