Josh's Fresh Take: July 2018 Edition

The Legend, Bob Exell – Part 2

Coach and Communications Lead, Josh Martin, weighs in on topics in the world of tennis and shares his two cents.
As previously mentioned in part 1 of the Bob Exell Story, Coach Bob is a staple here at the UBC Tennis Centre. His quiet demeanour, sense of humor, and wealth of knowledge has made a tremendous impact on players and coaches alike. He is always happy to chat about the game of tennis, give coaching advice, or simply crack a joke. Especially the latter.
On court when I am working alongside Bob, I will often entice him to tell a joke or two to the class, just to see the reactions from the kids to a punch-line that goes way over their heads… and usually over my head as well. I still get a kick out of it and so do the kids, even when we don’t quite understand it.
This has been one of the themes that I’ve noticed about Coach Bob. Not necessarily the “great jokes”, but his love of the sport and his passion for coaching kids. As a tennis coach with only three years of experience, I am inspired to see someone who has been coaching for years and still has the passion and excitement on a daily basis.
“It keeps me young! First off, I am one of the oldest coaches, as a matter of fact I think I am the oldest coach here, and I enjoy working with young people. They keep me feeling young. I obviously love the game and I want to inspire kids to have the same enjoyment.”
Aside from coaching, Bob has also kept in touch with his competitive edge in tennis, as he has been invited to play for the national team on several occasions.
“The last couple of years I have been lucky enough to be selected on the national team. This year I was again selected to go to Germany, unfortunately through family obligations and a minor health issue I have decided to not participate… but I am hoping to train again for next year and hopefully make the team. It is always exciting to play for your country and it is a thrill to get asked. You have to be in the top four-to-six players in the country to get an invitation, so it is not easy, and you have to play a couple tournaments to get ranking points to potentially make a team. It is very competitive across the country and there are a lot of talented players so it is always exciting when you get asked. As you get older it gets harder and harder because you’ve got to maintain your health and your skills, as well as needing to play a lot. As a coach and player, it is hard doing both because you are on the court a lot and then you obviously have to find time to train too.”
Only time will tell if Coach Bob will play on another national team. Until then the jokes will keep coming and the legend will keep building. For now, here are some parting words about working at the UBC Tennis Centre from the man himself;
“I love our staff, I love the Centre and I love the clientele. I can’t think of a better place to not only work, but to also play.”
Josh’s Fresh Take, signing off.