Smells of chicken tenders and fries fill the air during the typical busy De La Salle lunch period. “Okay, go ahead,” she says, directing students of all grade levels through the monstrous fifth period lunch line. She’s small but mighty as she takes charge of the lunch line, straightening up and directing the students, who are at least one foot taller than her. She greets everyone with a warm smile. Standing at about 5’1, she is the head coach of the girls tennis team.
Science teacher Amanda Bixman has taken charge as head coach of the girls tennis team for the 2017-18 season.
“I played tennis all four years in high school. I’ve been to camps prior to high school, and it is my favorite sport, so I was super excited to be able to coach it,” Bixman said. “The position had opened up and I had wanted to coach since I got to De, but I felt like it was the right time now. I felt like I was ready to coach, and, like I said, the position opened up so it was good timing.”
This was a big change for the entire team as well as Bixman because with a new coach comes new teaching methods. Bixman has a completely different way of teaching racket technique and serving technique than the previous coach.
“The transition actually was not super smooth because I have a totally different coaching style. So that was a little tough for them trying to adjust to my coaching style, but it’s working out great.”
The girls themselves have opened Ms. Bixman up to the world of coaching and are helping her find her way.
“I’ve never coached anything before and actually I just learned that I’m pretty good at it. It’s a totally different feel being able to interact with them outside the classroom too, and it’s going really well,” Bixman said.
Despite a rocky season, the girls still pulled through and supported each other along the way.
“Senior night, the girls made posters for the seniors and they brought in snacks, they took photos, and it was really sweet and some of them had never met the seniors prior to the tennis season. So all of them coming together and being friends was nice,” Bixman said.