Open Letter to Prospective Student-Athletes
The process of searching for the right college and the right tennis
program can be stressful. There are so many choices and variables, and
finding the right fit, making campus visits, filling out applications,
and taking care of your academics and tennis can be overwhelming.
Enjoy the process - but take it seriously.
Why Division I?
If you talk to most people about college athletics they think of
Division I sports. Even people who do not follow sports know about
March Madness and the BCS Championships. Top juniors dream of playing
Division I college tennis. So what do Division I college coaches have
to say about Division I tennis?
Fall Signing Week '13: Role of the Parent in Recruiting
As a parent, you want to be a part of all of your child's decisions,
and which college your child will attend is one of the most important
that will ever be made. The decision becomes even more complicated
when your child is trying to pick a school to attend with a tennis
team that's also a perfect fit. But how involved should a parent be in
the tennis recruiting process? You might not like the answer...
Countdown: Thomson on Player Expectations
Coach Paul Thomson addresses questions from our community... How many
hours per week are expected from the players? How many players will be
used for varsity matches in the course of a given year? How many
non-varsity, walk-on players do teams carry, and what is expected of
Countdown: There's Life After November
November is here, and the early signing period is around the
corner. Each year, student athletes scramble to find a college to
sign with, while coaches look to lock down recruits. Most families
begin to feel nervous around this time, and some even go as far as
"freaking out". The general feeling is there will be no roster spots
available if student athletes do not sign during the early signing
period. Don't worry - there is life after November.
Countdown: Coaches and Cheerleaders
One big question during the recruiting process is which college coach
best suits you. Great coaches feel strongly about their own styles,
their coaching identities, and most importantly their players. Many
things are important, but you want a coach that you feel is going to
have your back when you are tight as a brick down 4-5 in the 3rd set
of the deciding match.
Why Division II?
Many people overlook NCAA Division II athletics programs - but they
shouldn't. The Division II emphasis is on balance, with the objective
of providing student-athletes a comprehensive program of learning and
development. Student-athletes are encouraged to achieve excellence in
their sport, in the classroom and in their community. Take a look
at some of the best-kept secrets in college tennis.
Thomson on Scholarship Questions
Coach Paul Thomson addresses questions from our community... How do
coaches generally distribute their scholarship money? Is a player's
scholarship likely to go up or down over the course of four years? On
average, what is the players' cost per year?
Writing Your Own Story
Choosing the right university is a complicated and stressful process.
As you struggle with the pros and cons of each college, you look
forward to the relief of making your final decision. When you make
that phone call and commit, you feel the weight lifted from your
shoulders and an end to your burdens. But life always brings new
challenges - and your next challenge is to find your own path to
success in college and in college tennis.
Videos in the Recruiting Process
The college recruiting video in an important part of the recruiting
process. It's not always feasible for college coaches to see players
compete in person. Despite the importance of the video, more often
than not we see videos that are ineffective and inadequate. We talked
with college coaches to get their insights on college recruiting videos.
Freshman Year: Four Players Tell About Their First Year Playing College Tennis
Anticipation is often as clear as fear when you enter a university
for your freshman year. This can even be more difficult when you are
playing college tennis. You are joining a group whom you will be with
most of your waking hours. You will also be adjusting to the new
"parent" figures in your life - your coaches. I talked with four
players who just finished up their freshman years about the good,
the bad, and the surprising.
Why Division III?
Dan Greenberg, coach of the national champion Williams College men's
tennis team, says, "'When someone asks me, 'Why D-III?,' I honestly
say, 'Why not?'" With lots of need- and merit-based financial aid
available and an increasing level of play, it seems that Division III
tennis is a great option for the majority of high-school athletes
looking to take their games - and their lives - to the next level.
What Coaches Look For at a Tournament
Now that the July 1 contact date for rising seniors is past, the
college recruiting season is peaking. While attending the USTA Girls
18s Clay Courts this week in Memphis, Tennessee, I spoke to several
college coaches to find out what they are looking for when they attend
a major National tournament, particularly on a surface that very few
collegians compete on as student-athletes.
