College Prep Yale Showcase 2011 Tour - Day 6 at Brown

Benny Lin
Founder & Academy Director

College Prep Yale Showcase 2011 Tour - Day 6 at Brown

Posted at : July 04, 2011

After our morning run and fitness session we drove to Brown University to meet our old friend coach Dave Schwarz. Coach Dave was in Hong Kong last November so he remembered some of our players. Brown is located very strategically in Providence, Rhode Island and I must say it is so far the nicest city of any of the Ivy League schools. One of the oldest cities in America, Providence is where history meets the future. I was really impressed with the city as I could see many historical sites and new modern buildings next to each other.

Brown University is also centralized located near the downtown Providence. And most importantly it is located at the central of all Ivy League schools which makes traveling for duel matches against other Ivy League schools very convenient. Two major cities, New York and Boston, is just 2 hours away.

Coach Dave took us to see the athletic center, tennis facilities, Brown campus and also Brown’s small town where most of the students hang out to find food. During our meeting with coach Dave, we had a Q & A session and we learned many invaluable information about Brown. However the most important piece of advice that we got from coach Dave – who is a very straight forward and extremely direct personality – which I think is extremely useful for Hong Kong kids was DO NOT STOP PLAYING tennis because you want to improve your grades. He collaborated that tennis coaches want to recruit tennis players so if you come to him (and ask him to recruit you) you must be able to impress him with your TENNIS. It’s great if you have the grades but if you do not have the tennis level that he is looking for, he will not be moved by your excuses why your tennis is not up to his standard or expectations. “Oh coach, I didn’t play tennis for the last 6 months because I have to improve my grades and I have no time to play tennis or compete” will just become a sad excuse for coach Dave and he will not sympathize with you.

Basically to get in to Ivy League caliber schools you have to impress both the admission and the coaches. If you want to use tennis as that one thing to distinguish yourself you want to make sure you impress the tennis coaches first and later the admission (which is easier because the coach will fight for you).

John yesterday asked a very good question which I think is applicable to all Hong Kong kids. John asked what kids from boarding schools can do to impress the coaches because they have such a limited time to play tennis, just like Hong Kong kids. Coach Dave said most importantly play lots of tournaments during holidays or participate at selected tournaments where there will be some good players (college or future college players) so that if you play against someone good and beat him/ her, this will be used to measure your level. It means instead of looking at your ranking (since it is difficult to get higher ranking if you don’t have time to play tournaments) try to beat some good players or even be able to hang with them will be very useful information to impress the coaches. Basically your head to head wins (and who you played against, score) is quite important if you don’t have much time to compete chasing higher rankings. I must agree 100% with coach Dave when he said summer or holidays should be used to play as many matches/ tournaments as possible because you never know at which tournament you will be able to break through or beat some good players. Also to get better and improve there is no place better than at the tournaments.

After meeting coach Dave we also met coach Paul who is the women’s team coach. Coach Paul was running a camp and introduced me to a few coaches from other schools. I also met Leung Lok Sze’s future coach from Middlebury. He is very excited to have Lok Sze coming in September and already said good things and how hard working Lok Sze is. It was nice to hear nice things about one of my former students. I am glad that Lok Sze got everything together and now she will be going to study at a very good academic school because of tennis and hard work.

Our team was lucky enough to get about 90 minutes of practice where we mostly focused on doubles. We heard all the time that doubles is very important and it could be one of the considerations for coaches when they recruit. Yes they do recruit good doubles players too. The weather was very unstable yesterday and it was raining a little bit. The kids needed that practice before the showcase starts on the 5th of July so it was great that they got to hit. Before we leave to our hotel I worked lightly on their fitness as I wanted them to maintain their level of fitness going in to the showcase. We worked hard in the past 4 days in their fitness, now it is time to maintain it.

Tomorrow we will be at Yale University already – the battle ground. We will be hitting in the morning and afternoon too. The girls will play on the 5th and 6th and the boys on the 6th and 7th. I heard from coaches today that this year’s showcase will be filled with many good players. As I am invited to be one of the coaches at the showcase practice sessions, I will be able to scout and observe the strength and depth of this year’s competition.

I have posted new pictures on HKITA facebook page.

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