Make It Millikin: Morgan Bettner
Nike Tennis Camp preps Millikin student-athlete for teaching
Nike Tennis Camps are held throughout the country each summer to provide young players the opportunity to improve their tennis game, work hard and make new friends.
The camps are directed by America's most respected college coaches and tennis professionals who have a passion for teaching and a gift for helping tennis players take their game to the next level. Millikin University student-athlete Morgan Bettner was among those helping campers this summer with their tennis game by serving as an intern at the Stanford University Nike Tennis Camp in Palo Alto, Calif.
Bettner, of Brownsburg, Ind., is a senior double majoring in mathematics and secondary teaching. She spent six weeks working at the camp from mid-June to early August. The first week is set as a day camp and is designed for younger campers who aren't quite ready to be away from home. The next five weeks are weeklong overnight camps.
"Each week we had about 100 campers. We were on the court for about eight hours each day and then held fun activities as a camp at night, such as shopping at the Union, karaoke and face painting," said Bettner.
Bettner had the opportunity to work with Stanford Women's Tennis Head Coach Lele Forood who has led the program to a 388-37 record as well as 16 NCAA Tournaments, eight NCAA team titles and 12 conference championships. She also worked with Men's Head Coach Paul Goldstein, who in four seasons, has led the program to a 74-31 record with a national ranking and a berth in the NCAA Championships each season.
"Through this internship, I got to interact with kids all day and teach them about a sport I love," said Bettner. "I got to learn more about how to maintain authority in a large group, while still having fun. I gained more experience teaching the campers through ways they learn best."
The camps are geared towards boys and girls of all ability levels, ages 9-18. The camps offer a perfect mix of drills, matchplay, conditioning, strategy and off-court fun. Upon arrival, all participants are evaluated by the staff so that their own instructional needs can be addressed throughout the week.
Bettner, who plans to become a teacher, says the internship has helped shape her career because it's given her more hands-on experience.
"One of the best ways to prepare for teaching is to gain experiences from different situations working with children," she said. "There are so many things you can't learn from a book that you have to just learn from doing and seeing the results with your own eyes."
A member of the Millikin Women's Tennis program, Bettner was recently named a Scholar-Athlete for the 2018-19 academic year by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA). To be named a Scholar-Athlete, a student must have a GPA of at least 3.50 on a 4.00 scale. Bettner is a two-time Scholar-Athlete award winner.
During her internship, Bettner says she learned how to keep kids engaged longer; how to make activities fun while still being learning-centered; and how to manage conflicts between kids.
"Millikin University has also played a role in helping me know when I need to differentiate for different players when I teach them techniques for their tennis strokes," she said. "Different people learn different ways, even in sports, and it is important to recognize that. I have also learned through my internship experiences at Millikin how important it is to make connections with the campers/students. I worked hard to get to know more about the campers as I worked with them."