Ask The Experts
Roundtable: Junior Tennis Events and Recruiting
by James Hill, 5 December 2016
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There are many opportunities for junior tennis players to interact with college tennis coaches without ever setting foot on a college campus. Coaches frequently attend junior tournaments, college showcases, and college information sessions.
To learn more, we put the following question to a panel of college coaches:
Q) What junior events do you and your staff attend each year? How valuable are these events in your recruiting process?
Joey Barnes, head coach, South Dakota State Men and Women
We attend different events each year, depending on our needs. I like to go to any event that showcases some of the top talent in both singles and doubles. I also try to travel to Europe, Asia, South America, and other locales every other year, when possible. The basic events are the Orange Bowl; Boys and Girls 14s, 16s and 18 Nationals; ITF Coaches' events, and WTA events under $100k.
Jenny Mainz, head coach, Alabama Women
In the recruiting process, it's important that college coaches see junior players win, lose, struggle, and battle through tough conditions they will face in college. It's not always the "best" match that you, as a college coach, consider. Many times, it's the junior player who finds a way on a difficult day.
As college coaches, we recruit all over the United States and all over the world. We identify players who can make a positive impact, on and off the tennis court. It's important to recruit leaders, as well as champions.
The national junior events in the U.S. are always a good starting point for college coaches. But, it's also beneficial to go to different regional, state, and sectional tournaments. Many times, you can find a diamond in the rough at a smaller event.
Showcases and junior tournaments are fantastic opportunities for college coaches to watch, meet, and evaluate junior players.