Tennis Scholarships. College Tennis Recruiting.
How to Get Recruited and Play College Tennis
Internationally, tennis is one of the most popular sports, and the college tennis recruitment process has become an intense global competition. If you’re aiming for a tennis scholarship, set yourself apart from the crowd by creating a resume and actively contacting coaches to get on their tennis recruiting lists. Your tennis scholarship resume should include a brief bio about your academic and athletic accomplishments, a summary of your stats and tournament results, contact information for your coaching references, and a link to a highlight video posted online at a video site like YouTube or Vimeo. Your video should begin with highlights of good rallies, and progress into volleys, forehands, backhands, and serves.
Many colleges have tennis programs. Including NCAA Divisions I, II, III, NAIA, and junior colleges, there are 1,100 women’s programs and 950 men’s programs. Tennis is what is known as an equivalency sport, which means that coaches can divide available tennis scholarships among athletes to give multiple players partial scholarships. To get a partial tennis scholarship, you’ll need to compete in the top five singles or doubles teams. If you can’t be a top-five player, look for walk-on opportunities and work to develop yourself into a scholarship-worthy athlete. If scholarship money is a major factor in your prospects of going to college, it’s essential that you identify which division level you can reasonably compete at.
Remember, college tennis is a global affair; international athletes account for over 50 percent of Division I scholarships. Don’t just assume that you can compete at the highest collegiate levels just because you are one of the better tennis players in your region. Researching programs and division levels will give you a much better idea of where you fit in and where your scholarship potential lies. Reach out to coaches at programs that are a good fit for you to maximize your tennis scholarship potential.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because you are at a tournament with college scouts that they are there to recruit you. You must reach out to coaches and get on their tennis recruiting radar! Many athletes are already on a coach’s recruiting list, so when they attend tournaments and camps, they’re there to evaluate the athletes they are in contact with. Don’t worry though. You can get on recruiting lists as well by proactively contacting coaches and filling out tennis recruiting questionnaires on schools’ athletic websites.
Get good grades. You can increase your chances of finding a tennis scholarship by working hard off the court. If two student athletes have tennis skills that are similarly matched, but one is a better student, coaches will offer the better student a scholarship almost every time.
Author: David Frank