College Tennis Recruitment Video (still under construction)

Discussion in 'College Tennis Talk' started by Sir Shankalot, Apr 22, 2014.

  1. Sir Shankalot

    Sir Shankalot Rookie

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    Hi

    I am in the process of making a college tennis recruitment video for a young fellow here in Nairobi, Kenya. I have finished the hitting part of the video, and would love to hear your comments about this guy. I have also shot a short interview with him, just to get him to talk about his background and achievements, and it is pretty interesting to watch.

    Link to interview here.
    Link to hitting video here.

    A bit of a back story here: this guy is 19, and was born and grew up in a place called Kibera. Kibera is an informal settlement (or slum as we call it here) in Nairobi, and is Africa's largest and probably most economically deprived slum. At age 11 he showed up at a local sports academy without a racquet or shoes and asked for a try-out. The academy director saw some talent, took him on, and arranged for a scholarship. He went on to represent Kenya in the Davis cup twice in 2012 and 2013 (first time on the bench, the second time playing), and he has now graduated from high school (12th Grade equivalent).

    Would love to know what you think of his tennis. By the way, watch the tiebreak in full: he was pretty nervous at the start, probably a bit of stage fright. Predictably he fell apart during the first 5 points, but watch what happens next...
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2014
    #1
  2. cjs

    cjs Semi-Pro

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    He should stop using that frypan grip when serving.
     
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  3. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    Looks like a solid player. Maybe a little raw still but I see the athleticism. I don't love that serve but if it works for him I wouldn't change it. I played against a guy back in college who was from Africa and was on his country's Davis Cup team. Really tough player and horrible matchup for me because of his wheels. I think he played JUCO somewhere first before transferring to a DI school. If your guy is having trouble getting responses from DI/DIII coaches or has any clearinghouse issues you might want to think about simultaneously looking at DII/JUCO/NAIA since they tend to be very accommodating of foreign players.
     
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  4. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    I like this guy. Out of curiosity, what kind of student is he?
     
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  5. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Who is the guy he is playing against in the tiebreaker. Just trying to get an idea of the level of competition.
     
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  6. Sir Shankalot

    Sir Shankalot Rookie

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    He finished school a year ago (I think) and can't afford to go to a local university, who do not offer scholarships to sportsmen. He is earning a living coaching kids and hitting with adults and good juniors.
     
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  7. Maximagq

    Maximagq Banned

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    Kid plays like a smaller version of Donald Young.
     
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  8. Sir Shankalot

    Sir Shankalot Rookie

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    His name is Richard Ooko. Never made the DC team, he says because he was sitting exams when they were doing the selection trials. Or so he claims. He is from the same school and sports academy as Jamin. If you were just to have a casual hit with the two of them you would probably think that Richard was the better player; he is quite a bit taller, he hits harder and heavier, and has a better first serve (but a weaker second). However once you put them in a competitive situation Jamin usually comes first. Better competitive instinct. Kind of like an African David Ferrer. I think (or hope) you can see this when they play the tiebreaker.

    They don't have regional rankings here for seniors, but Jamin was the no. 9 under 18 last season. That's number 9 in 5 countries combined (Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania). I don't know Richard's old ranking (he is now 22) but I'm guessing he would have been in the high teens. I'll ask him when I next see him.
     
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  9. mbm0912

    mbm0912 Professional

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    I was thinking more like a smaller version of Serena Williams.
     
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  10. Sir Shankalot

    Sir Shankalot Rookie

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    Thanks man. Yes, his movement is amazing. When I hit with him he plays nice but makes a point of running like crazy to all my out balls and returning with an outrageous winner. :oops: I was going to say he's a mini Nadal, but actually he is more like a lefty David Ferrer. No real weapons but crazy wheels and a great competitive instinct.

    Being a Anglo-Kenyan, I don't really know the US college system. But thanks for your advice. I have put him in touch with a US coach who in turn knows some D1 and D2 college coaches who hopefully will give him a bit of advice.
     
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  11. Clemson_tennis

    Clemson_tennis Legend

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    horrendous comparison and I assume an attempt at humor
     
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  12. Clemson_tennis

    Clemson_tennis Legend

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    actually his movement does not look that great and is kinda sloppy. He is often off balance. His shots are better than what you make it sound though. His forehand has some nice variety and precision, disguises it pretty well.
     
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  13. Sir Shankalot

    Sir Shankalot Rookie

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    Hmm, not sure about that. I have stood next to him when he is serving and it sure looks like a continental grip to me. Maybe weak continental, but definitely not EFH.

    I'm not keen on his serve either, especially when I am receiving! Getting my racquet on it is no problem, it is what happens after that is a problem. Insane spin.
     
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  14. WARPWOODIE

    WARPWOODIE Rookie

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    Nothing really stands out with the player in the video. He shows some very basic fundamental flaws. However, given his background and limited resources, one can only applaud and wish this guy luck in term of possibly playing college here in the States. His level of play would be good at the Junior College level, or some small D-3 schools. There was a documentary featured on the Tennis Channel about 3 years ago, about a player from Africa who got sponsored by a very rich New York couple. He ended up playing at the College of the Dessert in Palm Springs (Junior College), and later transferred to D-3 school somewhere in Southern California. The documentary wasn't so much about his tennis skills but more about his journey from Africa, his transition to the US, his adventure and travails. He had to go to court one time for some driving violations. Good luck the the guy in the recruiting video.
     
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  15. JLyon

    JLyon Hall of Fame

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    He ha a good base but needs to get onto some hard courts for the speed.
    To be honest his opponent did not do him any favors with the overly sloppy play in the TB.
    He needs to beef up the serve and work on a nice flat serve to complement the spin.

