Sept. 4, 2020 | By Jacob Adas | Photo by Patil Khakhamian
Being a member of the men’s tennis team here at Colorado College has always been something I’m very grateful for. Some of my closest friends at CC are from the team, and who knows if I would have met them if it wasn’t for the team. Summer is always a bittersweet time, as I leave my friends and teammates for three months to go home and reunite with my high school friends. I keep in touch here and there with my teammates and coach, but it is not nearly at the same level as when I’m on campus. However, this summer looked a little different.
2020 has been a chaotic year, and for most, also quite a disappointing year. The pandemic shut down most of the world, but at the same time it opened a new norm of connecting with people: Zoom meetings. Sure, Zoom has been around since 2011, but no one can deny that it blew up in utility and popularity this past spring and summer.
It’s been no different on the men’s tennis team. Past summers saw little communication from our coach, Anthony Weber. We’d get an email here and there about sports-med paperwork or the plan for the fall, but there wasn’t much else to discuss. This summer, however, Coach Weber started utilizing regular Zoom meetings to talk with the team. The whole team would log on at a scheduled time in the evening and we would catch up on our lives. Weber reflected on this shift in communication this summer.
“Yes. [During] a typical summer we have very little contact,” Weber said. “This summer, between the virus, social justice rallies, and updates from campus, there was plenty to unpack. Much more about checking in, less about tennis.”
2020 has been filled with uncertainty, and these Zoom meetings really helped share the message that we’re all in this together. With tennis not being the main talking point during these meetings, it’s been very comforting hearing that my teammates and friends are going through the same challenges that I am. There were a lot of discussions about what was going on in the world, and just checking in on each other as we are all facing new stressors.
With life growing unprecedentedly boring as I prioritized the safety of my parents and myself, these Zoom meetings came to be a highlight of the week for me. I know I wasn’t the only one who felt this way.
“I think continuous Zoom meetings are really important for those not on campus,” teammate Sam Hum ’19 said. “For myself, being quarantined in my house all day is beyond boring, and being able to see my teammates on a more regular basis has been amazing.”
With a return to campus looking increasingly unlikely this fall, and with three out of the four men’s Tiger tennis upperclassmen deciding to take the semester off, these meetings have helped maintain strong communication between the team, no matter the location of the athletes. They have also allowed us returners to meet the new first-years on the team sooner than in past years, and help with their transition into college. I asked Alex Baum ’24, a new teammate of mine, about his views on the virtual summer meetings.
“Zoom meetings have made it so I can connect with the team before actually being at school,” Baum said. “It is easy to get messages from the coaches and adds an aspect of simplicity to the college experience.”
The tennis team, just like everyone else, has adapted to the current circumstances and made the best of this situation. For me and my teammates, we found both comfort and entertainment in the biweekly Zoom meetings. Even as the school year has started, we continue to meet, slowly transitioning to more tennis-focused conversations. We’ve even started discussing the possibility of a spring season, and how it would look. These Zoom meetings keep everyone in the loop, and at this point, it doesn’t seem like they will stop anytime soon.