New girls tennis coach has high hopes for young Meadowdale team

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New varsity girls tennis coach Tim Rettmann offers pointers to the Meadowdale High School team earlier this week at practice. (Photos by Char Blankenship)
Rettmann watches as June Woo practices serving.

Between the rain, wind and occasional snow, the early part of the spring sports season is always a challenge for Edmonds-area high school players and coaches. We were able to chat via email this week with Meadowdale High School’s new varsity tennis coach, Tim Rettmann, who said that one of the things he enjoys most about his girls’ team is their positive attitude, in spite of the weather. Here’s our Q&A with Rettman:

Tell us about yourself:
Growing up north of Spokane, I had the privilege of attending and playing tennis at Mead High School, with one of the best tennis coaches (and players) around, Bill Wagstaff.  Although I didn’t know it at the time, that experience formed the basis of my approach to coaching tennis, which has persisted for 26 years. After graduating from Mead in 1986, I earned degrees in botany and biology/chemistry education while playing tennis for Eastern Washington University in the NCAA Big Sky Conference. I subsequently coached tennis at Eastern Washington University, Whitworth College (now Whitworth University), North Central High School (Spokane), and Pasco High School in addition to numerous tennis camps and summer programs in the Northwest, Midwest and East Coast.

What do you like most about coaching high school girls tennis?
I love the enthusiasm for the sport and the desire to keep improving, both of which are prevalent among the Meadowdale girls.  The team is supremely enjoyable to work with, and I am honored to be their coach. Despite the cold, rain, and even snow we have contended with this spring, the girls continue to work hard, have great attitudes, and share lots of smiles! It is a pleasure to work with a team which shows noticeable, significant improvement every day whether we work out on the courts or in the gym due to weather.  Having had some great coaches to learn from when I was a young athlete, as well as having the benefit of working with terrific coaches in several other tennis camps and programs, I’ve seen how good experiences with a tennis program can carry on throughout an individual’s life. The potential benefits socially, professionally, recreationally, and in terms of
overall mental and physical health, can be immeasurably large. It is my goal for all of the girls on my teams to realize those benefits.

Tell us about this year’s MHS girls varsity team: Returning players, as well as newcomers this year, and team captains.
The bulk of the varsity players are relatively inexperienced in varsity competition, and it will be interesting to see how they develop as competitors. Based on the attitude, effort and improvement I am seeing in practice, I have high hopes for the squad.  Maddy Shields, Isabel Reeb and Jennifer Bishop are the team captains and work well together as leaders. Izzy (Isabel) has distinguished herself as the standout player in competitive performance, and I am eager to see how she grows as a tennis player and a leader.

What are your team’s greatest strengths?
Great attitudes and a strong desire to improve both individually and as a team characterize the Meadowdale girls tennis squad.  The athletes have high standards academically as well as on the court. This is perhaps the most high-achieving groups I have ever coached. The girls work well together, and I see the newest, least experienced JV player working just as hard as the top varsity player.

Who do you think your toughest opponent will be?
Being new to Wesco (The Western Conference), I am not as familiar with the other programs and their returning athletes as I would like to be, but it is always my position that my players’ greatest assets, as well as their greatest potential opponents, are themselves. I coach my players to develop and know their own games and control their own fates, understanding that any player can beat any other player on a given day. Each athlete must see herself as an immovable fortress, subject only to what she chooses and the efforts she gives. It is what each girl does to prepare herself and to compete which will determine most any outcome on or off the court.

Anything else you’d like to add?
It is a thrill to have the opportunity to work with the Meadowdale High girls and see them take advantage of something that can be a big part of their lives going forward. Tennis is a fun, lifelong sport which can be played at any level thru camps, leagues, tournaments and social events. Parental involvement is a pleasure to see and makes a tremendous difference. I have had the benefit of meeting with several very supportive parents already and am eager for the opportunity to get to know the rest.

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