Brownstown Central’s Heidi Martin likes the way tennis teams are comprised, where one is an individual and at the same time a part of a team.

“I like being able to be independent, while also being part of the team,” Martin said. “One of my favorite things about tennis is that it is also a mind game. You have to play strategy.

“The mental game is one of the key aspects of playing tennis. If you get down on yourself and you get to a point where you completely think you’re doing horrible then it ruins your game. If you get mad and frustrated it’s easier to get mad more. If you keep your head through the whole game you’re going to do a lot better than if you would have gotten mad and frustrated.”

This spring, Martin is in her second season of playing No. 1 doubles on the varsity girls tennis team. Martin played junior varsity doubles her first two years on the team.

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Martin is paired with Sydney Cockerham for the 2015 campaign, and this is the first season they have played together.

During matches, Martin plays on the right side because of her forehand.

“My forehand is better than my backhand, and my backhand is pretty decent,” Martin said.

“Communication is always the most important thing. You have to know when they need to move, and when you need to move where both of you can have full coverage of the court. Movement is very important.”

While on the court, Martin and Cockerham adjust their game throughout play.

“That helps a lot, especially when a coach comes up and tells you what’s working and what’s not working,” Martin said. “You make the small adjustments, and hopefully get to a point where you can win the next point with those new strategies.”

One of Martin’s stronger group of skills is net play.

“I like to score my points off the net,” Martin said. “I can do ground strokes and stuff like that. It’s kind of fun to get a point when you’re at the net and put it away.”

For Martin, winning the first set pays dividends.

“It’s really important to me because it’s kind of a confidence booster for one,” Martin said. “If you win your first set you’re feeling more comfortable going into your second set and know you only have to win one more set. If you get down in the first set you get worried and know you have to win that second set to be able to go into a third set.”

Martin said she needs to be more consistent with her serving.

“Here lately I haven’t had much luck, but usually my serving is my strongest point,” Martin said. “I just hit a flat serve.

“When you’re hitting with the wind you have to know not to hit it too hard, or else it will usually go long. When you’re hitting into the wind, make sure you drive it a little bit harder so you can get it down and it won’t blow out.

“You just have to adjust your game to the wind because the ball can go anywhere with the wind, so you really have to watch that. Nice, warm weather is the best to play in.”

Martin, who began playing tennis in sixth grade, tries to learn as much as she can about her opponents during warm ups before the match.

“One of the first things we do is see of they’re left-handed or right-handed and see their weaknesses and try to find things that you can use against them and what your strong points are against them,” Martin said.

Off the court

Name: Heidi Martin

School: Brownstown Central High School

Parents: Tom and Lisa Martin

Sports: tennis 4 years

Winning season: “We have a really young team. I think confidence is one of the biggest things. If we want it and really try hard we should have a good year.”

Home matches: “I enjoy the home atmosphere, being able to play where you play every day, and where you’re used to playing. You just feel more comfortable on courts of your own.”

Favorite away courts: Jennings County

Competition: “It’s a lot different on the varsity level. It also gives you a chance to grow as a player because you get to play against other people and you get better playing against those people.”

Attending BCHS: “I’ve really enjoyed being a student here. I wouldn’t want to go to school anywhere else. I’ve never had a problem with a teacher or anything. I’ve always enjoyed coming to school and bring a part of Brownstown and the small atmosphere.

Organizations: FFA, Booster Club, National Honor Society

Plans after high school: Attend Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, study dental hygiene

Favorite food: Steak

Favorite TV show: “Pretty Little Liars”

Favorite singer: Luke Bryan

Favorite movie: “8 seconds”

Favorite quote: “Keep on dreaming even if it breaks your heart.”

Arv Koontz is a sports correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.