Tennis: “I Ain’t Afraid of the Hustle!”

October 12, 2011
by Justin

Tennis players need to listen to music to relax, and get motivated, or just to practice their tennis swing by themselves. Fairly recently, LMFAO has come out with their “Party Rock Anthem” song that has taken the world by storm, and is played frequently in clubs, coffee shops (shockingly), and radios all over the world. One of the tag lines, if you have ever seen the music video, at the beginning when they are talking about the contagious shuffle is replied to by LMFAO member when he say’s, “I…I ain’t afraid of the shuffle!”  Which is comedic, and automatically the streets are filled with shufflers.


Now, how does that have anything to do with Tennis Academics & Testing?


In the same way tennis players have to be a member of a team and league and abide by their rules and standards of conduct and academics, they should also be aware that it’s to have fun.


When we would go to a water park, we had to sign a waiver to enter the park, and participate in the rides. We did so, just so we were briefed about the exciting and supposedly thrills of the water slides.


In the same way, as a student-athlete, we have to do the same. You may be thinking, “oh yeah, my parents already did that for me, and why are you talking about this?”


Good question. Because, you are preparing to go on to one of the most exciting rides of your life as a possible college tennis player. You are hoping that your backswing, and core stance is perfected for the tournament ahead. Yet, how are you supposed to know what is expected of you (academically speaking) unless someone like me tells you. So, below, I have set before you a list of academic NCAA requirements for college student athletes that will equip you with the knowledge you need to enter the college tennis court.


According to NCAA requirements for general athletes, student athletes are to uphold these standards and procedures:


  1. All students who are entering college must have and average GPA to the university standards. Anything below a 2.0 is grounds for suspension.
  2. Earn a combined SAT or ACT sum score that matches your core-course grade-point average and test score sliding scale (for example, a 2.400 core-course grade-point average needs an 860 SAT).
  3. All academic transcripts should be submitted to the colleges of choice.
  4. All Letters of recommendation should be submitted to the colleges of choice. Note that the average max for letters of recommendation is usually 3, and minimum 1. However, some universities and colleges do not require them. In any case, research your college of choice, and see the university or college requirements for letters of recommendation. Also, if you do not find any letter of recommendation requirement, and you are not asked for one, shoot for the moon, and provide one anyway. It will exemplify your motivation and commitment.
  5. Some universities and colleges will ask you for a resume. Now that is a point of genuine creativity and thought. Add every significant element of your past experience. List: extra-curricular activities, band, FFA, 4-H, Mock Trial Team, intramural sports, all sports, awards, achievements, a letter of gratitude from a political official, or prestigious individual. Do not forget to mention significant jobs, volunteer positions, internships, overseas cultural excursions, church involvement, mission team involvement, and last, but not least SPORTS CAMPS Attended. Yes, as a student-athlete, and furthermore, as a prospective college/pro student athlete, this is what turns coaches heads. By telling your college coach that you have participated in a Tennis Sports Camp, you will be telling him/her that you are a committed tennis player, and that tennis is in your blood.


Now that you have been briefed on your college entrance requirements as a student-athlete, you may be asking yourself, why do we have to do more? My older brother/sister, friend, cousin didn’t have to do all that to get into college. Well, you are a student-athlete. When recruited into a college to play for a college team, your standard goes NATIONAL! You will be representing, not just your college/university team, but you will be representing on a national level; playing against teams all over the country. Yes, you can play overseas, but for now, let’s stick with your sport, tennis, in your country, USA. It is a wonderful honor and privilege to be a part of a college team. That is why the importance for meeting the academic requirements for entry are so paramount. They are not impossible, I have friends who have done it, and I’ve tutored them. However, the tennis players that really stand out for success are the ones that discipline their minds, and their bodies for their sport. Now, I didn’t say possess their minds and their bodies, but discipline them. You have this opportunity, now, HUSTLE up, and go get it, and please “don’t be afraid of the HUSTLE!”


For more detailed information on tennis college student athlete academics and testing, follow me on for upcoming articles, or sign up, and ask me (Caleb) questions about a particular school you are interested in, and you’ll get up-to-date news and answers to your inquiries.


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