Meet the New Head Coach of Tennis
Welcome to a new (well not exactly new) member of the Edgemont athletics team! The newly-promoted head coach of varsity tennis, Alexa Goldberg, is currently in the middle of her third season with the girls’ team after guiding them to the sectional finals in the 2021-2022 school year.
She took over the role of head coach this summer. Coach Romney, the previous head coach of the Edgemont varsity boys tennis team, had a wonderful and successful career, guiding the team to multiple league wins and nurturing the skills of the history-making state champion doubles team last season.
Alexa stepped up after he retired, not only willing but excited to inspire and innovate. She is very accustomed to Edgemont, having played on the tennis team under the guidance of coach Jim San Marco in 2014. She ended up winning the state championship in her senior year. Alexa then went on to play at Skidmore, a top 15 college for tennis, and after graduating she earned her master’s degree in Early Childhood and Childhood Education while pursuing coaching full-time. Coach Alexa is an inspirational figure to both athletes and students at Edgemont. Here are some things you should know about her.
Why did you want to become a coach?
Tennis is my passion and teaching others how to play a sport I love is extremely rewarding. Tennis is both a physical and strategic game. You can play anywhere, anytime, and it is so exciting to watch young players develop their love for the sport that I care about so deeply.
What do you hope to inspire in the players you teach?
I would like to inspire players to believe in themselves. I support and encourage all my players, but they have to believe in themselves and their abilities to really be able to achieve their goals. Additionally, I hope to inspire a love for the game. I really enjoy the sport, and I want all my players to have fun while they are playing and to truly enjoy the experience and joy of being active. That's what it is really all about, and sometimes we lose sight of that when we are in the midst of intense competition.
I know you are also a first-grade teacher. How is coaching tennis similar to teaching?
I love helping my students and tennis athletes grow, develop, and more importantly, achieve their personal goals. Teaching is a journey, as is coaching, and you are there for the good, the bad, and the ugly in order to support individual growth and learning. It is essential, as a teacher and coach, to remind students and players of what they can achieve. It is my job to encourage, support, and challenge them in their endeavors.
How would you describe your style of coaching? What core values guide your coaching?
I consider myself pretty much a hands-on coach and demonstrate and show my players what it is I am asking of them. I can be very intense and passionate at times, and I care and have high expectations for my players. Everyone should be encouraged to succeed to the best of their abilities. I have a few core values that guide my coaching. One is confidence: players should have extreme self-belief in their abilities and skills. Another core value is determination: players can push through uncomfortable situations. Resilience is a third core value that guides my coaching. Losing is part of the game. No one likes to lose, and it is how you bounce back and refocus after failure that demonstrates resolve and the type of athlete you are and the player you are. A final core value would be respect for oneself and others. Players need to act in a way that shows appreciation and respect not only for the game of tennis but also for their teammates, opponents, and coaches.
How does it feel to be the head coach of both the girls and boys tennis teams at Edgemont, especially with that role being mainly male-dominated for so long?
Words cannot describe how grateful I am for this opportunity to be the head coach of all varsity tennis at Edgemont. It is a privilege. I have big shoes to fill, from Coach San Marco and Coach Feinstein for the girls' team and Coach San Marco and Coach Romney for the boys. I am extremely lucky to have them in my corner to guide me and support me on this journey. I hope to bring a piece of their history and legacies into the programs while adding my own approach to elevating and hopefully leading both teams to success. I think it is really special to have a female in this position and it reflects great progress and recognition of women in leadership roles.
What do you hope to inspire in the athletics community of Edgemont?
Let's dream big! Dream for the sectional championship and the state championship. Set a goal for yourself and work hard to achieve it. Anything can happen if you can believe it.
Speak a little bit about your team this year and how you feel about this season.
The girl’s tennis team has been tremendous. They are currently undefeated in the league and are playing amazing quality tennis. Most importantly, they are playing as a team, cheering for each other (both on and off the court) and really playing as a cohesive group. In my first year as head coach, we came second in our section, and it was a remarkable season. Last year, we got to the quarterfinals but came up a bit short. This year, I truly believe this team has what it takes to go all the way and come home with the team state championship. They are ready to really make a name for Edgemont Girls Tennis.
How did it feel to be coaching a state title-winning doubles team during the boys season? (Coach Romney led and developed an amazing boys team last season- Coach Alexa came in during the state championship to help support them.)
It was a special experience to be a part of Eli and Nick’s state championship this past spring. Coach Romney and I worked together to make sure the boys were ready, both mentally and physically. To watch everything come together the way it did was amazing. It was even more endearing for me, having won the doubles state championship myself with Tomo Iwasaki 10 years ago; no one has been able to achieve this since then. As a coach, you dream of the opportunity to coach your players to a championship, and to do that along with Coach Romney was something I will cherish my entire coaching career.
When you were a tennis player in high school and college, what kind of coach were you looking for? Do you think you fit that description?
Personally, I needed a coach who cared about me not only as a tennis player but as a high school student and individual. Coach San Marco was the ideal coach for me and was always active, present, and supportive. He was always there for me and he encouraged me, both on the court and in the classroom, to be the best. To this day, he is someone I look up to and go to for advice and guidance. He is a very special part of my life, and he has been since high school. I am very lucky to have had him as a coach and now as a mentor. I truly hope that I fit that description for my players on both teams. I hope to build strong relationships with all my players and remind them that we are all on this journey together.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
By far, the most rewarding part of my job is to watch my players grow not simply as tennis players but also as individuals and good citizens. Who and where they are at the start of the season is never where they end up at the end and to witness and be part of that transformation is so special.
Coach Alexa is very engaged and active within Edgemont Athletics. She looks to motivate her players on and off the court, something she has been very successful in doing. If you head up to the courts, you might see three signs taped to the fence: the first one says “One team. One Goal”, the second one reads “A.C.E.” (Attitude, Commitment, Energy), and the third says simply “Believe.” This is a sweet tennis tradition Alexa has brought to the school, as slogans for each year aim to foster a community within the team. Coach Alexa Goldberg clearly takes a very hands-on approach to guiding her players, and she will continue to impact the athletics community positively going forward.