Keystone Sports College Tennis Showcase Prep Day breaks all the records
After months of planning, the 9th edition of Europe’s biggest tennis recruiting event is finally on! This year, 193 players and 92 coaches are participating in person and virtually. In other words, this year’s Keystone Sports Tennis Showcase is not only the biggest showcase in the company’s history but also the most international one!
The first day of the event in Leverkusen started with the players’ registration, and they all received a welcome bag packed with goodies from Tennis Point, Diadem, Solinco, and Tennis Traveller. The sign-in was followed by a welcoming session. During the ceremony, the players and parents got more information about the College Prep Day and the UTR match plays. The College Prep Day was introduced at last year’s showcase, aiming to provide additional preparation for the players’ tennis recruiting process and sports scholarships experience.
Practice session with coaches & UTR match play
The first day, naturally, also included a lot of great tennis on the court. The players, divided into boys and girls, had a two-hour-long practice session with college coaches in the morning.
In the afternoon, the players had their first of in total four verified UTR match plays. These match plays are a way for players to improve their UTR ranking but also provided an excellent opportunity to show off their talents and skills to the coaches.
Q&As with college coaches
Besides practice sessions with coaches and UTR match plays, the players participated in workshops and Q&As. During these sessions, US college coaches shared their experiences and useful insights from a college coach’s perspective. What do coaches really look for, and what can you expect as a student-athlete on a tennis scholarship in the US?
The coaches gave the players a lot of useful tips when it comes to getting recruited by a coach. Head coach Sean McCaffrey from Georgia Southern University also came with an important piece of advice when it comes to tennis recruitment and reaching out to coaches as a player: “Make it difficult for them to forget about you.”
Europe’s first US Coaches Convention
The first day of the showcase was an exciting day for the coaches as well. Except for watching the future tennis stars in motion, Keystone Sports hosted the first US college coaches’ convention in Europe. Coaches in person and via the virtual platform participated and engaged in inspiring talks and presentations from experts in the tennis and human performance field.
UTR, sport tech and recovery
The Coaches Convention started with Vice President of UTR, Chase Hodges, hosting a presentation about UTR’s platform. More than 90% of the US college coaches in the US are on the platform, and Chase presented more features with the UTR’s platform specifically developed for tennis, coaches, and colleges.
Another of the speakers, Mischa Zverev, hosted a session to talk about his experiences and the importance of recovery as a professional tennis player. Mischa is a former pro player and has been ranked 25th in the world.
Recovery in sports has a much bigger focus today compared with 20-30 years ago, and Mischa stated: “If we don’t actively focus on recovery, we won’t be able to train as hard and intensely as we do.” Recovery consists of many areas, and except for nutrition and sleep, Mischa shared his experiences with cryotherapy and the innovative cryotherapy device icebein.
Lastly, tracking and analyzing your performance is crucial for tennis players who want to improve their game. Jaan Brunken, one of the founders of sport tech company Wingfield, explained how their system allows players to track tennis performance in a highly detailed way – no matter level. “This is for everyone – the only shared experience is the shared love for tennis.”, Jaan said.
Second day of the virtual showcase
The first day of the in-person event in Leverkusen was actually the second day of the Virtual Showcase. The Virtual Showcase kicked off on Wednesday afternoon with a welcome ceremony. Thereafter, the Keystone Sports team held informative sessions about college admissions and how to find the right college in the US.
Moreover, the virtual participants also participated in workshops covering injury prevention, recovery, and mindset as a tennis player. And last but not least, the virtual event included a Q&A session with one of Keystone Sports alumni to offer the virtually participating players an even better understanding of college tennis in the US.
The first day of the Keystone Sports College Tennis Showcase 2023 was truly an incredible start of Europe’s most renowned tennis recruiting event – filled with shared experiences, knowledge, expertise, and most importantly: tennis and an amazing atmosphere. We thank all the participating players, parents, college coaches and our partners, and look forward to three more exciting days of the showcase.