Recruiting Terms and Calendar for 2013-14
July marks the beginning of another recruiting year. Recruiting
expert Dede Allen is back to review important dates on the calendar
for all ages - and she also has a primer on basic recruiting terms.
College Tennis in the Ivy League
At Scholarship For Athletes, we get asked a lot of questions regarding
the Ivy League schools, how they work, how they recruit, and what the
coaches are looking for. We asked some questions to a few Ivy League
men's coaches and here is what we found.
Spring Signing Week '13: Academic Alert
Whether you are signing to join a team in the fall or are just
starting to think about doing it in the future, you need to make sure
your academics have a high level of priority. Regardless of how great
your tennis is, you still need good grades to get into college.
Countdown: Division III Tennis on the Rise
More and more top-tier players are signing to Division III schools, a trend which is quickly increasing the quality of that division. Scholarship for Athletes talks with Middlebury head coach Bob Hansen to better understand how competitive Division III tennis has become.
Fall Signing Week '12: How Important is the Coach in your Decision?
How many times have you heard players say they signed with schools
because they love the coach? It happens all the time, and there is
nothing wrong with it. You should love the coach of the team you want
to join. On the other hand, loving a coach should never be your sole
decision maker when it comes to college tennis.
Fall Signing Week '12: Where Do Top Recruits Play in the Lineup?
Most recruits are seeking a competitive team where they can also be part of the starting lineup. Scholarship for Athletes conducted an analysis comparing top level recruiting to see what percentage of recruits made the starting lineups of their respective teams.
Countdown: Playing Tennis at the U.S. Military Academies
The experience of playing tennis at one of the military academies can
be a unique experience, and so there are some unique factors to
consider before a tennis recruit decides on a service academy. Our
friends at Donovan Tennis Strategies talked with current players and
coaches at three service academies to get insight on what it's like to
be a student-athlete at one of the United States Military Academies.
Expectations of Athletes in College (Pt. 2)
Earlier this month, we talked with college coaches about the tennis
expectations of student athletes. Today, more coaches weigh in on the
question: "Can you quantify the number of hours that players spend on
tennis each week? What times of year are the busiest?"
Expectations of Athletes in College
College is a busy time for student-athletes, and balancing academics
with athletics is known to be a challenge. What should an incoming
freshman tennis player expect? We put the question to our panel of
coaches: "Can you quantify the number of hours that players spend on
tennis each week? What times of year are the busiest?"
How Has College Tennis Changed?
College athletics offers an ever-changing landscape, and that landscape
has had an impact on tennis. Conference realignment, Title IX, athletics
budgets, recruiting, and increased USTA focus on college tennis have all
been hot topics over recent years. We put the question to college coaches,
"How is college tennis different today than it was ten years ago?"
Spring Signing Week '12: Things Juniors Should Know (Pt. 2)
Last week, we talked with several coaches about misunderstandings many
players and parents have. Today, more coaches weigh in on the
question: "What is one thing that you wish all recruits knew going
into the process?"
Spring Signing Week '12: Can I Take Time Off Before College?
There are many reasons why prospective college tennis players might
consider taking an extra year before starting college. Improving
academic standards, working on your game, or spending another year
maturing are reasons to consider a gap year. But students considering
taking time off need to keep some new NCAA rules in mind.
Spring Signing Week '12: Watch that Status!
When it comes to getting ready to go to college, you spend hours
perfecting your essay and sending letters to prospective coaches. You
have also (hopefully) watched yourself carefully on the court to make
sure your behavior won't turn a coach off. The one thing that many
players forget is that they also need to watch themselves online.
Countdown: Discussion - Things Juniors Should Know
Many high school tennis players have misunderstandings about the
college recruiting process. Some of these misunderstandings can lead
to awkward situations between players and coaches. We put the
question to college coaches: "What is one thing that you wish all
recruits knew going into the process?"
