New England

Coach Profile: Jennifer Bishop

James Maimonis, Manager, Media & Communications | September 02, 2020

SWAMPSCOTT, MA - Jennifer Bishop is a high school tennis coach, community tennis director, USTA League player and advocate of the game. Heading into her fourth year as the Swampscott High Boys’ Varsity Coach, Jen is eager to get her team back to the playoffs after missing a 2020 season which she previously deemed “our year.” For the past six years, Jen has also been running Swampscott’s recreational tennis program, which gave her valuable experience during her transition into the head coach role.


We recently caught up with Jen to learn more about the work she’s done to grow and develop tennis in Swampscott.


How did your experience as the Recreation Department’s tennis director help as you became a varsity coach?


I’ve been running the Town of Swampscott’s Recreation Department’s tennis program for the last six years where we offer a summer tennis camp from five days a week in the summer and a fall after school program. Our camps are broken down into three sections: agility, instruction and drills/games. I run my high school practices in a similar way. We keep it fun but get the job done with improvement being the goal! I’m now starting to see some of my rec kids join the tennis team, which was another goal of mine. 


What is your favorite part of the coaching job?


My favorite part of coaching is helping a team evolve and improve over the course of a season.  Whether it’s an unlikely doubles team that syncs together and learns to support each other or a singles player who learns a new strategy and uses it to become a better player, it’s great to see  players grow. It is very rewarding to witness a team come together and accomplish a goal through hard work and dedication. 


How did your teams fare in your first two full seasons coaching?


In 2018, we earned Swampscott’s first state tournament win in four years after beating Bishop Fenwick in an extremely close match. I was so proud of the team for working hard and earning it, very exciting. In 2019, we missed the state tournament by one loss, which came down to a tiebreak in the third set against Somerville. Our division has changed and I’m very excited for the 2021 season. There are a lot of good things on the horizon for the Swampscott boys.

How difficult was it for you and your team missing this past season?


Unfortunately our 2020 spring season was canceled. All the local coaches had already attended the USTA’s coaches clinic at Longfellow Wayland and we were ready to go, so it was hard. It was so disappointing because this was “our year.” We were poised to have an outstanding season. We had new freshmen, a few eighth graders joining, and our returning seniors were strong. We were committed to beating our cross-town rivals, Marblehead High School, this year. We had really gelled together as a team and were excited to get back on the courts.  


Talk about how far tennis in Swampscott has come since you took over the rec program six years ago

I’ve always been a huge advocate for the game of tennis. So when the opportunity arose to take over the town’s tennis program, I was excited to get involved and introduce tennis to a whole new generation. I’m so proud that I’ve grown the summer program from one week to six weeks, the fact that it sells out in just a few days and that there is always a waiting list. We offer a quality introduction to tennis for so many kids who wouldn’t otherwise have a chance to play. I truly share their excitement, and  if I can get kids interested in playing tennis, I’ve done my job.

Do you still play tennis yourself?


I’ve been playing tennis since I was little and rode my bike to my own town's summer tennis program in New York where I grew up. I took about 20 years off to raise my family, but in 2004, I got back into tennis. To say I was bit by the tennis bug would be an understatement. It’s since been 16 years of leagues, summer tournaments, club championships and coming back from ACL surgery. I’ve been on many tennis trips with teams to places including: Florida, Bermuda, North Carolina, New Orleans, and all throughout New England. I have made countless friends and can honestly say I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. 


What advice would you give to someone looking to start a tennis program in their town?


If your town is interested in starting a tennis program, I’d work with the Recreation Department to get the ball rolling. High School tennis players are a great resource for helpers. If it’s not in the budget to hire them, community service hours can always be an option. The young kids really love the high schoolers. PTOs usually try to run after school programs to generate income for the school, and they are another great resource when starting a program.  


Lastly, USTA offers so many resources. I am always reading different books, articles and websites to gain as much knowledge as I can. I also attend seminars and clinics to help me in my coaching. Take advantage of everything you can to learn. To start out though, all you really need is a love for tennis and the motivation to share it with others. It’s been very rewarding!

Skip Advertisement


Related Articles

  • Annual Award Winners Graphic with Trophy.
    2023 Award Winners
    September 26, 2023
    The New England tennis community is rich with volunteers, difference-makers and lovers of the game willing to go above and beyond to grow and improve tennis at the local level. In 2023, seven special people and organizations will be honored and presented their awards at a ceremony at New England Tennis Weekend on November 4 in Natick, MA. Read More
  • Sylvia Swartz and Danne Woo are August Captains of the Month.
    Top August Captains
    September 22, 2023
    Congratulations to our August USTA League Captains of the Month, Sylvia Swartz and Danne Woo! Both Sylvia and Danne have led their teams to Nationals this year and will be representing New England in Arizona. Read More
  • New England 2023 winners of the NJTL Essay Contest.
    2023 NJTL Essay Winners
    September 14, 2023
    USTA New England recently selected eight students as 2023 National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) Essay Contest winners. Run annually by the USTA Foundation and presented by Deloitte, this contest is open to NJTL students nationwide, including those a part of New England’s 17 local chapters. Read More