National

My College Combine: Athletic Ability 

Erin Maher | June 18, 2018


From June 18-21, the nation’s top high school players will descend upon the USTA National Campus at Lake Nona in Orlando, Fla., for a chance to show off their skills in front of college coaches in the USTA All-American College Combine presented by adidas. Throughout the event, USTA.com follows second-time participant Sophia Edwards as she returns to the combine in hopes of fulfilling her dream of becoming a collegiate tennis player. 

 

A total of 128 participants filed into the adidas Performance Center on Monday at the USTA National Campus for the fitness testing portion of the USTA All-American Combine, ready to run, jump and sprint to their dreams of becoming a collegiate tennis player.

 

With the words “In It To Win It” emblazoned across her shirt and a smile stretched wide across her face, rising high school junior Sophia Edwards returned to Lake Nona for a second year, ready to beat her performance from last year and conquer the tests that she struggled with at the 2017 Combine. 

 

“The agility test – it’s tough!” said Edwards before she started the fitness tests. “But I worked a lot on that skill and really incorporated it into my training. I’m looking forward to the fitness tests and see the difference a year of training has made.”

 

Participants took to the indoor courts, completing seven different physical assessments, including vertical jumps that test power, 20-yard sprints to test acceleration and an agility test known as the “Spider,” in which participants dash between multiple cones as fast as they can to test coordination and movement. All tests are indicative of the physical attributes a player needs in varsity tennis. 

 

Performance physiologist Dr. Mark Kovacs, a former collegiate All-American and NCAA doubles champion, developed the tests and was on site running the fitness testing.

 

“These are all tests that we have over 30 years of data on, so we know these are the physical skills that tennis players need,” Kovacs said. “The physical test also provides players the opportunity to learn what skills they may be weaker at and allows them to work on them before they enter the college game.” 

 

Tennis requires players to not only be physically strong but also mentally tough. Between physical fitness testing, participants also had presentations on tactics and stretching, as well as preparing for college. The day wrapped with a dinner and parent forum, where collegiate tennis coaches answered questions and gave parents insight as to what coaches are looking for in their players. 

 

“I learned so much about what’s best to do for recruiting,” said Edwards after the day wrapped. “How to present yourself to collegiate coaches and learn what I need to do for the college process.”

 

Day 2 of the Combine kicks off match play, where participants will take to the courts to show their booming forehands, big serves and killer games in hopes of impressing college coaches.


For more information on how to make your dream of playing collegiate tennis a reality, click here to get all the information on playing collegiate tennis. 

 

 

Pictured Above: Sophia Edwards, 16, participating in the physical fitness testing at the USTA All-American Collegiate Combine. (Photo Credit: Manuela Davies)

For more information on how to make your dream of playing collegiate tennis a reality, click here to get all the information on playing collegiate tennis. 

 

For more information on how to make your dream of playing collegiate tennis a reality, click here to get all the information on playing collegiate tennis. 

 

For more information on how to make your dream of playing collegiate tennis a reality, click here to get all the information on playing collegiate tennis. 

 

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