    Looks very athletic.
    You need to look at English proficiency and TOEFL if applicable.
    I think he would do well at a JUCO first and then see about transferring schools.
    Look at the SWAC Schools and HBC schools as a major option for D1 if eligible otherwise it appears to be a DII or NAIA are best options.
     
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  16. SStrikerR

    SStrikerR Hall of Fame

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    He could play college tennis, easy. It just depends on finding the right fit, academically and athletically. He is solid already and looks like he has some potential, but obviously he's not going to be playing on a scholarship or anything like that. Academics should be his priority.
     
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  17. MC86

    MC86 Rookie

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    I would suggest if possible to shoot another video hitting against a guy who plays with a more 'conventional' game style and could give him a bit more rhythm.

    I don't think this match up is doing him any favours in terms of presenting him in the best possible light if I'm being honest...
     
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  18. Enigma

    Enigma Semi-Pro

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  19. Sir Shankalot

    Sir Shankalot Rookie

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    Thanks, I'll pass that on. Remember I'm not his mentor or anything, just some guy helping out by making a video for him. He actually learned on a hard court, but most courts in this part of the world are dirt. What you lose in bounce speed you make up in speed before the bounce - we are at 6,100' here and the ball can shift a bit.

    His English is just fine - all education, official gov't business etc here is conducted in English, and he speaks and writes just fine, albeit with a bit of an accent. Amazing thing here, everyone speaks at least 3 languages; their tribal language, Swahili, and English.

    Yup, that's him. I think that photo must have been taken when he was 12 or something! He looks like a normal 19 year old these days.
     
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  20. BHiC

    BHiC Rookie

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    Great video! I would personally suggest cutting out the first 2:30 and just displaying the tiebreaker, but either way would probably work. The main things coaches care about is if you can win matches for them, they really don't care how pretty your strokes look.
     
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  21. Sir Shankalot

    Sir Shankalot Rookie

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    Shameless bump.

    Thanks for all the comments and inputs so far. Shameless bump here, I have added a video with a short interview with the player.

    Link to interview here.
    Link to hitting video here.

    Quite an interesting back story, but listen for yourselves.
     
    #21
  22. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

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    Very nice that you are helping him out.

    Couple of thoughts:

    - You have two videos here, coaches are tight on time
    and probably won't be able to look at both in the depth you want.
    Very compelling story, but time is always an issue here.

    - The hitting video:
    Need an intro at the beginning.
    Name, age, one line of his story, what he is looking for.

    Lose the warmup. Coaches just want to see the competitive match.

    - So, he graduated high school a year ago? June 2013?
    And he's been teaching for a year.
    That will affect eligibility at D1.

    - He ( not you) needs to contact college coaches by email with a link to his video.
    I know you want to help him, but you are not going to school with him.


    Best of luck to him!
     
    #22
  23. andfor

    andfor Hall of Fame

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    If he has not played any sanctioned tournaments or events since graduation his elegibility may not be affected and still have 5 yrs. to play 4 yrs of college athletics. Coaches will have to determine.
     
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  24. MyTennisTools

    MyTennisTools New User

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    Example

    I made this basic video for a local guy and he used it for recruiting:

    http://youtu.be/VpwcShGUDWY

    He let me know later that it worked fine, though I don't remember where he ended up. Not that hard to do, but I wish I had had more actual match video.
    Good luck!
     
    #24
  25. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    He's the kid in Jeff Salzenstein's videos. Funny, it's a small world.
     
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  26. MyTennisTools

    MyTennisTools New User

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    Yep, that's him. You can spot Jeff's students from far away from their distinctive strokes. He's a great teacher with lots of insights that you just don't get elsewhere. Maybe almost too detail oriented sometimes!
     
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  27. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    What do you mean by distinctive strokes? I'm curious; the only one of Jeff's students I know of is Max, so the sample size is too small for me to conclude anything.
     
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  28. Sir Shankalot

    Sir Shankalot Rookie

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    Thanks. I'm just thankful that I have the skills and equipment to help out a fellow tennis player.

    The reason I split it into two videos was that I thought the interview was too long to fit into the main video. My original thought was to keep the interview down to less than one minute and have it as an introduction to the hitting and keep it all in one video. However the interview turned out to be much longer, over 3 minutes, and I can't figure out a way to make it shorter. The original unedited footage was over 9 minutes, I have edited it as much as I can!! So I decided to split it into two videos so that the viewer has the option to watch the hitting only and come back to the interview if they are interested. But I do want to make the interview available, just to show that this is one gutsy and determined guy with a great story to tell.

    You think so? Reason I included some warm-up clips was that virtually every recruitment vid I have seen includes shots of guys hitting groundies, volleys, and serves. I don't mind either way, I just thought I was going with the flow.

    If you think it is a good idea I could lose the warmup and put in another tiebreak I shot before the one you saw in the video. In the first tiebreak Jamin crushes Richard 7-2, and looks pretty good. After I shot it I told them that I wanted it more competitive and both to play like their lives depend on it, which is probably why Jamin was a bit nervous at the beginning of the second tiebreak and made some silly mistakes in the early stages, before he got his head together and won it. The unedited footage of the first tiebreak is just 3 minutes, so editing out the dead time between points will probably make it around 1.5 minutes.

    Yeah, I have been very clear that I am not going to contact anyone, he has to do this himself. My role is just to make a professional looking video and to give him a bit of encouragement and moral support. I posted it here simply because I was fishing for comments and suggestions about the video itself.
     
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  29. MC86

    MC86 Rookie

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    Where did he end up going?
     
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