John Ruder has decades of experience coaching tennis both at the college and high school levels. So when the position opened up for Hillsboro’s girls team, it was too much to turn down.
“After a year of retirement, I said I was anxious to start coaching again,” he said.
Ruder enjoys coming back to the high school because he can help players learn fundamentals.
“You see growth at the other level, too, but here you see it a little faster,” he said. “Sometimes you just have to change your grip to be a whole lot better.”
Ruder has a favorable situation in his first year with 12 members on the team, including four seniors and three juniors.
One of his keys to success is focusing on the first few shots of a point, since so many points end after two or three hits.
“We always see the pros playing and see the long rallies because they’re memorable,” he said. “The game is mostly four shots. At the high school level I work really hard on developing the serve, return, and the next shot.”