College Prep Yale Showcase Tour 2011 - Day 5 at Harvard and Wellesley

Benny Lin
Founder & Academy Director

College Prep Yale Showcase Tour 2011 - Day 5 at Harvard and Wellesley

Posted at : July 03, 2011

Every time I am at Harvard I always remember one of my students said that he already feels smarter just being at Harvard :-D. This morning I set up a very rare meeting with coach Fish from Harvard. Coach Fish has been Harvard’s coach for the last 20 years. He coached many outstanding players including Jonathan Chu who is currently playing Davis Cup for Hong Kong and we all know – James Blake. James Blake went to Harvard for 2 years and decided to turn pro.

Our team had a lot invaluable information from coach Fish as he talked about Harvard tennis, admission, SAT scores, what kind of students Harvard is looking for, etc. We covered almost everything during our 2 hours meeting with coach Fish and it was an eye opening experience for some of our players. Coach Fish also showed us around the athletic center, including Harvard’s Hall of History. At the beginning of the tour he said that Harvard and other schools have many nice buildings, but to build nice buildings all it takes are just a good designer and lots of money and he collaborated that when choosing a school don’t be fooled by the looks of the buildings because what makes the difference and what makes a school great is the people who you will be interacting/ meeting for the next 4 years. A wise piece of advice.

Coach Fish is definitely one of the most respected coaches in NCAA tennis. Graduated from Harvard himself and played varsity tennis for Harvard, coach Fish adapts Zen Master coaching style which I found very interesting. I know if any of our players ever got in to Harvard, he would learn a lot about life from coach Fish. Surprisingly coach Fish told us that there is no definite SAT score Harvard is looking for. High or perfect SAT score/ highschool grades does not mean you can go to Harvard. Harvard is looking for someone unique and distinguish. What distinguish you from the other 35,000 applicants? And tennis is definitely one of those areas that can distinguish you from the rest of 35,000 applicants. Coach Fish usually support about 2 – 3 players per year and may be less.

I think the best advice that we got today from coach Fish is how can you distinguish yourself from the rest of the applicants? Are you a Harvard guy/ gal?

Another great facts that I wanted to share with all of you is that actually student-athletes (tennis players) done better at school during school season, which means when students are busy with tennis and study they tend to manage their time and as we all know managing our time well is one of those skills that can make you a very successful person. I also remember vividly when coach Fish said that when asked about what Harvard players learned the most at Harvard are time management and better writing skills, and in life both time management and writing skills are very essential to be successful. For example, if you want to be a successful businessman and you are asking for venture capital, writing skill will come in handy!

After our meeting with coach Fish I took the kids for some fitness training at Harvard’s historical Football Stadium that looks like the Coliseum in Rome. We ran laps outside of the stadium and we also did sprints at the staircases. James Kong challenged me for a staircase sprints as he thought he could beat me for sure (and we bet for a movie ticket). So to show him that I am still fit and can beat him I ran as fast as I could to beat him by half of step :-D. However this morning my legs are so sore and I think I am going to be walking like an old man for the next few days :-(. No more sprinting for me for the rest of this trip!

In the afternoon, I took the kids to meet our old friend coach Brian K from Wellesley College. Wellesley is just about 20 minutes from Harvard and MIT and any girl who got accepted to Wellesley can take classes at MIT too. Wellesley is ranked No. 4 in the US for liberal arts schools and has a long history of educating world leaders. It’s most famous graduates include Hilary Clinton and Madam Chiang Kai Sek. Wellesley is also famous for its beautiful campus as reviewed by Time Magazine (Top 10 most beautiful campuses in the US). What makes Wellesley very special and unique for us is the fact coach Brian is one of the most enthusiastic and caring coaches that I have ever come across with and thus I know for sure every tennis player that goes to Wellesley will have a father/ big brother care in coach Brian. He just a kind hearted person and he cares a lot about his players as his own child. A rare quality and not every coach has this kind of quality, and again back to what coach Fish said at the very beginning – it’s all about the people in that school that will make a difference and change your life.

Coach Brian will be working with Sojung Lee this year and he is very excited about SJ coming to Wellesley. I remembered clearly that SJ did not consider Wellesley at all until he met coach Brian and coming out of such a prestigious boarding school (Lawrenceville) SJ made the right decision coming to Wellesley. Coach Brian spent a lot of time today talking to Yasodara who he thinks a good candidate for Wellesley. Yaso is interested in becoming a doctor and Wellesley’s has a very good pre med program and coach Brian said over 75% of their pre med students got accepted to top medical schools in the US.

One more great thing about coming to Wellesley is their alumni is known for getting married to Harvard guys! That should motivate some of the girls to come to Wellesley :-D.

Our team hit for 2 hours and I let the kids skip fitness in the afternoon as they already did quite a lot of fitness in the morning.

Tomorrow we are heading to Brown University to meet one of our old friends – coach Dave Schwarz.

I have posted new pictures on HKITA facebook page.

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