In the past few weeks there has been an increase of articles and stories written regarding the lack of American tennis players represented at recent grand slam tournaments. Unfortunate as it is to not see Roddick or one of the Williams sisters reach top spots, it does not mean that tennis is phasing out here in the United States. Tennis is far from becoming a diminishing sport. Many community organizations are popping up across the nation; all having goals to increase involvement and tournament experience for players. This growth in tennis opportunities is giving youth players a greater advantage now more than ever to reach collegiate play.
Starting out on the Right Track in Order to Make Tennis Scholarship Opportunities Happen
Driven tennis players need to consider their recruitment process early; participating in tournaments before reaching high school is a valuable experience that will help athletes gain more confidence while progressing through tournaments, challenge matches and rankings. Participating in interclub, leagues and tournaments are more ways that junior tennis players can begin building- up their tennis resumes and preparing for college tennis opportunities.
NCAA division I and II are considered the top levels of college competition; Think college programs like University of Virginia, University of Tennessee, and University of Texas for men’s tennis, and Baylor , University of North Carolina and Florida for women’s tennis. Student-athletes at the top of the rankings and with tournament experience will have greater chances of getting in contact with coaches because they have the credentials and experience that top college programs are looking for. Competitive programs will also be looking to recruit serious athletes that are currently ranked with the organizations like the USTA and ITF.
For the Love of the Game
Student-athletes that strive to play tennis in college no matter the division level can begin to look at programs within the NCAA division III, NAIA or the NJCAA. All of these divisions offer tennis players a chance to compete at the collegiate level while having fewer restrictions on recruiting and eligibility.
Athletes interested in particular tennis programs will need to get their name, accomplishments, and athletic abilities sent out to college coaches during their freshman and sophomore years. Tennis coaches want to see that players have a wide range of experience, whether it’s tournaments, showcases or camps. College tennis camps and national tournaments are easy-to-enter, but sometimes pricey-to-secure sports. Maximize your recruiting potential by being selective and smart about tournaments and camps you choose to attend.