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Getting to know USTA Professional member Colleen Murphy( Thu, May 14 00:05:AM)


Getting to know USTA Professional member Colleen Murphy

“Getting to know you……… getting to know all about you.”

In continuing our popular “Getting to Know You” feature, we are excited to share with you an interview with USTA Professional member Colleen Murphy, director of Georgia’s “FORTE” Artistic Group.  Colleen burst onto the scene with her amazing group and is changing the lives of a lot of young athletes from her area. Here is what she had to say in a recent interview:

1. How have your students benefitted from being in an Artistic Group?

Colleen: Forte's artistic group is open and welcoming to twirlers who are coached individually by others, or who are on other NBTA/USTA competition teams. My co-coach Courtney White and I asked each team member their "why" at the start of

our practice season so we could make sure we work to meet the needs and desires of each twirler! Their reasons for wanting to be on Artistic Group included fun, friendships, stamina and an expansion of their choreography repertoire. As a coach, watching these young athletes form bonds through a shared experience of being on a team, when they might not have had that opportunity any other way, is priceless. Many of these athletes will go on to twirl in college together and so this is a fun way for them to get to know each other. Also, Forte's style is jazzy and the point of Artistic Group is to put on a show - our choreography challenges these athletes in ways they haven't been pushed before. We work hard (ask any of them about camp week, ha!), but we play hard too. It's been an absolute joy to coach these twirlers and we can't wait to be back together again!
2. How are you staying connected to your students during the pandemic?
Colleen: Like many coaches across the country, technology has been our most utilized tool. A combination of FaceTime, Zoom and videoed content is keeping my twirlers (and me!) moving. I've been impressed by the adaptability of my students - they've created practice areas in pavilions, culs de sac, driveways, parks and yards. It's been fun to "see" them and I've also met their dogs, cats and even a cow. Apart from the twirling, I begin every lesson/class by asking them how they're doing. They share details about school, their families, new projects they're working on, etc. I find that by simply listening to what my twirlers have to share during this strange/trying/weird time is the best way to connect.
3. What are three things that the twirling world probably doesn’t know about you?
Colleen: • I am obsessed with my puppy, like any good millennial. Her name is Maggie and she's a chocolate lab/pointer mix. She's very smart and good at tricks - she can twirl (spin in a circle) and take a bow!
• I've worked in the digital marketing world for companies like Chick-fil-A and Coca-Cola. My degree is in Public Relations from the University of Georgia. I still freelance occasionally on special projects!
I got engaged right after International Cup last summer in Paris :) It was a big summer! My fiancé, Clay, and I are planning a December wedding and are so excited.