On Court Player Towel

Speed Logo Zone Hat


Peace & Love T-shirt



Photo Credit: Juan Ocampo
Health care professionals Jody Ann Popple and Margaret Coughlan have done much to boost their tennis games in recent years, as well as the physical fitness of the USTA Eastern team they've led to the 2013 League National Championships.
By J. Fred Sidhu, special to USTA.com
Jody Anne Popple and Margaret Coughlan, co-captains of the USTA Eastern Adult 18 & Over 2.5 team, share perspectives about the many physical and mental benefits of tennis, both as dedicated players and health care professionals.
The pair have lead their team, based out of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., to the USTA League National Championships in Indian Wells, Calif. What’s more, they’re not shy about sharing their feelings about how much tennis brings to a person’s life.
Coughlan, who began playing tennis four years ago, is a medical doctor who practices family medicine and reminds her patients of the benefits of exercise, encouraging them to find some physical activity they enjoy. Many of them do play tennis and were thrilled to hear of her trip to the National Championships.
“I tell patients I can’t tolerate them saying they don’t have time to exercise,” Coughlan said. “I’m working, with three kids and I’ve been playing tennis five days a week.
“The No. 1 benefit [of exercise] is for overall cardiovascular health. I recommend to start out slow, find something they enjoy and stick to and make it part of your schedule. I personally enjoy exercise where there is a game or something involved in it.”
Popple is a clinical psychologist who works primarily with children and families. She picked up a tennis racquet for the first time three years ago at a clinic. From there, she was recruited by a tennis pro to play in a USTA League and has been hooked ever since.
“It’s a whole new puzzle. I found it to be a very mental game. That’s what draws me in and keeps me in,” she said. “The athleticism is one thing, but figuring out your opponent, your own style, how to cover the court, I like that aspect of it.”
Popple said her work has helped her as both a co-captain and player. While she calls her position of team co-captain, “a mental exercise,” she is constantly reminding herself to do certain things on the court during her matches.
“We’re always teaching how to self-regulate and to keep your cool and not be emotionally reactive, all of that applies to any sport,” she said.
“I think of slowing down, not getting ahead of myself, breathing and telling myself to do these things. I don’t have the [doubles] partner most of the time to be doing that,” she added of her singles play. “As a coach, I remind people to smile and remember it’s fun and to remember that we’re here because of the friendships. That’s what drew us in."
collage_league_21 collage_league_19 collage_league_20 collage_league_18
USTA League is the United States' largest recreational tennis league, helping more than 800,000 participants nationwide get on the court, have a good time and step up their game. Take part in the fun in 2013 for a team experience like no other!
The first step to joining USTA League is becoming a USTA Member. Not a member? Sign up today.
From there, you’re almost ready to play. Check out our USTA League overview and we’ll help you on your way.
USTA Membership
Learn More or Login
Learn More or Login
Newsletter Signup

Copyright 2017 by United States Tennis Association. All Rights Reserved.

Online Advertising | Site Map | About Us | Careers | Internships | Contact Us | Terms of Use | Umpire Policy | Privacy Policy | AdChoices

Connect with us! Facebook-38x39 Twitter-38x39 Youtube-38x39