In June and July, rising senior Lizzy Schick went on a 25-day European tennis trip with 12 other high school students from across the United States and three coaches from around the world. The 13 high schoolers were scheduled to play in five tournaments in three cities (Amsterdam, Barcelona and Prague) and train for two to six hours each day on clay courts.
The group started its journey just outside of Amsterdam in a small town called Hilversum, where they learned to play on clay courts (a first for most of the players). In the Tulip Open, the team’s first tournament, Schick competed in both singles and doubles, and won the doubles tournament with her partner, Katie Wolber, a senior from Michigan. While in Amsterdam, the team was fortunate to view the beautiful canals, and visit both the Rijksmuseum art and history museum and Anne Frank’s house.
After the first week in Amsterdam, the team traveled to Barcelona, where Schick competed in her first professional tournament, held at a Spanish national training center. While in Barcelona the players visited the famous market and La Sagrada Familia, a large church that has been under construction since 1882.
During the last week and a half of the trip, the team traveled from Barcelona to Prague where it competed in three tournaments in eight days. Schick was a doubles finalist in the first tournament, and both a singles and doubles finalist in the last tournament. The castle in Prague, John Lennon’s wall, the Charles Bridge, and the Jewish Quarter were among the sights the players toured before leaving the city.
This trip was an exceptional training and learning experience both on and off the court, and helped teach Schick many life skills necessary for her not-so-distant college life. An added bonus of the trip was the special insight Schick received about Amsterdam and Prague, prior to starting her senior year elective history and literature courses.