The 2016 USTA/Midwest Section Junior Excellence Camp brought together 30 talented and diverse USTA/Midwest junior players from October 21-23 at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. USTA/Midwest Section Diversity Specialist staff member Brandon Smith led a group of six coaches who worked with the junior players during this year’s camp.
On Saturday morning, the coaches held indoor practice sessions with athletic development followed by various drills focused on different aspects of the game to give the participants multiple coaching opportunities. During Saturday afternoon the players and coaches moved to the outdoor courts for more drills including doubles strategy. Off the tennis court, the players had the opportunity to tour the university, and dinner was held in the main dining hall on campus.
USTA President Katrina Adams (a Chicago native and Northwestern University graduate) made a surprise visit to this year’s camp, and inspired the participants with her comments about the importance of education and giving their best effort on the tennis court. Sunday morning started outdoors with the coaches and junior players going through warmups and athletic development. Afterwards, players competed in singles and doubles match play the remainder of the morning with the camp concluding that afternoon.