The Camp Starlight tennis program is always one of the largest and most popular programs on camp each summer. This year,Craig Cooper, a 25 plus years veteran coach, is at the helm. We recently caught up with Coach Cooper to learn more about him, his background, an coaching philosophy.
Although he hails from Ohio and attended Ohio State University, Coach Cooper has traveled the world coaching tennis. It was during his college years as an elite athlete, however, that he first decided that he wanted to become a coach. “It’s a profound profession,” he says.
He was drawn to camp because he finds the experience of working as a coach at camp “enlightening, challenging, and fun.” He also appreciates the relationships he has formed as a result of working at camp. Coach Cooper said he chose Camp Starlight because of it’s amazing reputation and because he had a really good feeling about the opportunity after speaking with camp Owner and Director David Miller.
During the winter, Coach Cooper trains athletes throughout the Midwest–including his home state of Ohio–and Florida, though his coaching efforts aren’t confined to tennis. He is also a professional lacrosse coach. He says his favorite things, so far, about his debut summer at Camp Starlight are the new relationships he has formed with both staff and campers. Relationships are very important to Coach Cooper. He believes that a good coach is an overall life coach. In fact, being a mentor and forming lasting relationships with his athletes as their tennis skills develop are what he loves most about coaching.
When he’s not coaching tennis or lacrosse, Coach Cooper enjoys golfing, fishing, cycling, and watching movies. Those who are familiar with Coach Cooper’s intensity when it comes to sports might be surprised to learn that he’s also a thespian who loves theatre and acting and has “dabbled” (as he says) in the industry.
Here’s to a successful first summer at Camp Starlight for Coach Cooper!