ATHLETE SHOWCASES SKILLS AT USTA COLLEGE COMBINE
August 1, 2019
Finding the perfect college is always an exciting time in a young athlete’s life. For Olivia Boeckman, the first step in the process was the USTA College Combine held in Orlando, Florida. Invited to attend because of her high level of play, Olivia held her own against the best teenage players in the country and showcased her skills to some of the top coaches. We sat down with Olivia to learn more about her experience.
Some top recruits in the US were in attendance at this event. What were your experiences like practicing with, competing against, and socializing with these other top athletes?
It was hard work and took a lot of concentration, but being thrown in with some very elite tennis players on a big stage definitely helped my game and helped me focus. I had a lot of fun seeing how I matched up against others from across the country. I gained a lot of confidence from the match play, even when I lost.
Of the physical tests, what did you do well?
The physical test set up at the combine was pretty intimidating but the USTA and college coaches were all very encouraging. I did quite well on the strength and endurance tests, but I need to work some on my explosiveness.
How many college coaches were in attendance and recruiting players?
There were coaches from a wide cross-section of Division I, II and III schools. All the coaches worked with us, so it gave everybody a chance to get acquainted with different styles and personalities and learn more about what college tennis is all about.
You just turned 16 and are a rising junior so you have time, but what are your college tennis ambitions currently?
I hope to play tennis in college, as the team environment in college is very special and I think I would really enjoy working closely with my teammates and the coaches. College sports are not for everyone, but I play tennis year-round and also school basketball, so I think I can juggle the academic and other demands of college with varsity tennis.
In the last eight months, your UTR (player rating) has risen by an impressive 0.8 point. That is rare for 16 year old. What have you done to mark such improvement?
I have had some great instruction from Bill, Aldrin and the other coaches at Chelsea Piers, both on the technical aspects of my stroke, my overall game management and also positive encouragement to keep at it and not get frustrated when points or matches do not go my way. I also have been fortunate to train with the BlueStreak team at Chelsea Piers.