If you're a junior tennis player who wants to play at the college level, you need not only hard work but great strategy in the recruiting process. While the process of getting recruited can be daunting, there are steps you can take to maximize your chances of getting noticed by college coaches and ultimately earning a spot on a college tennis team.
The recruiting process for college tennis typically starts in the junior year of high school, if not earlier. College coaches are looking for players who have a proven track record of success on the court and who are committed to developing their game. This means that you should start playing in USTA tournaments and other competitive events as early as possible, and make sure that you're consistently performing at a high level.
Build a Strong Tennis Resume
To get recruited for college tennis, you'll need to build a strong tennis resume that showcases your accomplishments and potential as a player. This should include your USTA ranking and record, your performance in high school matches and tournaments, and any other relevant achievements such as wins over highly-ranked opponents or titles in prestigious events.
Contact College Coaches
Once you've built a strong tennis resume, the next step is to start contacting college coaches. You can do this by sending them an email with your tennis resume and a brief introduction about yourself. Make sure to personalize each email and show a genuine interest in the college and tennis program you're reaching out to. It's also a good idea to follow up with coaches after your initial email to keep your name fresh in their minds.
Attend College Tennis Camps and Showcases
Attending college tennis camps and showcases is a great way to get noticed by college coaches and to demonstrate your skills and potential as a player. These events provide an opportunity to showcase your game in front of multiple coaches at once and to get a sense of what it's like to play at the college level.
Make Connections and Talk to Current Players
Talking to current college tennis players is important when trying to get recruited for several reasons:
First-hand insight: Current college tennis players have first-hand experience with the college tennis recruiting process and can provide valuable insight into what it takes to get noticed by college coaches. They can also share their experiences with the college lifestyle, academic requirements, and the overall experience of playing for a college tennis team.
Insider knowledge: College tennis players often have inside knowledge about their college's tennis program and can provide information about the coaching staff, team culture, and training facilities. This information can help prospective student-tennis players make more informed decisions about which colleges to consider.
Personal connections: Speaking with current college tennis players can also help prospective student-tennis players make personal connections with members of the college tennis team. These connections can provide a foot in the door and may even lead to opportunities for visits, tryouts, or further communication with coaches.
Reality check: Speaking with current college tennis players can also help prospective student-tennis players understand the realities of college tennis. They can provide honest feedback about the level of commitment and discipline required to succeed as a college tennis player, as well as the challenges of balancing academics and athletics.
Motivation and inspiration: Finally, speaking with current college tennis players can provide motivation and inspiration to prospective student-tennis players. Hearing stories of hard work, dedication, and perseverance can inspire young tennis players to set goals and work towards achieving them.
Overall, talking to current college tennis players can be a valuable tool in the college tennis recruiting process. By seeking their insights and advice, prospective student-tennis players can gain a better understanding of what it takes to succeed as a college tennis player and make more informed decisions about their athletic and academic future.