8 Years of Drills

Remember those Five Star binders you brought to school every day? The three-hole-punch kind – the ones you scribbled notes in from algebra class or doodled cartoon dinosaurs when you should ha
ve been paying attention to freshman physics?

Devin Crawbuck still has hers, and you’ve never seen anything like it.

notebook 3A teaching pro at Mercer County Park Tennis Center, Crawbuck has a tennis drill notebook that may just be one of a kind. After working on it for the last eight years, it’s become a talking point amongst friends and fellow teaching pros in the New Jersey area.

“I still remember the first page I made. It was just a list of drills,” said Crawbuck, 29. “I started adding to it, and everyone kind of just laughed at the idea.”

Those laughs have turned to looks of amazement.

Today, Crawbuck’s book holds an astounding 250 pages of tennis lessons and activities, with many pages displaying as many as six diagrammed drills and lesson plan ideas. She continues to add to it when she sees or learns of new games to play. She quotes and references other coaches in the book when she comes across new, fresh ideas.

“I draw out the tennis courts so I can really visualize everything right there, and I use it to help plan every lesson I teach,” she said. “I have it broken down for everything from kids to adults, groups or individual. By documenting everything, it makes it so I always have options in front of me and so when I learn something new, I won’t forget.”

crawbuck during usopen natl playoffs
Crawbuck with her mixed doubles partner at the US Open National Playoffs last June.

Crawbuck has taught players of all levels and ages. She’s been in the parks, at private clubs and country clubs, and also has experience coaching at the high school and college level. The notebook has been with Crawbuck through all of her teaching stops, and she plans on bringing along for each lesson to come.

“It’s pretty packed, so I don’t have too much space to add more paper,” she said. “Eventually I’ll have to start a new one.”

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