Just to clarify the question asked of her, Tennis Coach Charity Andrews repeated it back.
"What are our challenges this year?" she said, then a beat later added, "You mean other than COVID?"
Despite the unusual circumstances the world, and consequently her tennis program, finds itself in, Andrews is guardedly optimistic about her team's chances in the coming season.
"Other than filling the roster and keeping people safe and healthy, I don't really see a challenge," Andrews said. "We just have a lot of work to do. We just need to get out there and practice."
So far, practice has come with a few hurdles. Some players who planned to come to Collin decided not to because of COVID-19. Andrews has also had players out in recent weeks because of injuries and for testing when they showed potential COVID-19 symptoms. So far, it looks like mostly allergies and none of her players have come back with a positive test. Still, it makes for smaller practices.
Despite that, she has seen enough of her players to gauge their capabilities and their work ethic.
"The majority of them are driven," she said. "They come to the practices. They are 100 percent in. They want to get better."
Andrews considers herself a hands-on coach who likes to stay active and involved during practices. She said some of her players have already called her practices "intense."
With some work, she believes her current crop of players could finish in the Top 10 this year. And that is before adding a few more potential players in January.
Andrews knows what she is talking about. After playing collegiate tennis at Seward County Community College in Kansas and Saginaw Valley State University in Michigan, she coached at Cowley County Community College and Northeastern State University. At Cowley, she guided her women's team to an eighth place finish in 2018 and was a National Junior College Athletic Association semifinalist seven times. At NSU, her men's team finished fourth in the nation and her women's teams always stayed in the Top 10. You can see her full bio here.
So, why did Andrews decide to come to Collin College?
"The college has a good reputation," she said, noting the exceptional college facilities. "I was around junior college tennis in 2004-06. We would come here for tournaments and I have never heard one thing bad about Collin College."
She said that the college has a reputation for stability.
"People come here and enjoy it and stay until they retire," she said. "That's what I was looking for, somewhere to call home, to stay and to be happy."