Talking with Georgetown Freshman Sophie Panarese
Sophie Panarese of Milton, MA is a freshman on the Georgetown
University tennis team. Panarese attended Milton Academy and was a
4-star recruit who reached a high of #45 in the 2011 TRN national
rankings. Here she answers questions from Hope Rupley of Donovan
Tennis Strategies about her transition to college and college tennis.
Countdown: What Not to Do on a Visit
A big part of the recruiting process is building a relationship with a
college coach - much of which is formed during visits to the school.
As with any relationship, there are certain things a prospective
student-athlete simply should not do - like sending text messages
during a conversation with the coach. We put the following question to
several college coaches: "What should prospective student-athletes NOT
do while on a visit?"
Countdown: Should I Sign in November?
November 9th - Signing Day - is the first day of the one-week fall
signing period. The fall signing period is the only opportunity
this calendar year for seniors to sign a National Letter of Intent
with a Division I or Division II school. If you are interested in
such a school, should you sign an NLI? What are the pros and cons?
In today's article, Marcia Frost addresses this question.
Talking with Tufts Coach Kate Bayard
Kate Bayard earned First Team All-Ivy honors each of her four years
playing tennis at Harvard University. After coaching at prestigious
schools throughout New England, she took the head position at Tufts,
where she just completed her sixth season. Tufts has been a Division
III contender under Bayard's leadership, going deep into the team
tournament and winning individual national titles. Donovan Tennis
Strategies talks tennis with the reigning NESCAC Coach of the Year.
College Panel Provides Pointers to Potential Student-Athletes
In conjunction with the NCAA Division I championships at Stanford
University last month, USTA Player Development and USTA Northern
California held a College Day at the NCAAs. Parents, junior
players and coaches heard nearly two hours of advice, facts, insights
and answers to their questions on college recruiting.
Real World: Former Midwestern State Player Brynne Chappell
Annette Broersma is back with another installment of The Real World of
Recruiting. In today's column, Broersma talks with Brynne Chappell, former
women's tennis player at Midwestern State University. Chappell talks about
the recruiting process - and her experiences as a Division II tennis player.
Real World: Idaho's Jeff Beaman
Annette Broersma is back with another installment of The Real World of
Recruiting. In today's column, Broersma talks with Jeff Beaman, head
coach of men's tennis at the University of Idaho. The Vandals' coach
talks about his philosophies for both recruiting and running his team.
Countdown: The Real World of College Recruiting
Today, we unveil the initial installment of The Real World of
Recruiting - a new regular feature at TennisRecruiting.net by Annette
Broersma. Today, Broersma talks with a recent NCAA D1 tennis player
about her college experiences.
The Dilemma of High School Tennis
Accomplished USTA junior tennis players have long grappled with the
question of whether to play on their high school teams. While they
want to support their team and school, they don't want their level of
play to deteriorate over the course of the season. Donovan Tennis
Strategies talks about how junior tennis players should evaluate the
Q&A with Lew Brewer: Changes to USTA Junior Tournaments and Rankings
Change has finally arrived. Last March, the USTA approved changes to
junior tournaments and rankings at the national level. New draw
sizes... new draw formats... a reduction in the number of tournaments
that count for national rankings... All of this change went into
effect at the beginning of 2011. Why were these changes made? Lew
Brewer, USTA Director of Junior Competition, took time out to answer
College Tennis - It's Never Too Early
Sue Hansen, founder of SCCAC, talks about the importance of starting early
with the college recruiting process. Understanding the process - and
making a plan - can take the anxiety out of recruiting.
Upcoming Collegiate Information Sessions, Showcases and Forums
Curious about college tennis and the recruiting process? All across
the country, USTA Sections and other organizations are hosting
information sessions, showcases, and forums that provide education on
college tennis and recruiting. Take a look at upcoming events - many
of them are coming up soon...
Countdown: Making the Most of Official Visits
It's fall. For many high school seniors who haven't yet made up their
minds about school, that means official visits. An official visit is
one in which your expenses are paid for by the college. Since there
is no right or wrong way to run a college tennis team, you need to
find out if a particular coach and program works for you. Here are
some things you can find out during a visit that can have a major
influence on your college experience.
