Coach’s CornerLiz Lincoln ’14

Liz Lincoln ’14 entered the tennis game later than usual, but that didn’t stop her from becoming an absolute powerhouse on the court. As a three-sport athlete in high school, playing soccer and basketball and swimming competitively in the summer, Lincoln was looking for a new challenge. After entering a tennis tournament without ever playing in her freshman year of high school, and then winning, Lincoln knew this was the next challenge she would accept. As Lincoln played club soccer for her whole life, by the time college came around, she felt burned out and was ready to move on. Lincoln loved the individual aspect of tennis, and how it still allowed her to be connected to a team and learn new skills. At the beginning of Lincoln’s recruitment process, she was nervous that she wouldn’t get many offers, but as they started rolling in, her confidence grew, and she knew she was ready to commit to her tennis development.

Lincoln’s favorite aspect of the season was playing a sport that drove her in the classroom and on the court. The responsibility of being part of a team kept her academics in check. Lincoln played first double all four years and first singles for three years, so she had to step into that leadership role quickly as an underclassman. Throughout her career at Colby-Sawyer, Lincoln’s mentor was her advisor, Head Athletic Trainer Scott Roy. Roy provided Lincoln both athletic support as her AT and academic support as her academic advisor. As one of Lincoln’s pregame rituals involved showing up to the court early to stretch for 45 minutes, her relationship with Roy grew quickly, as he was always there.

One thing Lincoln will always remember is going to the Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I., with her team each year. During this trip, they played in a doubles tournament on grass, which she had never done before. It was such a challenge to adjust to the type of play needed to succeed. One moment when Lincoln’s mental toughness was tested was in her sophomore year. Lincoln’s was the last match to be played, and it was the deciding match against a senior Castleton player. She had to remain composed and focused on the game if she was going to succeed. She won in a thrilling tiebreaker that contributed largely to the team win of the day.

When asked what her favorite thing about being a student-athlete at Colby-Sawyer was, Lincoln joked that it was living in sweatpants. However, her favorite thing was the drive that playing a sport gave her in the classroom. She knew she had to succeed in the classroom if she wanted to compete. It built her time management skills because she would have to plan around her games and practices. Barry Schoonmaker, her coach, pushed her athletically and academically. Lincoln was able to get internships at Boston College and Dartmouth College for strength and conditioning because of the connections that Schoonmaker and Roy provided her. As tennis uses the Dartmouth facilities often, the link was easily found. Lincoln said that Colby-Sawyer fostered her current love for coaching. After graduating with a degree in exercise and sports science, as well as a coaching certificate, she stayed in New London to teach wellness and physical education at Kearsarge Regional High School. In addition, Lincoln coaches their varsity girl’s tennis team and is also the assistant coach of the Colby-Sawyer women’s tennis team. If she could say anything to current student-athletes, she would tell them that these are the greatest years of your life, so enjoy it, and take every opportunity you have.