Stella Konisek: AVHS Tennis Coach

Photo Courtesy of Ambar Zamuria

Photo Courtesy of Ambar Zamuria

Ambar Zamuria, Sandpaper Writer

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“She’s into it and she loves it. Ms. Konisek is into us being serious about it. I think that she teaches well. She makes it fun by letting us play double, supports us in getting better and inspires us to play.” – Brianna Huaracha AVHS tennis player

The following is an interview with the AVHS Tennis Coach Stella Konisek from the 2018-19 girls tennis season:

 

How many years have you played tennis?

About 40 years,

 

Where did it all begin and why?

It all started when I was 12 years old and my dad turned on Wimbledon (tennis tournament). We sat down to watch it and from there I fell in love with tennis.

 

Did your parents play tennis?

No, basketball. And my dad was a triple-A basketball player. However my mother had no athletic ability, whatsoever, but she can roller-skate, if you call that athletic ability.

 

What university did you go to and why?

For my bachelor’s degree, I went to UCLA. For my first master’s degree, I went to  Pepperdine University and my second master’s degree came from American Public University. When I was 6 years old, I saw the UCLA Men’s Basketball game win their first NCAA game and I said to my dad that it was the school that I wanted to go to. I just knew that it was the right school… I just knew. even though I have never been there, I knew that it was my school. I major in history, -well not official majors- I had a lot of coursework in economics, and I have minors in political science and psychology.

 

Did you play tennis during college?

No, only for a little bit and that was in community college.

 

Did you teach in another school, other than AVHS?

Yes, I taught for 10 years at Piute Middle School and then 12 years ago I left the district.  I also taught at Eastside High School for 5 years and this is my 7th year here at AV.

 

What made you decide to work here, as a teacher, at AVHS?

When the recession hit really hard, I just joined the district and I was one of the teachers that kept getting laid off. I didn’t have a choice, it was rather get this job at AV or have no job.

 

How long have you been coaching here at AV and why do you coach? What advice do you give to your incoming player?

This is my 4th year coaching tennis. I think it is important to show how committed I am… because I think it is important to be a good role model and help those individuals who want to be a part of school spirit and leadership development. So, I want to be supportive to the girls in whatever they want to be a part of…. athletics, clubs, that’s all that matters to me. For them to really just enjoy the sport, and to see it as a great opportunity to grow and advance as a person. I think tennis builds character in many ways because you have to develop, not only as an athlete, but develop an ability to play with others in the court, since it is one on one sport. It is teamwork, but not teamwork. So, for the girls to embrace tennis, grow as individuals, and for them to feel a part of AVHS, that is what matters to me.

 

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