Sunday, May 20, 2018
News Roundup

Tampa tennis coach teaches all ages about skills and values

Last week, Glen Shull taught 14 kids a trick tennis shot. Shull, who has two master's degrees and a doctorate, retired in 1999 from traveling the world as an organizational development consultant for Marathon Oil.

In 2001, he started coaching tennis. Now, as a stay-at-home dad with a 2-year-old son, he teaches about 10 hours a week for Tampa's Parks and Recreation Department at the Himes Avenue Sports Complex. Tampa Bay Times staff writer Elisabeth Parker caught up with Shull to chat about fitness advice and his bonus life lessons.

Shull charges a drop-in fee of $10 for kids and adults to show up and play at one of his eight classes each week.

What ages do you coach?

I start at age 4. That's when eye-hand coordination comes in.

And your older students?

We have many who play tennis past 70, even into the 90s. There is one gentleman at 102 who plays four days a week in Florida. I will turn 70 in March and am a very active coach, feeding the balls, rallying and competing for fun and fitness. Not many my age or those in their 90s play any "athletic" sports except dancing and swimming.

What's a class with you like?

When you're on my court, you're pretty much in your cardio zone. I want you to hit a lot of balls.

You're there for exercise, not standing in line. I spend very little time talking. I model a volley or a ground stroke. I tell them as they're playing: "Get your stance right. Get your feet in the right place."

With kids, we play games like "bouncing balls alive." As long as the ball is bouncing, they get to hit it. I teach a shot of the day.

What are the fitness goals you aim for?

We focus on skills, conditioning (all muscle groups especially core and legs), games and fun. As a rule of thumb, 20 to 40 minutes in your cardio zone will get you in good condition.

For adults, I may work on her backhand or his serve. With kids it's a trick shot. Like underneath one leg or hitting with your back to the net. I have them catch a ball on their racket and not bounce it. Sometimes they actually end up using it in a game.

What are other ways you encourage kids to be active?

I always point out the positive. I have the kids race around the court. I say, "Notice how he's running. She's pumping her arms. Imitate that.' If a kid is 13 and he can keep up with me, he's pretty good. I'm in pretty good shape for an old guy. I'll talk to the parents. You have a natural runner. You ought to get him into track.

Do you teach other values in your classes?

I give a little sermon when we're taking our break if I see someone eating a candy bar. I might say, now, she's eating pretzels. That might be better for you on the tennis court than a candy bar. It's going to give you a high and then you'll find that you're dragging. I tell them, dilute Gatorade 50/50 with water. I suggest raisins or a banana.

All my kids eat pretty healthy after they've been there a few times.

I teach values, too.

I tell them: I'm a person. Don't hit the ball at me. Treat people nice. Treat things nice. None of my people throw their rackets. I have a catch phrase: safety first, fun second and skills third. Winning will come.

Parents have said, "Boy, none of your kids misbehave." One time, a nanny walked up carrying one of the younger siblings and a racket. I said, "Whose racket it that?"

The kid said, "That's mine." I said, "You carry it."

Parents always look at me and (silently say): "Thank you."

This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

Comments
‘World’s most expensive Witch Hunt’: Trump lashes out at New York Times, Democrats

‘World’s most expensive Witch Hunt’: Trump lashes out at New York Times, Democrats

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump lashed out Sunday at "the World’s most expensive Witch Hunt," trashing a new report in the New York Times that said an emissary representing the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates offered help...
Updated: 1 hour ago
For starters: Rays at Angels, with Romo again as “the opener”

For starters: Rays at Angels, with Romo again as “the opener”

UPDATE, 2:27: If the Rays win today, it would be their first four-game sweep since Sept. 20-23, 2013, vs. Baltimore and first on the road since Aug. 16-19 here at Anaheim. … It also would be the first time they swept back to back series on the ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Obama’s education secretary: Let’s boycott school until gun laws change

Obama’s education secretary: Let’s boycott school until gun laws change

Former Education Secretary Arne Duncan pushed a radical idea on Twitter: Parents should pull their children out of school until elected officials pass stricter gun control laws.His tweet came hours after a shooting rampage at a Houston-area high scho...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Family, friends recall shooting victims’ optimism, humor

Family, friends recall shooting victims’ optimism, humor

SANTA FE, Texas — A 17-year-old student looking forward to celebrating his family's new swimming pool and a substitute teacher whose home frequently hosted family gatherings were among the 10 people killed in a mass shooting at a Texas high sch...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Softball: Scouting the Academy at the Lakes vs. Lake Worth Christian semifinal

Softball: Scouting the Academy at the Lakes vs. Lake Worth Christian semifinal

Academy at the Lakes (24-4) vs. Lake Worth Christian (10-3)Where: 11:50 a.m. Monday at Historic Dodgertown, Vero BeachHow they got thereAcademy at the Lakes defeated Seacrest Country Day 11-1, defeated Canterbury 5-1Lake Worth Christian defeated...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Rays hang on to beat Angels 5-3 behind Robertson slam, get back to .500

Rays hang on to beat Angels 5-3 behind Robertson slam, get back to .500

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Playing .500 ball is obviously no goal, and the Rays certainly know that.But given where they came from, that terrible 1-8 start that oozed into 3-12 and 4-13, climbing back to the respectability of .500 would be an accomplish...
Published: 05/20/18

Up to two tons of fertilizer spilled into channel leading to Tampa Bay, Kinder Morgan reports to state

TAMPA — As much as two tons of fertilizer accidentally spilled into a channel that leads to the upper part of Tampa Bay, according to a report sent Friday night to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. DEP spokeswoman Dee Ann Mil...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Rays journal: New pitching plan worked so well Romo starts again Sunday

Rays journal: New pitching plan worked so well Romo starts again Sunday

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The first part of the Rays' new and unusual pitching plan worked so well Saturday, as game "opener" RHP Sergio Romo struck out the first three Angels hitters, that the Rays will do it again on Sunday.That's right. Romo will st...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/20/18
Lightning-Capitals: How Tampa Bay withstood Washington’s barrage

Lightning-Capitals: How Tampa Bay withstood Washington’s barrage

TAMPA — A two-goal lead was suddenly only one, and the Washington Capitals, having pulled their goalie, had a furious 96-second siege.Andrei Vasilevskiy made the last three of his 28 saves to preserve the Lightning's 3-2 victory Saturday in Gam...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/20/18
Lightning-Capitals: How Tampa Bay’s early surges carried the day

Lightning-Capitals: How Tampa Bay’s early surges carried the day

TAMPA — Dan Girardi knew where the puck was heading. It was heading to Alex Ovechkin for a one-timer on net, so Girardi did the only thing he could do. He blocked it.With his rump."It hit me right in the cheek," said Girardi, the Lightning defe...
Published: 05/19/18