Protect Your Game!

October 4, 2011
by Justin

How stars are made is a very select process. They live among us, and are chosen out from us, and then watched by us. When it comes to tennis stars, the process is as every bit mysterious. When recruitment time comes around tennis athletes are all within the confines of their high school only imagining what it would be like if they were selected to play for a college team. So, here are some pointers that recruiters want to pass on to you.


If planning on being selected to play in college, play as if you are in a 3-year interview.


What does that mean?


When you join your team during your sophomore year, many of you don’t even know what college is. However, coaches will see your talent early on, and many of them will work with you to prep yourself for college. However, for those of you, who do know that tennis is your calling, play as if you are playing for your recruiter, because you never know who’s watching.


Secondly, know your college. What colleges have the best tennis programs, and which ones are more feasible for you to enter? Thirdly, get in contact with your college tennis coach. Get to know him/her. Email them. Phone them. Let them know you exist out in the myriad of athletes that are out there. Building trust and report is the best way to get a coach to remember you, and contact you or your parents, especially your high school coach.


Thirdly, seek as much advice as possible. There is a proverb that says, “many advisers bring success.” When you get advice, as a tennis player, you will see things from a different perspective allowing your understanding to expand your possibilities. Also, get advice from the right people. Who are they? Not the guy at the drive-thru window, but your coach, college counselor, Teammates who are considering the same options for tennis recruiting.


Tennis is a huge sport; highly marketed, and played very well. Yet, it is a more concentrated sport. There are many schools that do not have tennis teams in the division. So, along with prospective college hunting, keep that in mind.


Also, as I told the football players in my last article, recruiters are looking for brains as well as talent. Many high school players can become so engulfed in the game that there academic focus gets weakened. So, protect your game, but also keep the grades up. It will help you, I promise.


So, now that I’ve given you some practical and philosophical recruiting advice, What are the nuts and bolts for you prospective high school tennis players to start serving on the college court?


It’s what you want. What do I mean by that? Well, you have to start knowing what you want in a college team. For as select as tennis recruiting is, you have to be a very select person. The more specific you are in your preferences for college tennis, the more recruiters will think you have a specified interest that particular school.


Let people know where you are, and where your going to be playing. If you attend a tournament, make sure that you keep your scores, and wins/losses detailed and categorized, and then filed away. Numbers, and stats, are very important in the recruiting process. For example, a recruiter can attend one of your tournaments and see you play on a day when you doing phenomenal on the court. However, what is to make him/her think that this was your lucky day. What sets you apart from other players who are also doing well is how much you value what you have already done on the court. When you keep your stats and numbers documented, and filed away, that stands out for recruiters. To stretch it a bit further, having your games taped doesn’t hurt as well. Theirs is no better way to catch a recruiter’s attention than for them to see how well you did on that game last season where he/she wasn’t there.


Finally, my words of encouragement to you are to have fun and value your game. Do not get overwhelmed because of all this information I have just dropped on you. You’ve worked hard to play well, and to be the best tennis player you can be. Protect it by preserving those memories, and keeping them filed away so that when that recruiter says “Hey, what’s the name of the tennis player over there on court 9?” Your coach will be able to say “oh, that’s Susie/Johnny Smith. She’s one of my best players. I’ll email you her stats and videos.” Do you see why it’s good to keep your coach informed? So, ask questions, get advice, and file your numbers away. Protect your game!

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