By John Davis
OPC Community Relations Director
Kristi Boxx has extensive knowledge about the sport of tennis. She’s played it her entire life, which included competing at the highest level of college tennis as an Ole Miss Rebel. Her love of tennis has turned into a career, as she now serves as an instructor at the Oxford Park Commission as well as the director of tournaments at FNC Tennis Center.
Boxx has continued to try and better herself as a coach and administrator, and her latest experience — serving as an instructor at a USTA High Performance camp last week — will only make her students at the OPC better.
“My overall experience was really great and I am super thankful that I got to be a part of it,” Boxx said about her trip to Atlanta. “I really enjoyed getting to know the kids and also catching up with some of the staff that I used to compete with that I haven’t seen in years. It was a jam-packed weekend with a lot of court time but it was so, so good.”
Everything started to fall into place for Boxx a few months ago when she was contacted by the head administrators of the Southern Sectional of the USTA organization.
“It was kind of crazy how it all happened. They asked if I would like to be a part of a USTA High Performance Camp with the top 24 girls in the southern section, which for those that don’t know, consists of nine states and is very competitive,” Boxx said. “Most people know me from my playing career, but I haven’t done a lot in the coaching world regionally, so for her to reach out to me, it kind of came out of nowhere. I was super honored to be asked but also to be just one of eight coaches that were invited was pretty cool.”
The trip should prove valuable because it allowed what others are teaching skill wise in the coaching world.
“Well, I think it is always good to get out of your bubble and see how other people are coaching and what is working for them. We had an unbelievable staff of coaches,” Boxx said. “Two of them were top 30 in the world and over half of us had played on tour or played at the highest level of collegiate tennis so learning from them was awesome. I left the weekend refreshed and more inspired to try some different things with the kids that I am coaching here.
“The objectives of the camp were toughness, return of serve patterns, and transitioning into the net so all of the drills, situations, and point play were executed with those objectives in mind,” Boxx added. “It was really great to see how the USTA structured the practices. Their methods in high-performance tennis and player development have really evolved, so I definitely picked up some new things that I am bringing back and going to apply where I can here.”
The experience was so uplifting and informative that Boxx would love to take part in another camp.
“You know, I was a part of these high-performance camps as a junior and so for it to now come full circle and me be able to coach at the camp was pretty cool,” Boxx said. “It feels like I am giving back and helping give the next generations a positive experience just like I had.
Summer is a busy time at FNC, and Boxx is instructing a lot over the next couple of months. She also has two tournaments in June alone to get ready for.
“We are wrapping up our spring clinics, will have a little time off and then get the summer schedule going,” said Boxx, who is pleased with where she is as an instructor, but added there was still room to improve and new things to learn.