College Prep Yale Showcase Tour 2011 - Day 9 at Yale

Benny Lin
Founder & Academy Director

College Prep Yale Showcase Tour 2011 - Day 9 at Yale

Posted at : July 07, 2011

Today was one of my proudest day as a coach. Although I didn’t show it much to the kids but I was very proud of all of them. I was very proud because everyone gave 100% effort and everything they had for their matches today, regardless the outcome. I was pleasantly surprised by their never say die attitude and fighting spirit while on the court. Everyone played their heart out and that’s all I could ask as their coach. I was truly proud of the kids today and I was kind of speechless because today the kids just went out there and fought like warriors. Some won and some lost but the attitude and fighting spirit were just GREAT!

In the morning the girls played first. Rachel and Yaso won their doubles match – a great start especially for Rachel as she and her partner beat Lucy Tang and her partner. A great boost of confidence for Rachel considering Lucy is one of Hong Kong’s high ranked players. After their doubles, both girls played singles. Playing some of their best tennis, both girls gave all they had but just like yesterday their opponents were simply the better player today.

The format of the matches today was set up just like a real duel college tennis match. Six players per team and the No. 1 player will play the No. 1 player of the opposing team and so on. So our players were ranked by the organizer which means our stronger players will play against stronger players too and so on. The boys played mid day after the girls finished all their matches. Just like the girls, the boys played doubles first and surprisingly they all won their doubles match, except for Juen Juen. Everyone played hard, except for Juen Juen who was rather intimidated. After the doubles match I told Juen Juen to be more aggressive, more ruthless and don’t hold back – and he did exactly those things I told him. He almost beat his opponent but was just unlucky in the tiebreaker and lost 6-8. The match could have gone either way. Although he lost Juen Juen played really well and he fought hard throughout the match.

The rest of the boys and their partners won their opening doubles match which gave them a lot of boost to their self-confidence. In singles, again, I was very surprised by the performance of our boys. They all played like a hungry young tiger, and some of them even took their game to the next level. It’s like they were in a mission and their business-like attitude was just the perfect combination for subconsciously taking their game to the next level. Although not everyone played their top game today but everyone gave top effort and it was all they needed. I saw many coaches were watching our players especially our raising seniors. I invited coaches from U Penn, Boston College, Carnegie Mellon, Wesleyan, Boston University, Middlebury, Princeton, to name a few, to watch James Kong, John and James Ng, who are our raising seniors. These coaches also watched Kevin, Terry and Juen Juen too. Kevin, although is only a raising junior, got a lot of attention from coaches, including from U Penn coach, who said he is the best doubles player at the showcase, and from Princeton coach too, to name a few.

Some of the coaches were really impressed by our boys and ready to recruit most of them. While our players were on the court, I was working the ground talking to coaches and inviting them to watch our players. This year I was able to make new contacts and broaden our choices of universities which is great for our players. James Kong and Kevin Wong beat some good players today and these two boys really impressed a quite number of coaches, including coaches from Ivy League, Division 1 and Division 3 schools. John also did very well today. He beat a player who he lost to a few months back. He also got much more attention this year than last year.

Tomorrow will be our last day at the showcase and we will be flying back to Hong Kong in the evening. I told the kids that although the showcase is over my job is NOT done yet. It is only the first phase of the whole college application process. I am very pleased with this year’s result as all the kids played really well. This is mostly because we had a good preparation – physically and mentally before coming to the showcase. The kids worked hard preparing which is the key to this year’s success at the showcase. A wise man once told us it is our will to prepare, NOT our will to win that makes the difference. Although the showcase is over I will still be their college counselor until they get admitted to a university/ college of their choice. This is the first phase of my job, the next phase is a long process helping the kids with their actual admission/ registration for the next 10 months or so and keeping in touch with the coaches. This year’s group is one of the strongest and best groups that I have ever coached. We had a great time as a team and I enjoyed every moment helping these wonderful kids with their future.

I reminded the kids that their job is NOT done too. The showcase is only a stepping stone and the first part. I want the kids to know what they need to work on when they return to Hong Kong. Whether it is their tennis or academic or SAT score, I told the kids that they should not relax when they return to Hong Kong. Instead they should work even harder improving whatever they need to improve for the next 10 – 12 months. Otherwise what they have achieved or worked on here before and at the showcase will be gone with the wind! After the showcase, the kids need to work even harder and they must not take any break! Catch the momentum from the showcase and work even harder for achieving your college tennis dreams. I repeated to the kids not to take any break when they return to Hong Kong.

What we learned most from this trip is we (our kids) have to impress both the coaches and the admission office if they want to study and play college tennis. Players who are currently playing for Harvard, Brown or Williams/ Amherst are strong tennis players and straight A students. If they can do it, why not us? Who said we have to sacrifice tennis for education or sacrifice education for tennis? Both can go hand in hand and we can be good at both at the same time. It is totally doable, just look at those kids who are now playing for Ivy League or high academic schools. There is no short cuts, it takes hard work, it is not easy, but trust me, it is doable!

This will be my last report as tomorrow night I will be traveling to LA to meet another group. I hope I was able to inspired some of our younger players and both parents and players have learned something invaluable from my reports about tennis and college. Thank you for reading, have a good summer and see you all in Hong Kong.

Before I sign out, a few coaches from big name schools have agreed to visit our tennis academy in Nov/ Dec this year. This is very exciting and I will reveal their names and schools soon.

I have posted new pictures at our HKITA facebook page:


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