Off the Court with Tennis Pro Corey Noel
Catching Cooper Fitness Center Tennis Pro Corey Noel anywhere outside of the courts can be a challenge, but he wouldn’t have it any other way. With more than 15 years of experience coaching tennis and a variety of tournament championships under his belt, Corey brings expertise and focus on the game to adults and children alike through Cooper Fitness Center’s tennis programs. Get to know Corey on a more personal level:
When were you first introduced to tennis?
I started playing tennis when I was 15 years old, which is a little late to begin. I joined my high school team and loved it! It’s never too late to try a new sport, especially a lifelong sport such as tennis.
What is your favorite memory of playing tennis?
I once played a match in college in which my opponent was very unpleasant and bickered quite a bit. The official eventually came out and gave him an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. We continued playing, and I won. Immediately after the match ended, my opponent was upset about losing and was issued another unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Since our match was over and the rules called for the penalty to be applied to another match, the official gave the penalty to his teammate playing on another court. The teammate then lost his match as well. I like to say I won two matches at once because of the incident!
What is your favorite memory of coaching tennis?
Coaching is challenging. I once had a job of coaching a high school tennis team full of beginners. We had 12 students on the team, and by the time the season ended, eight of them went to the state championship. It was extremely rewarding to see the improvements they made that season as individuals and a team.
Who has been your biggest influence in the world of tennis?
My college coach, Bryan Whitt, helped me develop as a player and later helped me kick off my career as a tennis pro. He has offered me plenty of coaching advice over the years, and still coaches at The University of Texas at Dallas.
Who is your biggest role model?
My dad is my biggest role model, because he is kind and respectful in all circumstances. He fully lives by the rule of treating others as you would want to be treated.
What’s your favorite workout, other than playing tennis?
I love to cycle. I’m usually very competitive when it comes to sports and exercise, but riding a bike is one of the only times I’m able to let go and just enjoy the activity.
What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment professionally? Personally?
On the personal side, I’m proud of how I paid for my degree myself. I worked all through college and never had to take out a student loan. As a professional, being named Tennis Pro at Cooper has been incredible, and it was also amazing to be selected to sit on the Dallas Professional Tennis Association Board of Directors.
If you could play a match against one tennis celebrity, who would it be?
Andre Agassi. He’s always been my favorite player.
How long have you worked at Cooper?
What is your favorite part about working at Cooper?
The people at Cooper are amazing and very friendly. Everyone here is passionate about exercise and self-improvement, which is a culture you would be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.
What would you tell someone who is new to playing tennis and looking to improve their game?
Learning to play tennis is all about commitment and repetition. Get out on the court three or four days a week or as much as possible in order to work on all aspects of the game. It can be tough, but well worth it.
What’s your favorite thing to do in down time when you are not on the courts?
What’s down time?! Just kidding! I like to relax and watch TV or Netflix, and I’ve been traveling more.
If you weren’t coaching tennis, what other profession would you have gotten into?
I actually studied to be a teacher, so I would likely be teaching high school English and coaching tennis at the high school level.
What do you believe you teach/offer besides just technical tennis skills (i.e. confidence, teamwork in doubles play, etc.)?
As a coach, I try to teach problem solving. Tennis is the only major sport in which coaches are not allowed to actually coach during a match, so it’s important to teach my players independence and how to make decisions to improve their game on their own. There’s a lot of psychology that goes behind the game of tennis.
Corey points out that one of the most important things to know about tennis is that it’s a sport anyone can play, no matter of age, gender or experience. This makes it different from most sports, but is what he likes most about it. He says it’s rewarding to see his students grow and pick up new skills quickly, and then enjoy playing tennis as a lifelong sport.