by Payne Schanski
Site Director, Tennis Coordinator, Curley K-8 School, Jamaica Plain

Day 14 – March 30

My Zoom virtual background game has definitely improved since video conferencing became a regular part of the day. I’ve moved from the wall of my room into the Zoom-provided ‘blades of grass’ starter background, and then have progressed to some pretty clean-looking customized Tenacity and Curley K-8 logos against a white screen. I feel like Belichick facing the media after a rough loss when I sign into a staff meeting with some of these backgrounds.

Ned sent me a video to post on the Solo Tennis Instagram page, but since it wasn’t a workout video, it ended up on the general Tenacity Instagram account instead (@tenacityboston). Ned’s inspiring message—about coming together within the Tenacity community and pushing past each and every challenging period within the organization—was really strong. 

Day 17 – April 2

You’ve heard that old legend about Eskimos having dozens of words that all mean snow? At Curley, we have over 40 different variations on how to play ‘King of the Court,’ and that’s no myth at all. During normal times, a critical aspect of my coaching is the creativity factor, keeping the novelty and energy while practicing what can be an extremely repetitive sport. I love bringing creativity to a sport that requires this repetition to improve. 

Being away from each other and the courts, potentially for months or more, the importance of staying creative has tripled. In my weekly phone calls with students, some of them have reported that they’re not even allowed out of the house for the time being, or can’t find an open wall to hit against. As the sandbox keeps shrinking by the day, how can we still provide meaningful ways to play and keep building castles at Tenacity?