CHS graduate enjoys coaching at Otterbein

| March 6, 2017

WESTERVILLE – When Ryan Shutt’s parents enrolled him in a Nike tennis camp when he was 7, they had no idea they were starting a love of the game that would continue for so many years. He had never played before and learned he had a talent for it during that camp and in the following years.

Shutt played tennis at Coshocton High School before he graduated in 2010, then he played at Otterbein College for four years. He still enjoys the game so much that he plays in a USTA men’s league once a week and is the assistant tennis coach at Otterbein University for both the men’s and women’s teams.

Right now, the tennis teams from Otterbein are in Florida on spring break where they play against teams from all over the country. The teams are fairly young this year and the matches in Florida help build their confidence about their skills and give the coaches ideas of where each athlete needs to improve.

Shutt said their seasons are short, with matches in September, then a long break until January. Then indoor practice begins as they make plans to travel to Florida. After spring break, the matches begin at home. The teams are doing well in Florida and he hopes they continue to do this good when they get home.

Working with the college students has been fun for Shutt. Because these students don’t receive any scholarship money for playing tennis, they play because they love the game and they want to. Shutt said that makes coaching even more enjoyable. He also feels that, since he is close to their age, the athletes are more comfortable coming to him with problems they may be having, whether it is tennis related or just an issue in their life.

He believes his experience gives him insight that might help the athletes, such as how to calm nerves before a match or what to do during a tough match. Tennis is a very mindful game, much like chess, where every move needs to be thought about ahead of time so you are ready when your chance comes.

Shutt also said that Otterbein’s philosophy of their athletes being students first is something he truly believes in. “These players are probably not going to become pro tennis players. They need their education more than they need hours and hours of practice,” he said. He wants to see all of them reach their full potential both on and off the court and he is ready to do whatever it takes to help those students reach their goals.

When he is not encouraging the tennis team at Otterbein, Shutt works as an office manager for the YMCA of Central Ohio in Powell. He also coaches at the New Albany tennis center and loves to travel. His parents sent him to London when he graduated from Otterbein and he enjoyed that. He also enjoys traveling in the western part of the US and coming home to Coshocton to spend time with his family. Shutt said coaching tennis helps pay the bills, but also that tennis gives him a break from the real world and helps him relax and keep in shape.

Category: Adult, Sports

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