KU Tennis Club Captain Makes an Impact
The University of Kansas club tennis teams (A&B) will compete at the USTA Missouri Valley Tennis on Campus Fall Invite October 2-3 in Topeka, Kan. We spoke with the team captain, Brian Madrigal, to learn more about the Tennis on Campus experience.
Tell us about your team.
We officially have 8 men and 8 women on the team, but we have about 50 players who attend practices throughout the week. We have some players who are just starting off and we have some who are state champions, played in community college, or playvon USTA teams.
What do you like about Tennis on Campus? How often do you practice?
I love being able to interact with other Jayhawks who love tennis as much as me! I thought that after high school, I wouldn't have the same team dynamic that I had previously felt. But this has been a great experience so far! I've personally been playing with the club since my freshman year of college (I'm currently a senior). We practice Tuesday - Thursday 7:00-8:30 p.m. as a whole group, but on Wednesdays, the advanced/traveling portion of the team practices an additional hour and a half before normal practice. We are looking to add additional practices for the traveling team.
What are your goals for this year?
Our goal this year is to compete and perform highly at as many tournaments as possible! We weren't able to travel at all last year and the year before that we had very limited opportunities. I'm hoping that we'll be able to compete in at least three tournaments per semester. We're hoping to host one in the spring semester as well. On top of that, when I took over leadership of this club, I wanted to expand and grow. I added another practice day, I added two new leadership positions, created a social media page for the club, and I'm trying to create traditions that will make the club more enjoyable for everybody.
How do you establish team chemistry throughout the year?
In the past, this has been a struggle. People used to show up at 7 p.m. and then leave right at 8:30 p.m. But now everybody seems to have made friends with at least one other person in the club. I've made efforts to push for better chemistry. For example, the Instagram I created has added a new format to support and cheer each other on. Instead of doing just drills, we play games that allow us to have fun and be competitive. To lighten the atmosphere, I bring a speaker that I bought specifically for tennis. A few other minor tactics are making sure we learn each other's names and to mix up who everyone pairs up with. As the president, I try to make an effort into talking to everybody so that they feel welcome. Hosting a party here and there also helps!