Q&A with Erica Perkins: Campus Showdowns
They are going on now - and at a college near you. Campus Showdowns -
one-day, short-format tournaments that take place on college campuses
across America - are open to everyone from juniors and amateurs to
college players and professionals. These tournaments give junior
players a unique chance to check out college - as well as the level of
competition. Erica Perkins of USTA Player Development stops by to
talk about this joint initiative between the USTA and ITA.
ITA Summer Circuit Fills Competition Gap for College and Junior Players
Last Saturday 128 players took to the Western Michigan University
courts with a variety of motives - to size up their games, stay sharp
over the summer months, prepare for the fall college season and test
their conditioning in two-a-day matches in the summer heat and
humidity. Colette Lewis of ZooTennis.com took in the ITA Summer
Circuit tournament - here she provides a wrap-up of both the
tournament and the program.
Advantages of Division III Tennis
Although there are many ways to explore college choices, there is a
large group of schools that is often overlooked by top juniors - the
300+ programs that make up NCAA Division III. The D-III tennis blogger
stops by to discuss why Division III can be a great option for all
American juniors, from 1 star to 5 stars, boys and girls alike.
NCAA D1 Update: Non-Traditional High School Courses
If you are considering playing Division I athletics, you MUST become
aware of a newly-adopted NCAA proposal. The NCAA has begun
identifying "non-traditional" courses from various high school
programs that do not meet the parameters of the newly-adopted
Choosing a Tennis Academy
Dede Allen answers the question: "I have a child who is being
recruited by a few tennis academies. As a parent, how do I handle
Overview of the NCAA Initial-Eligibility Process
High school tennis players interested in competing in college probably
know that they need to take care of their academics and athletics.
But they should also need to understand the overall recruiting
process. For players and parents interested in NCAA Division I or II
tennis, below is a quick overview of the NCAA initial-eligibility
Countdown: Signing Day, NLI - What Does It Mean?
Last November, TennisRecruiting.net had one of its biggest weeks in
terms of visitors during the Fall Signing Period. And in just a
couple weeks, we will do it all again - we kick off our Spring
Countdown to Signing Day coverage. But what does it all mean? Dede
Allen breaks down terms like 'Signing Day' and 'National Letter of
Tennis Academies: Best Road to College Tennis?
There are more players at tennis academies looking for college
scholarships or placement than there are those looking to turn
professional. Preparing for a professional career takes years, but
often, parents look to tennis academies for a short-term sprint of
improvement to help the player get the attention of college coaches.
Does this work?
NCAA Rule Change - Enrolling After Graduation
The NCAA recently passed bylaws that are relevant to college-bound
junior tennis players. These bylaws specify new rules: how long a
high school graduate can wait before enrolling in college - and the
kinds of competition in which the student-athlete can engage. Dede
Allen discusses these new bylaws.
The Community/Junior College Option
In light of the extensive publicity about the price of a college
education - some states have raised their tuition over 70% over the
past ten years - it is sad that more families do not consider local
community or junior colleges as a great option. Really, it is a great
option... not just the 'last choice' option.
How to be the Ideal College Tennis Parent
College coaches are loathe to say anything to insult parents. After
all, parents have made many sacrifices to support their children
through junior tennis. However, in candid conversations away from the
office, there have been comments we can learn from reflecting their
opinions about American players and their parents. A common topic is
that of the American Tennis Parent.
Video Conversation with Andy Brandi
Former University of Florida Women's coach Andy Brandi discusses his
experiences with recruiting - and what junior players should be doing
right now to get ahead. Brandi coached at UF for 17 years and holds an
amazing record of 460-43. He was the fastest coach to reach the 400
career win mark, doing so in just 435 matches. Brandi's Gators have 14
national indoor championships and 3 NCAA championships. He is now a
coach at the Harold Solomon institute in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
Video Conversation with David Roditi
David Roditi joined the ATP tour in May, 1996 and achieved a career
high doubles ranking of 41. During David's Pro career, he served as a
member of the ATP Tour Players Council. He has reached the finals of
four ATP Tour Doubles events and has represented Mexico in the Davis
Cup. David was a three-time All-American at Texas Christian University
(TCU) who was runner-up in the NCAA Doubles Championships in 1995 and
finished third in 1996.
