Activating their tennis brain

Dattilo motivates girls’ team for last 13 years


Olivia Brown, Staff Writer

     A blur of yellow color soars over the net, slamming into a players racket, the thud ricocheting off the green tennis courts. The players’ white shoes screech as they hustle across the courts, sending the bright yellow ball soaring over the net. All the while, Coach Phillis Dattilo is analyzing and encouraging her players.

     “She always motivates me by helping me have a positive mindset when I’m on the courts playing.” Tiana Belway said. 

     With a masters degree in education and physical education, Dattilofound a love for tennis. Although, her true passion is coaching tennis. 

     A piece of advice Coach Phillis always says is “To never give up and go for every ball,” Angelina Belway said. 

     For thirteen years, Phillis Dattilo has been coaching tennis at Poway, teaching girls how to gain confidence on the courts. Dattilo gives a new perspective on tennis, believing that tennis is a lifelong sport that allows you to have fun on the court and feel successful while still having the choice to play competitively or socially.  

     Dattilo teaches how to activate your “tennis brain” as she calls it, by thinking on the court and using strategy instead of just being happy to get the ball over the net. Everyone has a brain for math, science, or history. It’s all about improving your strokes and playing smart tennis, she explained. 

     Their hard work paid off when they made their biggest achievement by winning the CIF team tournament on Oct. 29 after being seeded 15th and watching her team enjoy being the champions. “There is nothing like seeing one of my players make a shot and turn to me with a huge smile on their face,” Dattilo said.