Syracuse takes advantage of the coaching skills that create ‘Shelley George miracles’

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 5, 2018 at 8:53 pm Contact Anthony: amdabbun@syr.edu Shelley George’s father always asked her one simple question.“Are you any good?” he asked.Every time Jim Freeman, a former NFL player for the Steelers and Rams, would challenge his daughter, she responded assuredly and confidently.“I’m the best,” George said.George has spent her entire life trying to prove to her father why she deserves to call herself the best. As a player, a coach and a person, George fuels that desire by taking on new challenges and demonstrating her talents. As an assistant coach of the Syracuse (9-2, 2-2 Atlantic Coast) women’s tennis team, George said she preaches the same philosophy to her players that her father taught her. Her presence on the sidelines during practices and matches has helped SU in her nine seasons as assistant coach.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“When I grew up in Iowa, we were brought up to believe that we could do anything that we wanted to do as long as we worked hard and believed in ourselves.” George said.George grew up playing basketball. But one day as a junior high schooler, she tagged along to her mother’s tennis lesson. After hitting a few balls, she caught a famous coach’s eyes. Don Klotz, a former University of Iowa coach whose name now adorns the Hawkeyes courts, saw George hitting balls with her mother and offered her lessons.From that moment forward, George fell in love with the sport. Every day before school, she would head to the courts and play. When the school day ended, she was off to basketball practice. Then, after getting home and eating dinner, her day came full circle as she went back to the courts for more tennis.She went on to a four-year college tennis career, two at St. Ambrose University and two at the University of Iowa. Then, George led the City High School women’s tennis team in Iowa City for 18 seasons.She served as the Missouri Valley President of the United States Tennis Association while working at the North Dodge Athletic Club in Iowa City. She produced numerous collegiate athletes and developed some of the top talent on the tennis tour, including Madison Keys, the No. 14 ranked player in the world.“Her serve is a Shelley George miracle,” Luke Jensen, a 1994 French Open doubles champion and former SU head coach, said of Keys. “Shelley taught her that serve and it’s one of the biggest on tour.”When Jensen and former Syracuse athletic director Daryl Gross called George in 2008 to offer an assistant role, the former Iowa tennis star saw the opportunity as a new challenge.George left her family, friends and blossoming future in the USTA behind. Jensen said she was one step away from potentially being president of the USTA, yet she took the job in Syracuse.“I thought it would be a really fun challenge,” George said. “Daryl Gross and Luke Jensen were the two biggest motivators to me, it was about developing collegiate athletes.”George coached under Jensen until he left unexpectedly during the 2012 season. With the job vacant, George applied to be the head coach. With all of her experience teaching young athletes in both high school in Iowa and college at SU, George seemed to be the natural choice to replace Jensen.Gross gave George a phone call informing her that Syracuse had other ideas.The former athletic director gave assurances that George would still have a job as an assistant, but the school decided to go a different direction. Under Jensen, the school focused on American talent. By hiring Younes Limam, SU pivoted to the international scene. Today, six of the team’s eight players hail from outside the United States.“We were going from an all-American program to an all-international program,” George said. “I had no international recruiting experience at that time.”But that didn’t stop George from doing what she does best: teaching.George crafted her coaching style through 32 years of experience working with young players. Syracuse’s top-ranked player, Gabriela Knutson, said she’s tough yet firm, reassuring but demanding. Jensen said George has a knack for communicating with the young women on the court, always seeming to find a way to get through to them mentally.Whenever Knutson finds herself struggling in a match, she yells under her breath as she walks back to her bench in frustration. Against Boston College on Feb. 16, Knutson trailed 4-1 in the first set. George took a seat beside Knutson and listened to her voice frustrations. Then, the coach offered her input. She talked the junior through her anger, helping her to relax and play her game. George suggested small changes in Knutson’s approach that could make a difference. After their talk, Knutson won 11 of the final 12 games of the match.Much like George helped craft Keys’ serve, Knutson said the biggest difference in her game in the last two seasons is her improved service. By focusing on hitting the ball at the apex of the ball toss and increasing knee bend, Knutson has turned her serve from an occasional liability into a weapon. George’s technical advice has helped move No. 18 Knutson up in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings.“She pushes me to reach my full potential, she’s had really tough love for me,” Knutson said. “But I will always turn to her if I have any problems.”Not only does George coach the players, but both Jensen and Limam have learned from how she relates to players on the court.George was always the first to pick up on disagreements within the team, Jensen said. Even when she coached for Jensen, who was formerly among the best doubles players in the world, he said George was the first to notice when certain doubles pairings weren’t effective.“She’s making me a better coach every day,” Limam said.Jensen added: “She’s a rock star in our game.” Commentslast_img read more

O DOMHNAILL BACKS PLANS TO MAKE CYBER-BULLYING A CRIMINAL OFFENCE

first_imgA Donegal Deputy has backed his party’s plans to make cyber-bullying a criminal offence.Senator O’DomhnaillDeputy Brian O Domhnaill says he is fully behind Fianna Fail’s proposals to bring in legislation on the issue of online crimes.“Unfortunately in Donegal we have witnessed first hand the devastating effects of cyber-bullying. “Its important that the issue is addressed by protecting individuals, especially our county’s young people from the devastating effects of these on-line actions,” he told Donegal Daily.Fianna Fáil is proposing a major shift in the law to protect people, particularly children, from cyber-bullying.Under new legislation from Fianna Fáil it will be offence to engage in cyber-bullying and it will also be an offence to assist it or encourage it.This would be the first time the offence of cyber-bullying would be defined in Irish law. Deputy Robert Troy, FF’s Spokesman on Children said so far cyber-bullying has only had consequences for the victims but now is the time to make sure there are consequences for the perpetrators too.“A report by the Special Rapporteur on Child Protection Geoffrey Shannon has said the growth of cyber-bullying has “almost overnight created a readily accessible forum for bullies to target children with little or no regulation or sanction.”“Cyber-bullying and the emergence of online hate campaigns are a major issue, particularly for teenagers at the moment, and we need a strong basis in law to help tackle it. The recent tragic deaths of a number of children who were allegedly the victims of cyber-bullying underscore the need to address this for the health and wellbeing of young people.“A recent survey found that incidences of cyber-bullying among Irish teenagers were among the highest in among 26 European countries surveyed. Cyber-bullying is carried out by text, picture or video-clip, phone calls, emails, on social media, in chat rooms and through instant messaging. Our Bill makes cyber-bullying a specific offence for the first time in Irish law. It makes provision for parents to attend mandatory parenting courses and only provides for criminal prosecution when a parent continuously and knowingly permits cyber bullying by their child.“The legislation states that parents will be deemed to have committed an offence where they know cyber-bullying is taking place and they don’t take any steps to stop it from continuing. Any parents found guilty of cyber-bullying would initially be required to engage with parenting courses but in serious and persistent cases people could face a prison sentence of up to two years and a fine of up to €20,000 or both. It’s important to say however that any trials of under 18’s would be dealt with in the Children’s Court. “There is a balance to be struck in how we deal with cyber-bullying. Awareness campaigns and better education are an essential part of that but I believe strong sanctions are needed as well to act as a deterrent. Failing to tackle this issue head-on will only result in more distress for the people who are targeted by bullies.”O DOMHNAILL BACKS PLANS TO MAKE CYBER-BULLYING A CRIMINAL OFFENCE was last modified: November 12th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:BRIAN O’DOMHNAILLcyber-bullyinglast_img read more