Today, we sat down to chat with Ensworth Tennis Director Greg Chambers. Although many competitive sports are divided by gender, tennis is one of the few sports where boys and girls get to practice and compete together. We thought what better time to hear about the Tennis program at Ensworth than when our boys and girls’ teams are undefeated!
Multiple factors played a part in my Ensworth connection. My tennis relationships through many years, coaching my daughter’s basketball teams in Futures Leagues, and sharing a couple years of athletic success at Lipscomb University with Coach Bowers are all parts of connecting to Ensworth. David Braemer, Ricky Bowers, and numerous incredible families have given me the fortunate opportunity to be in my unique position as Ensworth. My wife Amanda and I are also grateful as the Ensworth family has embraced my daughter Anna (currently in 6th grade) as well.
The tennis teams are doing extremely well but undefeated can change any day. The boys are 5-0, while the girls are 7-0 as of today. The weather has made it difficult to practice as much as we need on the courts, but gym times, attending a Vanderbilt tennis match, and watching an ESPN 30 for 30 about Jimmy Connors are ways the groups have shared some practice time together. Tennis is an individual sport, but we are doing everything we can to combine the strengths of team sports and individual sports so that being on the Ensworth Tennis Team is a positive experience.
Typical days depend on the season. Currently, I arrive at the HS campus after driving my daughter to school. I check the weather, return emails and phone calls and review the plan of the week. Coach Matt Decker is my assistant and one of Nashville’s best teaching instructors. I can’t say enough great things about Matt. He and I spend time together each morning teaching Ladies, discussing school team line-ups, reviewing short term and long term goals, reviewing tennis videos, researching other school and club tennis programs, and supervising our courts when outside tennis groups are renting them. Practice days typically end around 5 p.m., but match days end around 8 p.m. for us.
Our teams spend many practices and matches together. I honestly don’t think too much about co-ed as that is how I was schooled and that is how real life is experienced. The biggest benefit to co-educational tennis is purely opinion, but I like the mutual respect and admiration that the players gain for one another as they have common experiences and emotions as they compete. They learn from each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
If you could be a fly on the wall in any Ensworth classroom which one would it be?
Great question – I’m relatively new so I ask questions and observe the faculty whenever possible.The faculty is so supportive and helpful. I have to narrow it down to five periods in one day. I’d go to Jim Miller for English, Joe Brady for Math, Sean Smith for Music, Jeff Scott for Science, and close with Kerry Baucherio for Spanish and get kicked out for bad singing. I’d have a great talk with Dean Perkinson for my reason for being dismissed from Spanish 🙂