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2013 Van Der Meer All-Star Camp

DSC_0133The 27th Van Der Meer All Star Camp was held this past weekend at the state-of-the art Cayce Tennis and Fitness Center in Cayce, South Carolina. The camp started Saturday, June 8th and continued into Sunday, June 9th.  Forty of South Carolina’s top junior players were hosted and prepared for the tough competition of the Southern Closed Tournaments to be held across the South next weekend. 

The weekend focused on match play, separating the players into teams that each had two coaches. This is a similar format to what the players will experience at the Southern Closed Tournaments and also allowed for the players to connect with other juniors who will be representing South Carolina at the Southern Closed. Coaches that assisted with the camp were Mark Smith, Cornelius Jordan, Carlos Lozano, Carl Hocker, Mike Stevenson, Diane Barker and Josh Goffi. 
The All Star Camp began Saturday morning with an intro speech led by Josh Goffi, University of South Carolina’s Men’s Tennis Coach. In the speech, Goffi put an emphasis on what each individual player needs to have on the tennis court: character and the ability to compete in any tournament. With that in mind, the coaches lead the morning portion of the camp focusing on drills leading into lunch.
At lunch there was another talk led by Goffi focusing on mental toughness. Goffi used the phrase "get your mind right" as a basis for his speech and told the players to understand that resiliency is mental strength. Goffi explained that as a player, you need to give yourself the benefit of the doubt in order to have a positive mind set. Having this mindset, players should pat themselves on the back when they hit the right shot and not focus on the negative mindset. 
There were four teams that consisted of two coaches and 10 players. The players were respectively seeded on their team and would play a match against their respective seed for the other team. Two matches were played on Saturday and the final match was played on Sunday. Saturday ended with a pizza party for the players and a "hit and get" where juniors were able to win prizes by hitting them with a ball—like target practice.
Sunday started with the final match for the teams. The juniors started with doubles and ended with a singles match. Following the match play, a college coaches forum took place, allowing the players to understand more about college tennis and what they need to do in order to play it. All the coaches talked about an emphasis of teamwork, dedication to tennis and academics, and going to the school that fits you. The coaches in attendance were Tom Simpson (Coker College), Jennifer Keiner (Converse College), Oliver Trittenwein (USC Upstate), and Josh Goffi (University of South Carolina).
Overall, the players and parents enjoyed the weekend's events and took away a new philosophy to stay positive during match play as they enter the Southern Closed Tournaments this weekend.