Video Conversation with Lou Belkin
Lou Belken is an Arizona State University coaching legend. With more
than 26 successful seasons under his belt, he holds an overall record
of 312-309. Belken has guided his Sun Devils teams to NCAA post season
berths in 14 of the past 20 years, including five berths in the NCAA
Sweet 16 and one quarterfinal appearance. He has trained and produced
14 All-American players and 28 All-Pacific 10 selections.
Video Conversation with Jerry Noyce
Jerry Noyce played varsity tennis at the University of Minnesota (UM)
and coached the varsity men's tennis team for 15 years. As co-founder
of the UM Baseline Club, Jerry was instrumental in endowing all men's
tennis scholarships at UM and securing significant contributions to
construct an on campus tennis facility. As a tennis professional,
Jerry coached playing professionals David Wheaton and Ann Henricksson.
Here he discusses what coaches look for in their recruits.
College Tennis: Myths versus Realities
Sue Hansen, founder of SCCAC, takes on some of the college recruiting
myths that she frequently encounters in her role as a private college
athletic consultant: 1) matriculation eligibility rules, and 2) home
schooling as it relates to recruiting.
Video Conversation with Dick Leach
USC legend Dick Leach led the Trojans for 23 years, capturing three
NCAA championships (1991, '93 and '94). His teams advanced to the NCAA
semifinals eight times and to the quarters three times. He has an
overall record of 529-133 for an unbelievable 0.799 winning
percentage. Here, Coach Leach talks about what coaches look for in
What if I Don't get a Scholarship Offer from my First Choice?
Dede Allen addresses the question: "I'm afraid that I might not get a
scholarship offer from my first choice - what should I do?" Allen
stresses the importance of researching multiple options and alternatives -
and encourages players to be proactive.
The Recruiting Process - Is It Ever Too Early?
Dede Allen takes on the question: "I'm a junior in high school, is it
too early to start the recruiting process?" She advises kids to take
care of business in the classroom - and to start organizing their
When and How to Send a Video to Coaches
College coaches are always pleased when a student-athlete has done his
or her homework. One of the first things most coaches will ask is "do
you have a video?" Uness you are staying close to home, coaches may
not have seen you play extensively. The college placement video is,
therefore, very critical. Here are some tips as to when to create your
video and what should be in it.
Making a College Recruiting Video
Most kids who want to play college tennis will need to send
prospective coaches a DVD that shows off their game. Often, coaches
will see the DVD before ever meeting the player face-to-face, so it's
important to put your best foot forward when creating your recruiting
video. Adam Sieminski of FuzzyYellowBalls.com tells you how to make
the most of your recruiting DVD.
Market Value and its Importance in Tennis Recruiting
In recruiting, knowing your market value means knowing exactly where
you stand in the eyes of the coaches at the schools you are
considering. All coaches recruit more players than they have spots
available, so knowing how you compare to the competition is essential.
Three Steps to Tennis Success
The competitive level of college tennis in the United States is
extremely high, and recruiting process has become ultra-competitive.
What does that mean for you? Simple. Whether you're ranked top ten or
top 1000, you're going to need a game plan to find the school that
will be the best fit for you. Here are three questions you should ask
to help you navigate the recruiting process and choose a school that
is the best fit for you academically, socially, and athletically.
Playing For Time - The Importance Of Expectations For Recruits
When trying to find a college that will be a perfect fit, there are
many academic, social, and athletic factors that must be considered.
One of the most important factors is playing time. Playing time can
make - or break - your collegiate tennis career. The goal is to know
what you want and what to expect from your program.
Recruiting Terms and Calendar for 2008-09
Tomorrow - July 1st - marks the beginning of another recruiting
year. Once again, recruiting expert Dede Allen reviews important
dates on the recruiting calendar for all ages - and she also has a
primer on basic recruiting terms.
