Student athletes and parents must understand what coaches are looking for when they are scouting players in person. UTR ratings, TR.Net stars, GPA, SAT, ACT, tell a story that does not need to be seen live at events. At exposure camps, showcases, tournaments, it is the intangibles that matter the most which really tell the story about a player. It is great if you can hit a big forehand or you can grind your opponent down in a match but those are also skills that can be taught and be drawn out of someone through program culture and coaching intensity. The hardest characteristics for a student-athlete to improve is there manners, body language and the way a student-athlete acts towards those who try to help them. This is the reason why coaches attend events. For example, if I see a potential recruit being disrespectful to his or her parents, I always ask myself, “if that is how they treat there own parents, how will they treat me?”
When you are able to talk with recruits they always say the right thing so the conversations are mostly just an affirmation of your interest in a recruit and to see if they are interested in your school as well. When you are able to observe behavior off the court you really learn a lot about what there habits are like pre-match and post match. Are they able to understand that in tennis there is a person who will always win and that means someone will lose, Can they handle being the winner and can the handle if they get beat or is it the case of excuses on why they felt they got robbed of winning?
A big piece of advise is that coaches do talk to one another and they will ask the off court questions to other coaches as well. Coaches respect and appreciate feedback and coaches will recommend a player who might be a good fit for there school and program as well. When you are at a showcase, exposure camp or tournament and there is a coach there, go up to the coach and introduce yourself to them and focus on making a good impression, even if it is not your top 3 school it is important to make that impression.
Overall, the reason why you go to a showcase, exposure camp is so you can get yourself out behind the screen of a computer and you can interact with coaches in person. Remember recruiting is always a two way street and you have to be interested in the school and the school must be interested in you and the intangibles always matter.