At the start of the 2022-2023 school year, Diane Croll-Guard became the new tennis coach here at Bowie. Since Craig Howell is no longer coaching tennis, Croll-Guard has taken over his position as the new coach. Croll-Guard has had a passion for the sport since high school.
“It was like my sport, ” Croll-Guard said. “I really wanted to share that experience with the new generation.”
Croll-Guard teaches US Geography class alongside being a coach. Croll-Guard has applied the skills she has learned as a teacher to being a coach.
“It’s a very big switch, but there’s a lot of crossover,” Croll-Guard said. “Social Studies is all about understanding the world around you. So, as team sports, it’s just kind of really understanding your surroundings.”
Because it’s the start of the year, some team struggles have come forward. Croll-Guard strives to turn the team’s hardships into positive moments.
“I just look at what we’re struggling with,” Croll-Guard said, “and try to use that as a learning opportunity.”
During a game or practice sometimes it can get tough. When Croll-Guard notices her team players feeling doubtful, she thinks of ways to hype the team up.
“I’m really into how other players go in and cheer for their teammates when they’re not playing,” Croll-Guard said. “So I try to give it more of a collective hype.”
Adjusting to a change in leadership can have multiple effects on a tennis player, as all of the players have different ways of warming up to their new coach.
“The last coach was a big, like, football coach almost,” senior and six-year tennis player Jason Forst said. “And now it feels a bit more chill and more put together.”
Coaches are often big role models to their players. Croll-Guard works to help the team improve their skills.
“She actually focuses on your specific game,” junior and two-year tennis player Ramon Humphreys said. “[And] what you like to do and give us exercises.”
Although it is early in the year, Croll-Guard is overjoyed to be coaching the players and looks forward to many school years ahead. She continues to work on being an even better coach for her team.
“I’m really trying to prioritize accountability,” Croll-Guard said. “I think that is crucial, and loyalty and commitment.”