More than 120 high school students from across the tri-state area got a chance to impress college tennis coaches and learn about the wide range of playing opportunities after graduation at USTA Eastern’s 24th Annual College Showcase Day. The Showcase Day, which was held Nov. 7, 2010 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens, featured on-court drills for juniors, a tournament for seniors and special seminars for students and parents about preparing for college tennis.
Seniors also attended a College Showcase with coaches representing more than 65 colleges.
"We look for those who see competitors and those who look for solutions and solve the puzzle while on the court," said Brad Dancer from the University of Illinois. "If you have the drive on the court & show your athleticism, colleges will want you."
Some of the coaches were new to the Showcase, including Bucknell University, the U.S. Naval Academy and Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute. But others, like Jeff Schmitt of Muhlenberg College, have been going for years. Schmitt said the event is a great opportunity to reconnect with players they are recruiting and meet new potential players. For those interested in playing college tennis, his advice was simple: Start early looking at schools and meeting coaches.
“The earlier you contact the coach, and the more you get in the loop with that coach or coaches, the better off you will be as far as the recruiting process,” said Schmidt.
Adam Waterhouse from Farmingdale State College said, "I'm glad this year they allowed the juniors to get to play some tennis as it helps make more connections and see upcoming potential."
Joanna Haich, a senior at Francis Lewis High School in Queens, enjoyed playing with her friends and getting recognized by coaches, after her recent change to a serve-and-volley style of play.
“I know I drew a lot of attention because coaches apparently were telling me that they were looking for me throughout the whole entire Showcase,” said Haich. “That was a great feeling.”
Timon Corwin, USTA senior director for junior and collegiate competition, said, "It's a good thing that college tennis is being pushed back into the player development area. Tennis on campus is a great way to play tennis without being on varsity teams."
When they were not learning or playing tennis, the students watched some of the top college tennis players in the country compete at the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships. They also learned about ESMZone.com, a new interactive Web site that promotes community service and character development among young athletes.
All of the coaches will receive profiles of the players after the event.
"This event is a great way to connect to people, especially when you are a D3 school," said Richard Migdalski, head coach from NYU-Poly. "These seminars are great that you can watch upcoming players and setup a table afterwards; however' I wish there were more of these types of events each year."
Credit all photos to: Anthony Pastecchi
USTA Eastern Section
<p><img width="100" height="52" align="left" alt="" src="/sites/default/files/u12/USTA_Eastern_Logo.jpg" />USTA Eastern is a not-for-profit community service organization whose mission is to promote and develop the growth of tennis. One of 17 geographic sections of the USTA, the governing body of tennis in the United States, USTA Eastern boasts over 48,000 members throughout all of New York, Northern New Jersey and Greenwich, Connecticut.</p>