Coach Spotlight: Anna Klinker serves for success


After practice on April 20, Coach Anna and the varsity girls team take a group selfie to put a wrap on the day. (Photo Provided by Anna Klinker)

Rachel Neathery, Copy Editor

First year varsity girls tennis coach Anna Klinker kickstarts training at the tennis courts after coming back from her day job. Turning off the engine to her car, she gets out her racket, puts on sunscreen and enters the court. The team is seen practicing matches as they prepare for upcoming events.

“I love the sport and being on my feet,” Klinker said. “I played when I was in school, and I liked the competition because I’m a pretty competitive person. Even though I’m a coach, I like that aspect of it too.”

Klinker has recently graduated from the University of Virginia in May and has previous history in FCPS, attending Crossfield Elementary, Rachel Carson Middle School and Oakton High School. Growing up, Klinker also played in local clubs in the Fairfax area.

“My backstory is that I was pretty much bad at every other sport when I was a kid,” Klinker said. “When I found tennis, I was like ‘I love it’, because you get a whole court to yourself. Ever since I was six, I stuck with it.”

Sharing her passion for tennis alongside her students, memories are created on and off the court throughout the season. As a recent college graduate, Klinker believes that forming bonds with her students is just as important as perfecting their game.  

“This is definitely a growth year, I’ve learned so much from the team and hope to use it to improve even more next year.”

— Anna Klinker


“Coach Anna is so nice and relatable,” junior Annie Han said. “She is more than a coach— she feels like she’s our age. She’s so young that even the other coaches can’t tell if she’s one of us.”

According to Chantilly Athletics, as of May 25, the girls have won all their regular matches except for two against Oakton and two against Madison. Daily afterschool, the team trained with challenge matches, singles and double drills against each other in preparation. 

“This is definitely a growth year,” Klinker said. “I’ve learned so much from the team and hope to use it to improve even more next year.”

Alongside consistent training during the season, outside the court, the team relaxes together with hangouts at Klinker’s house.

“We’re a pretty well knit team, a lot of cliques are forming for me because we all bond pretty well,” senior Jessica Tian said. “Three weeks ago, we had a potluck with Coach Anna. This Friday, we’re actually going to have a John Cena ice cream extravaganza at our coach’s house, and we’re going to watch ‘Scooby Doo!’ and ‘WWE.’”

Although losing at regionals 6-0 against McLean, with a smaller team compared to last year, Klinker plans to improve technique by implementing cross-training in the future. Building a supportive environment is part of her coaching style that has helped the team succeed during the regular season.

“I feel very proud because they’ve put in all their effort,” Klinker said. “Yesterday in a game against South Lakes, we won by a hair. Although there are keynote lessons we can implement from our matches, sometimes it’s hard out there by yourself with the pressure, but they continue to hold their heads up high.”