By Sally Milano, USTA.com
For the first time ever, American junior players will be able to show off their tennis skills in front of scouts from several college tennis programs throughout the country, as USTA Player Development hosts the inaugural USTA All-American College Combine.
The USTA All-American College Combine scouting event is designed to give U.S. junior players exposure, knowledge and data to help in their college recruitment.The event will be held June 14-16 at the USTA National Campus at Lake Nona in Orlando, Fla.
Click here to register.
During the three-day event, the athletes will engage in a number of on- and off-court evaluations, including tournament match play in front of college tennis coaches. The tournament will be considered a Tennis Recruiting “National Showcase,” so results will count toward each player’s Universal Tennis Rating, and the tournament winners will receive a main-draw wild card into a USTA Pro Circuit $15,000 event.
Led by USTA Player Development staff and Dr. Mark Kovacs, data will be collected and a report will be created for each participant. Players from the Team USA National Junior Team will participate in the event.
American boys and girls, ages 13-18, are eligible to participate in the combine and will be evaluated on their tennis skills, including serve speed, serve accuracy and ground-stroke accuracy, as well as fitness testing and a psychological self-assessment. The cost is $349. Click here to register.
“Supporting American juniors and their parents in their quests for college scholarships is a priority for us,” said USTA Collegiate Tennis Director Stephen Amritraj. “The USTA All-American College Combine is a way to provide college coaches a convenient opportunity to evaluate American juniors and hopefully increase the number of Americans on college teams throughout the country.”
The USTA National Campus will also host a combined USTA/ITA College Coaches Workshop in conjunction with the combine, also June 14-16, with more than 100 collegiate coaches from NCAA Division I, II and III, NAIA and Junior College programs expected to attend. The workshop will offer a variety of coaching education and professional development sessions.
“Not only is college tennis a viable part of the professional tennis pathway, the majority of the tennis community’s leaders have experienced college tennis,” said Martin Blackman, General Manager, USTA Player Development. “College tennis is an integral part of our tennis ecosystem. It pulls junior players up, it pushes pros out and it cultivates business leaders with an affinity for our great sport.
"We recognize that college tennis coaches are recruiting in a global market, but as the National Federation, we need to create as many developmental opportunities as possible for junior players who aspire to play varsity college tennis.”
The USTA All-American College Combine is the latest initiative through which the USTA aims to help American juniors maximize their exposure as they work to earn college scholarships. The USTA also provides exclusive opportunities for American collegians to earn pro wild cards through collegiate competition, compete on the USTA Collegiate National Team, earn grants for playing in professional tournaments and enroll in Professional Tennis Management programs at select colleges.