Talk to the backhand: ‘Zimm’ on mindset on and off the court

by Cadia Warner, Profile Editor

     After the first half of the tennis season, The Glen Echo sat down with girls varsity tennis coach Bonnie Zimmermann to chat about tennis, staying motivated and how the rest of the season is looking. The team, led by senior captains Jamie Luo and Mikayla Kim, has an impressive record of 10-1 this season and is ranked first in their division. Currently, they’re 4-0 in the North Jersey Interscholastic Conference (NJIC) and are State Sectional Champions.

     Zimm discussed her views on the mentality of the game, not just as a tennis player but as a student and as a human being: “Give your best effort and learn from the experience.  There’s so much more to sports than the score: struggle, failure, success, luck, cooperation, teamwork” she says. She emphasized putting yourself in a good mindset and how that always makes a huge difference in a match. Rather than stepping onto the court with your head full of doubts, it’s important to believe in yourself. Maybe it won’t end up being the best game you’ve ever played, but it won’t be the end of the world. As a result, Zimm’s players have grown tremendously over the years.

     Senior captain and third singles player, Mikayla Kim shared her story of growth as a player. She’s been playing tennis since she was around the age of ten, and knew Zimm since around seven years old.

     “Even if you’re hard on yourself, she [Zimm] will always say ‘good job, you tried your best, you fought for everything, we can always do better next time. But you put yourself on that court, and that’s all we can ask for’ she doesn’t base her entire mentality on winning, but playing to our best ability”. Kim says.

     Support from the student body is vital, but tennis etiquette isn’t what we’re used to- knowing the etiquette of the court is more helpful than you’d think, and the players will appreciate it too. Typically, tennis is on the quieter side compared to sports like football and soccer where we can cheer as loud as we can. Zimm emphasized that loud cheering is discouraged during any tennis match; including when the opponent misses the ball or when your team/player scores. Quiet clapping is allowed and encouraged, as long as it’s respectful.

     Aside from a handful of scheduling problems based on weather, the team has had a great season. “My girls are wonderful humans. It’s my favorite part of what I do” she says. “They’re all determined to do their best every day, come out, compete, learn, grow”.