Ask the Experts
Harry Cicma with Dartmouth's Bob Dallis
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Harry Cicma of NBC Sports speaks with Bob Dallis, head coach of women's tennis at Dartmouth College.
head coach Bob Dallis
courtesy, Dartmouth Athletics
Dallis is in his 21st year as a Division I head coach - eight of those coming at Dartmouth. Dallis' squad is coming off a 16-6 season in 2010, and the 2011 edition is currently ranked #71. Cicma and Dallis discuss college coaching, recruiting, and much more.
Questions and Answers
Harry Cicma (HC): Coach, what are you most excited about for this spring season at Dartmouth?
Bob Dallis (BD): We want to see how much progress we have made since the start of the year. How close can the team can get to reaching its ultimate level as players.
HC: You had great success coaching the Boston University and Colgate men's teams - as well as with the Colgate women's team. How did those experiences help you at Dartmouth?
BD: I think you trust the process a little more when you've had success in developing players. Many coaches have a tendency to work harder, not smarter. But every player is unique and has a different set of strengths and weaknesses.
As you get more coaching experience, you understand how to successfully work with all types of players. One size of coaching does not fit all. But I've also always felt that it's really important to gain the trust and respect of your players so that they understand you have their best interests at heart.
HC: What makes the Ivy League so special? How is the competition?
BD: As an Ivy League coach you are working with the cream of the crop - tomorrow's leaders. Our players at Dartmouth are extremely intelligent and hard-working. Getting a 'B' in a class isn't acceptable to them, and doing less then their best athletically is also unacceptable. The players at Dartmouth are the most intrinsically motivated people I've ever worked with. So it's fun to come to work every day and work with players who are so passionate about tennis.
As for the competition, it's extremely tough. Dartmouth was one of the top 60 teams in the country last year and there were three Ivies ranked above us and one ranked directly behind us. So our players are competing against some of the best players in Division I college tennis.