If your junior has his or her sites set on playing college tennis, you’ve likely been investigating the various showcases, combines, and camps available for your child to get seen by a variety of college coaches. As you start planning for Summer 2019, there are quite a few of these events cropping up in the coming weeks, so let’s take a look at what’s available. Hopefully, this will help you choose the right event(s) and spend your money wisely. NOTE: Many of them offer a discount to the ParentingAces Community, so be sure to ask if you decide to register!
USTA All-American Combine
The USTA All-American College Combine presented by adidas is an initiative through which the USTA aims to help American juniors maximize their exposure as they work to earn college scholarships.
The 2019 dates are June 16-20, but entry forms have not been published yet; I will update this article as more information becomes available, probably some time in March. USTA is adding an extra day (Sunday) as an option for participants to get quality doubles matches in if they want. In 2018, many of the participants were tired by the end of the singles and chose to skip playing doubles. Plus, since weather can be an issue in Florida that time of year, it will be good for the event to have some flexibility. To read about the 2018 Combine, click here.
Collegiate Exposure Camps
These privately-offered 3-, 4- or 5-day camps immerse prospective student-athletes into a simulated atmosphere of what it means to be a college tennis player, including on- and off-court training plus classroom time. They are geared toward players entering grades 8-12 and are held on college campuses staffed with variety of college coaches who work with the players in groups and individually. Participants can either come each day or stay overnight. The cost ranges from $850 to $1400 (plus an additional $100 for overnight campers) depending on the length of the camp. Enrollment is limited to a maximum of 5 players per court and is done on a first-come first-served basis. The 2019 dates are as follows:
- June 21-24 University of Pennsylvania (additional dates TBA)
- Additional dates & locations coming soon!
Coaches attend from almost every level of college tennis who are not only there to help the campers but who are also looking to recruit players. Since the recruiting process now starts as early as 9th grade, the opportunity to begin exploring and thinking about the college process and college tennis is invaluable for both older and younger players. The camp is a great tool for coaches to get to know your player’s personality, see how he/she interacts with peers, and how he/she trains and competes.
For more information, click here to go to the website and click here to listen to my podcast with the founder, Tarek Merchant – be sure to listen all the way to the end for a special discount offer on Collegiate Exposure Camps for the ParentingAces community!
Ed Krass Collegiate Exposure Camps
Another highly-recommended exposure camp is the series offered by Ed Krass (click here). These camps are open to players age 14-18 and are held at University of Rhode Island, Lehigh, and Brandeis universities for 2019. The cost ranges from $695 to $3400 depending on the length of the camp. Early registration discounts apply.
The Krass camps helps players:
- Improve matchplay strategy, shot selection and shot placement
- Achieve better results against higher ranked players
- Improve footwork, speed and level of fitness
- Learn about the college recruiting process and how it works
- Learn how to conduct a college tennis search
- Understand the various levels of college tennis
- Identify the profiles of specific college tennis programs
- Network with head college coaches from across the U.S.
College Prospect Tournament Training Camp
Princeton University is hosting a training camp organized and run by Coach Billy Pate June 23-24, 2019, on its campus. The registration link is not live yet but will be available soon here. This camp will be great preparation for the Donovan Showcase the following week (see below)!
2019 Chris Drake Elite Exposure and Training Camp
Hosted at Dartmouth August 16-18, 2019, this will be a great weekend to get some exposure to college tennis and great training for upcoming tournaments. They have hosted successful weekends for 6 years now and are different from many other elite camps in a few ways:
- Small size: Coach Drake is capping this weekend at 20 to ensure personal interaction with each camper. It is the coaches’ goal to get to know each camper as a person and as a player just like they do with their college teams. Chris and his coaches want to be able to give each camper specific feedback on their games and things they can do to continue to progress towards college tennis.
- High level: The majority of their camps have featured players with UTR’s averaging 10.5 with players from 9-12 UTR at every camp. They have had 4 star, 5 star and blue chip players sign up in the past. The level of competition is always high to test players against other players of similar levels.
- Parent education: They welcome parents to attend all training sessions and to ask questions at the end of any of the training sessions. While they cannot answer questions specifically about Dartmouth, they are happy to discuss college training, recruiting, their philosophies on player development, and any other help they can provide in guiding your player through the college process.
- College style matches: Because of the small size of the camps they can simulate college team dual matches where the players will play formats similar to what they will experience in college. This will also include on-court coaching during the matches just like the players receive in the college game. The players have found this very helpful as it helps them see and make tactical and mental/emotional adjustments that they may not see on their own.
Coach Drake has had players from his camp attend and play on teams at Dartmouth, Vanderbilt, Pepperdine, Princeton, Lehigh, Williams, Bucknell, Colgate, Tufts, Carnegie Mellon and many more. The camp website and registration will be online shortly. For now, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
New Balance High School Tennis Championships
This great event for High School Tennis Players is returning to Ojai, California, July 20-23, 2019. While this event does NOT count toward a player’s USTA ranking, it does count toward their UTR. For additional information and updates, be sure to check out the event’s Facebook page here. You can read my article on the 2018 event here.
There are many options for college showcases around the US and abroad. The following is a list of showcases that parents have recommended along with links to their websites. Be sure to compare the dates, cost, and list of attending coaches/colleges when choosing the right showcase for your child.
- Donovan Showcase: This year’s showcases are being held at Yale ( June 25-27, 2019 at Mercer County Park in New Jersey) and Harvard (July 20-21, 2019) with a showcase coming January 5-6, 2019, at the Claremont Colleges in Southern California. The cost ranges from $395 to $550 with a substantial discount for Donovan Recruiting clients. Click here to go to the website.
- I’m Recruitable: This showcase is held between the Eddie Herr and Orange Bowl tournaments in December in South Florida. For information on the 2019 showcase being held November 27-29, 2019, click here.
- ITA College Showcase: TennisRecruiting.net sponsored a showcase during the ITA Coaches Convention in Naples, Florida, in December 2018 (click here to read about it). They will offer the showcase again in December 2019 in conjunction with the ITA Coaches Convention though the date has not been set yet.
- TennisSmart: Former top British player, Sarah Borwell, offers a college showcase to her UK clients free of charge. If you live and train in the UK, you can get more information on TennisSmart by clicking here. You can also hear more from Sarah about her services in our podcast here.
If your child has already attended a camp or showcase, please share your experience in the Comments below.