“I wish I’d have known the budget for the team. Luckily for me, I chose Florida – where they had the biggest budget possible – but teams like Auburn had only a $20/day budget for food per person. They drove to every match & I had no idea when I was being recruited that things like this would make a big difference on the road or in general. Our trainer flew with us to matches & most other schools who played us used our trainer because they didn’t have the budget to send their own.
I also wish I’d understood that coaches put on a big front when they meet you. When you come to the school, things can change quickly, especially if you’re not one of those neutral, quiet people. Here are questions that I’d ask the coach:
1. Is there an academic advisor & what’s the frequency of visits to his office per week/month?
2. How many hours of study hall do I have to complete per week?
3. How many hours of practice/training per week does the team average?
I think kids who are looking at walking on to a big/major university Division 1 type school should ask the guys on the team what the coach does with the walk-ons. A lot of times, kids want to go to an Auburn or a Pepperdine because of name recognition, only to go & basically be treated like a second-class citizen. Sometimes walking on the team isn’t as valuable an experience as going down a level to Division 1 or 2 & being treated like an important member of the team.”
Former junior who played D1 college tennis
& is now a tennis teaching professional
“My son committed to the United States Military Academy & he always knew he wanted to play there so that was the easy part. But the NCAA eligibility rules? That confusion was ridiculous!! My advice to upcoming recruits is to take your tennis preparation seriously, if indeed you’re looking for tennis as a way into college. And focus on your academics at least as much!!”
Mother of recruit (+ FOUR siblings) from TN
who says she’s HIGH-TECH SPORTS VIDEO’s biggest fan
& she’s willing to be our walking, talking promoter ANY DAY!
“I signed with Central Connecticut State University (Division I) during my senior year & I was captain for a few years. I played 1-6 Singles & 1-2 Doubles throughout. I recommend that recruits be prepared & get better grades in school because it gives them more options. I also coached for a year at CCSU & I loved receiving great videos that were short & sweet. I focused mainly on results, believe it or not.”
Former Division I player/Current junior coach from SC
“We had a great experience in the recruiting process, but I can share 3 pieces of advice: 1) start the process early; 2) be realistic about your playing level; 3) don’t discuss the fact that your child has contacted other coaches with tennis players & their parents because some can try to influence the coaches against you — VERY SAD!”
Mother of recruit from TN whose son
plays D1 tennis @ a Jesuit Catholic University
“Start early because recruits are signing in their junior year & if you want to play college tennis, THERE IS A SCHOOL FOR EVERYONE!! No matter what level, there is a college for every player who wants to play college tennis – from no stars to blue chips!! Decide if you want Division 1, 2 or 3 & be sure to develop a relationship with the coach of the school where you want to go.”
Mother of recruit from NC
whose daughter plays D1 tennis