Time for tennis

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BISMARCK, N.D. - Social distancing and some athlete pursuits can go hand-in-hand. Tennis is one activity where it's not only possible, but it seems like it can be done easily.

Rod Morasch is the head tennis pro for the Bismarck Parks & Rec Department. He recently got the go ahead from his boss to give lessons outside.

Signs at the Sertoma Courts in Bismarck are in place to remind people about the COVID-19 situation we're currently in.

"We're ok to do private lessons outside to make sure that we social distance. I also have disinfectant so I'm going to disinfect the balls after each person and just remember to keep your distance, stay hydrated, stay healthy," said Morasch, Bismarck Park & Rec head tennis pro.

Last year, you may recall Morasch won the Jack Dow Adult Development Award from the United States Tennis Association.

"The court's have been open for I think about a month or close to a month. The court's are wide open and people are welcome to come out and play. Just stay safe. Disinfect your hands. Disinfect the tennis balls when you're done. Wash your hands. Use hand sanitizer. Keep your distance," Morasch said.

Morasch says he loves teaching the game and he uses a little different approach with every student he works with.

"Tennis is a process, you start here and you want to get here, right? You have to really understand where they are at and how you can do goldilocks. I call it goldilocks, not to hot, not to cold, just right plus one degree of improvement and that's how we see the continued improvement," Marasch said.

Morasch said his introduction to tennis came in high school because one of his basketball coaches also led the tennis team.

"He said, 'Rod, you should go out for tennis.' I said, 'I'm not going out for tennis. Tennis is for girls.' My dad was a college football quarterback and I played a lot of basketball. My football skills were limited just by my size but he said I can teach you tennis and he taught me. I was able to be affable in about one day. Just grips and footwork but there is certain hand-eye coordination skills that you have," Marasch said.

Rod went on to play at Seattle Pacific in college and he says the number of tennis players in Bismarck continues to grow.