There are two new faces in the world of Foothill League tennis that are making an immediate impact for their teams.
New faces to coaching, that is.
Former teammates and key players at Hart from 2011 to 2015, Bailey Sindle and Jackie Resler are both in their first year as varsity head coaches.
Sindle took over the reins for the boys team at Saugus and Resler is leading the boys team at West Ranch.
It’s only fitting that the Centurions and Wildcats met in the first Foothill League match of the season on March 12.
“It was definitely exciting. When we found out we were both going to be coaching at opposing schools we were like, ‘When are we going to play each other?’ We knew our teams were a little different, but we were interested to see how the matchup would be with her coaching style and my coaching style,” Sindle said after the match, which West Ranch won 16-2. “When we played we had different playing styles as well, so it was interesting to see how our playing styles would transfer into coaching.”
“Saying the word ‘cool’ isn’t enough,” Resler said. “We’re both former teammates and now we’re first-year coaches. It’s so weird to be on almost the same pathway. We were teammates and then we were away for a few years due to school and now here we are again, now we have tennis back in our lives. It’s just super crazy for me.”
Sindle, a three-year varsity player, mainly played doubles, while Resler predominantly played singles in her four years on varsity.
Both continued their tennis careers at the next level with Sindle playing at Ventura College and Resler playing at Azusa Pacific University.
Resler’s playing style resembled that of a grinder, someone who is more patient and limits errors, but can also attack and force the issue when afforded the opportunity.
Sindle on the other hand was more aggressive, using her strength to try and dictate play and move her opponents around the court and aggressively go for winners.
“In certain singles players for her, I saw some of her style from when she played,” Sindle said. “For me, pushing my doubles to be very aggressive is something that I did when I played, so seeing our own backgrounds with tennis transfer into coaching definitely came out today I think.”
“I just mainly get to know them, who they are, how they play, and I just keep going with that style,” Resler said about using her experience as a player in coaching. “For example, I was never really an aggressive player, but if a person is an aggressive player then I’m going to work with him, continuing with his aggressive style.”
While both Sindle and Resler know the importance of helping their players evolve and get better every day on the court, they know there is more to coaching than just tactics and X’s and O’s.
For them, it’s about helping their players develop and mature as people, so they can be successful later in life in any venture they may embark on.
“It’s something to look forward to, for us to have fun and enjoy watching our boys grow under our coaching styles and for them to build character. I think that’s what coach Sindle and I are doing with our boys,” Resler said. “For them to not only develop as tennis players, but also develop them into better people for the future, whether if it’s going to be continuing school or work or family or marriage.
“Bailey and I have the same philosophy of building their characters. So it’s just so fun to talk about, ‘Yeah my player is doing this and this is how much he’s growing,’ and hearing her side of the story about her players, it’s so much fun. Something I look forward to.”
With veteran coaches still at the helm in the Foothill League, like Josh Stimac at Golden Valley, Annie Kellogg at Valencia, Richard Bristow at Canyon and Allan Hardbarger at Hart, it’s a noteworthy dynamic to have Resler and Sindle join the ranks.
However, both of them making their coaching debuts in the same year has made the entire process that much more exceptional.
“It’s just a great pleasure as a first-year coach. I know many of these coaches like Allan Hardbarger has been around, I know Annie Kellogg was around and Stimac was around, so it’s really cool to have them still around,” Resler said, “…but I think it makes my year much more special that Bailey is also with me.”
Diego Marquez contributed to this report.