Andrew DeBruyn has been the The University of Olivet tennis coach for nearly two years and is about to start his second season. We chatted with him to learn more about the Olivet College tennis program and his coaching style, plus he’s got some tips for anyone interested in playing tennis.
1. Fill us in on your background. How did you become the OC tennis coach?
I’m 27 years old and was previously the head tennis pro for Norton Pines Athletic Club over in Spring Lake, Michigan. I also coached boys and girls varsity tennis at Mona Shores in Muskegon, Michigan. I played tennis for Spring Arbor University and I love the outdoors – fishing, going to the beach, sports, etc. After coaching high school and teaching players at the health club, I was very interested in getting into coaching collegiate tennis. Olivet happened to have an opening at the time and here I am!
Andrew is pictured below on the far right
2. Can you tell us a bit about the tennis program?
We’re in the process of building a competitive team here at Olivet. We work hard but we have fun while we do. I try to do a lot of activities with the team to build chemistry. Our main season is in the spring, but I run a short fall season in September to get the players acclimated to competing.
3. How do you recruit new talent?
I have a lot of connections within the state at high schools and clubs from my previous coaching jobs. Those jobs helped build positive relationships with other high school coaches and tennis instructors. I get quite a few names through that route. I also use a few recruiting websites, but personally I really enjoy getting out and watching players in tournaments and talking with their parents about The University of Olivet.
4. Are there any specific characteristics that make a player a great fit for The University of Olivet?
Hard workers, on and off the court. Academically speaking, I look for driven students that take pride in their grades and completing their degree. Since tennis is a more individualized sport, mentally strong players – those who can stay focused even when down – are what I look for. Also, players that are in for the team, and the future of Olivet tennis and our community.
5. Who is your biggest rival?
I like to say our next match is always our rival. If you go in with that mentality, you’ll compete your hardest every time.
6. How do you get your team excited for a big match?
We do a lot of walkthroughs and go over our game plan in the days leading up to that match. We also run a lot of fast paced games to keep everyone moving, and working together.
7. When does your season officially start?
Our first women’s match is September 12th at Lawrence Tech and our first men’s match is September 16th at Trine.
8. Any tips for someone interested in improving their game?
There is a lot of information online and on YouTube showing stroke analysis. I’d recommend joining a local club and getting out and taking a lesson. Even talking with someone that might serve better than you can help you understand a new tactic in stance or ball toss.
9. How about for someone who has never played tennis before?
Tennis is an awesome sport for people of all ages. It’s considered a lifelong sport, meaning you can pretty much always play. It’s not an expensive sport, all you really need is a good racquet and a pair of tennis shoes. I think watching others play helps visually show how different strokes and shots are hit. I tell my team to watch a lof of the pros play – especially with the US Open, we watch their footwork and routines.
10. Anything else you’d like to add?
I’m thrilled to be coaching the men’s and women’s tennis teams. I really enjoy the staff and community at our institution. Ever since day one, this has been the nicest work environment I have ever been a part of. I love talking about and teaching tennis, so if anyone has questions or needs help feel free to stop by my office in Dole Hall. And lastly – Go Comets!
Interested in The University of Olivet?
We’d love to talk to you! Whether it’s about tennis or just a general chat, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 800.456.7189. You can also schedule a personalized campus visit at any time.