Open Letter to Recruits
An open letter to high school tennis hopefuls seeking college
scholarships from Coach Paul Torricelli, former head of men's tennis at
Redshirting in College Tennis
Typically associated with football players, the term redshirt is
frequently applied to student-athletes who spend their first
collegiate academic year attending classes, practicing and working out
with the team, but not competing in games. Colette Lewis explores the
issue, talking pros and cons with college coaches and players.
Tournament Tennis vs. High School Tennis
As a national tournament director for the USTA, and as an advisor to
high school students looking to play in college, I have seen many
juniors agonize over the choice of which 'master' to follow: the USTA
tournament schedule, or their high school schedule. Each has a set of
regulations to follow to be eligible for play/ranking, and sometimes
those rules and schedules conflict.
Choosing a College Recruiting Service
Annette Broersma provides her take on the following question: "When
I look around the Internet, I quickly find a lot of different
recruiting services. Which ones should I consider using?"
Just One Thing to Think About?
Dede Allen answers the question: "If you had to tell a player just one
thing to think about during the recruiting process, what would it be?"
Campus Visits and Interviews
With the school year about to begin, rising seniors and their
families are about to start taking official campus visits. Rising
juniors might also be planning college visits with their families -
stealing away for a weekend to check out a school and take in a
football game. Dede Allen talks about the importance of the visit in
the college decision process - and how to make the most of one.
The Importance of College Tennis Culture
From an outsider's perspective, it might seem that collegiate tennis -
like professional and recreational tennis - is an individual sport
where success and failure rest solely upon the player. Nothing could
be further from the truth. The success of a collegiate tennis team
depends upon a successful team dynamic. In this article, Ben Belletto
explores the importance of culture in college tennis.
Where Can I Find a Scholarship?
Dede Allen answers the question: "If there is so much money in college
athletics, why can't I get a full scholarship?"
College Tennis for Middle School?
Dede Allen answers the question:
"I'm in middle school and I keep hearing my sister and her friends
talk about college tennis. It sounds like something I'd like to do,
but is it too early for me to start thinking about it?"
Early Action, Early Decision, and Rolling Admission
"I keep hearing about early decision, early application and rolling
admission. I'm getting confused - can you explain the difference?
How does signing early for athletic scholarships play into the
College Freshman Orientation
With freshman year only a month away for the Class of 2006, this is
the time of year when I frequently hear the question: "Is it important
to attend freshman orientation?" I highly recommend it.
New for 2006-07: NCAA Amateurism Clearinghouse
If you are a junior or college tennis fan, you have probably read one of the many recent articles about "professionals" participating in college sports. While you may not be following the discussion, you do need to be aware of the new NCAA Amateurism Clearinghouse. Today's article looks at the NCAA's newest clearinghouse.
What Should I Tell a Coach at a Tournament?
During the summer and fall, many coaches attend national and sectional events to evaluate recruits. Dede Allen addresses the question: "Coaches keep trying to talk to me at tournaments. I just want to concentrate on my play. What should I do?"
Taking a Year Off After High School
Resident recruiting expert Dede Allen answers the question, "Is there
an NCAA rule about taking time off after high school graduation?"
Recruiting Vocabulary Test
Dede answers the question: When I'm at tournaments or talking to my friends, I keep hearing terms that I think I should probably be familiar with. Can you help me out here?
How Can I Get a Coach to "Find" Me?
In a perfect world, every college coach would know who you are, and
many coaches would pursue you diligently. Unfortunately, that is NOT
the case for the majority of tennis players. However, there are many
opportunities available. So how can you come into focus on the
coaches' recruiting radar? For starters, you have to let them
know that you are out there. Be proactive - communication is the key!
Advice on Seeking Sponsorship
Many junior tennis players have questions about sponsorship opportunities – a topic that can be very confusing. There are a variety of levels of sponsorships from a wide variety of companies. Here are some things to think about when looking into sponsorship.