WHM: Robin Coverdale
In honor of March being Women's History Month, USTA Northern is celebrating all the women that make up and contribute to the growth of tennis in our communitities at every level.
The Director of Tennis at Fred Wells Tennis and Education Center, Robin Coverdale, has made a lasting impact on and off the tennis court. Her tennis journey began at the age of 14 when she picked up the sport at her local tennis club in Arden Hills, Minnesota, and she later went on to play college tennis at Montana State. From there, Robin acted as a coach for high school teams and women's USTA League teams. She arrived to Fred Wells in 2014 as the Adult Coordinator and moved into her current role as Tennis Director in 2016.
Robin was also a participant of USTA Leagues for both women's and mixed teams for many years. Most recently, she has helped pilot the new Women's Networking Group. The group focuses on connecting female coaches in the tennis community and giving them a space to have open discussions on all things coaching, provide support for one another, and offer them an opportunity to meet other women in the tennis industry.
Q: What inspired you to work within the tennis industry?
A: To be honest, I kind of fell into it. When I came back from college, I was asked to do some teaching at my old club, The Arden Hills Tennis Club. I realized I thoroughly enjoyed coaching and I was able to bring excitement, fun, and hopefully a little learning to players of all ages and levels. I also found that I could use my creativity to start new programs and grow others, which led to me getting my first administrative role as Adult Tennis Coordinator at White Bear Racquet and Swim, now Lifetime White Bear lake.
Q: Why is it important to you to support and elevate women's voices and abilities in the tennis industry?
A: I think it is important that all players see coaches and leaders who look like themselves. Seeing women in roles as coaches and leaders will allow young girls to believe they can be coaches and leaders in all areas.
Q: What is your mission as a female leader?
A: To provide a positive workplace where all of us work together, to be inclusive and empower all of our players and staff to be the best they can be.
Q: What advice would you give to the next generation of women who aspire to be in a high-level position like yourself?
A: Surround yourself with positive people who are willing to help you and empower you. Be the idea person – share your ideas and put your ideas into action.
Q: How would you like to see women in sports grow?
A: I’d like to see more women coaching girls youth sports, high school, and collegiate teams. It is estimated that less the 20% of youth sport coaches are women. This is where I'd like to see it grow.
Q: Do you have a role model you admire that helped guide you to where you are today?
A: Billie Jean King
Q: Why is it important for there to be a larger network of female tennis coaches?
Tennis is an amazing sport. It teaches us how to deal with success and failure, and helps builds confidence and self-esteem. The more female coaches young athletes see on the courts and the sidelines, the more it blends into everyday life and serves as a strong motivator for young female athletes.
If you are interested in joining the Women's Networking Group, please contact Christin Thurston at firstname.lastname@example.org - All are welcome!