Girls In Sport: The Emerging Female Coach

The female coach continues to be a rare occurrence, though there is recent claims of a significant increase through instituted policies by sports organisations and governments. We look at what the emerging female coaches experience when they enter the mainstream, and what is considered their biggest strength, as they take their place in teams and establish themselves.


Meet Justin Kim

11 year old rising tennis player, Justin Kim has qualified for the North Carolina Championship Team – State Track at the USTA-Spring JTT and will play the finals on the 13-15 July 2018 at Cary Tennis Park. We interviewed Justin at practice, and here are his comments.

Question: When did you start playing tennis?

Justin: I started when I was 4 years old, having fun with Coaches Jose and Nina, at Brier Creek Country Club. but I didn’t get serious until about 8 and a half years old.

Question: What changed then?

I was playing golf a lot with my mother, Gina Lee, and my sister Jenna Kim (currently a competitive junior golfer), but I felt I wanted to be more active. I also wanted to spend more time with my dad, Charles Kim, who plays a lot of tennis. My dad would go out with me on weekends and we would hit together.  I’m really lucky that my dad knows how to string my racquets and I enjoy playing with him on court.

Question: What would you say you love most about tennis?

Justin: Winning!

Question: Great, what makes you think you could be a good competitor?

In the Fall of 2010, I won a USTA L5 singles tournament, as well as a doubles tournament in one weekend. That convinced me that I could become a really good player. After that, I started to do weekly practice at Brier Creek with Coach Chris Fletcher.

Question: How has working with Coach Liz Odera helped you?

Justin (smiling): I’m really pleased with my first serve: I used to suffer a lot in matches because my serves were very unreliable. She helped me build a powerful kick serve, and it can really hurt my opponents. She has also improved my backhand, my slice and consistency. . She encourages me to plan ahead and trust myself when playing. We prepare for every match together, and go through the results of the last match and focus on what I could use to have an advantage in a match. This has helped my become a more confident player.

Question: What are your next goals?

Justin: I hope to tryout for the varsity team at my school (Durham Academy) when I get to 7th grade, and further on, get to play for a high school team.