Q and A with the new tennis coach

Elizabeth Rickert, Staff Writer

Optimst talked to Joe Yonkman, the new boys tennis coach, and asked him about himself and his approach to coaching. 

Q: Where are you from?

A: I’m originally from Fishers, Indiana.

Q: What made you decide to be South’s tennis coach?

A: I love tennis. When the job became open, and they asked me to do it, I thought “oh that would be really fun.”

Q: Have you ever been a coach before?

A: I have not. It’s my first coaching experience.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

A: I play a lot of tennis. I’m also a bird watcher- I’m an amateur ornithologist.

Q: When did you start playing tennis?

A: I started maybe three or four years ago.

Q: What is the best thing about being a coach?

A: Meeting some of the strange personalities.

Q: Do you enjoy working with the players?

A: Yeah, I like working with all of them. I think tennis is a good sport because we’ve got a pretty good core group of guys.

Q: What is the most rewarding thing about coaching?

A: Watching somebody improve. Every day I get to watch someone have a breakthrough.

Q: What is the hardest thing about coaching?

A: Watching someone struggle. It’s hard because they’ve worked really hard, and sometimes they don’t see immediate results which can be frustrating for them.

Q: What made you get involved with tennis?

A: I was a baseball player, and I couldn’t play baseball anymore. Tennis was another sport that you had to hit a ball, and I liked that a lot.

Q: What do you think makes a good athlete?

A: Having a strong body and an even smarter brain.

The tennis team’s first match was Aug. 17.