PDA

View Full Version : I have no idea how college tennis works; questions inside?


AlphaCDjkr
11-12-2008, 11:58 PM
Alright, I'm a senior in high school. I've played on the varsity team for two years in doubles positions, and I've never played in any USTA tournaments and therefore I have no ranking (I want to join later on sometime this year though, for experience.)

I'm relatively clueless on how college tennis works. When do most people, upon entrance in college, join the team? Is it common, uncommon, etc. for freshmen to be on the team? Sophomores? etc...

I want to apply to UCLA/UCSD/UC-whatever schools, and if I get accepted, I'm interested in finding out how I can play for them. However, I honestly say I'm not a very good player [I have experience and am relatively skilled, but I lack the kind of play needed.. if I were to self-rank myself, I would say I'm no more than a 3.5. Maybe if like, a 3.75 existed I would squish myself there but honestly I have no idea what kind of player I am. I intend to submit a video of myself playing on the forums to *hopefully* receive some feedback on the kind of player I am.]

For these kinds of schools, how skilled do you need to be? What do the schools expect from you, and how can I best prepare myself (If I even have a chance of making it?)

I heard that the players for these kinds of colleges are all extremely skilled, and have accumulated plenty of records from USTA tournaments and stuff. If that's the case, I don't think I have any business looking forward to college tennis, but if possible I'd still like to learn about how it all works.

I realize I have asked a lot of questions, and I thank anyone who offers some help/advice. Thanks!!!

Joeyg
11-13-2008, 03:50 AM
At your current level you have no chance of playing tennis for these schools. Sorry, but you do not have the experience or talent level necessary.

However, you might consider club tennis. All of the schools you mentionhave club teams.

MIGHTY MANFRED THE WONDER
11-13-2008, 06:04 AM
I think you will find joeyg's assessment, while tragically similar to Simon Cowell's in content, is correct.

You may want to track down and read some of COACH CARTER's posts where he has attached some very interesting articles from the NY TIMES concerning minor sports and most the average players who participate.
The real sacrifices to the "college/life experiences" necessary; The hours working a week goes up- The travel, lack of freinds outside the team, possible grades slipping from all the comittments.

My congratulations on your school selections, consider the acheivement to receive the "fat envelope" from anyone of them, and please consider this- Of all the thousands of opportunities these institutions would open for you, "ATP tennis professional" is not one of them.

10isDad
11-13-2008, 06:17 AM
Even if you're not good enough to make the team, give the team your support! Fan attendance is pretty thin at many schools and they'll appreciate any and all support they can.

eeytennis
11-13-2008, 07:19 AM
If you are playing at a 3.5 level, the chances of you making a D1 team are extremely small. Especially the schools that you are looking at. Sorry :?

However, there are definitely D3 teams that would take you! You might not start high on the lineup, but at least you would be a part of a team.

First thing you want to do is contact the coaches of the schools that you are looking at. Many of the websites for tennis have recruiting questionnaires that you can fill out. E-mailing the coach would be good to. Just tell them that you are interested in playing and also tell them a little bit about yourself and your level of play and go from there. If they want you, or at least want you to try out, they will probably send you information on their pre-season, etc. which you will need to go to.

Good luck!

OleNole
11-13-2008, 08:18 AM
To be honest, you're probably not even going to get a chance to play club at the schools you mentioned. I played four years of varsity tennis in high school and some USTA tournaments and I didn't even make the club team at UConn, which I would suspect is significantly worse than the club teams at the schools you're considering. If you really want to play tennis, I'd make sure to ask about the intramurals when you make your campus visits.

I'll try to provide some rough answers to your other questions too. To play for the schools you've mentioned one is generally a nationally ranked player. If you play for UCLA, Berkeley, or USC you are a phenomenal tennis player who has devoted a significant portion of your life to tennis. You probably are one of the best 100 or so players nationally in your graduating class. You've probably been playing USTA tournaments since you were at least 12 years old. To get on the team here you generally need to be recruited by the coaching staff well in advance of your senior year. Once you are on the team, you will have to balance hours of practice, travel for matches and tournaments and academics throughout the year, because varsity tennis in college has both fall and spring seasons.
Hope that helps, and maybe some of the guys who know more about west coast tennis and college tennis in general can fill in the blanks.

OleNole
11-13-2008, 08:20 AM
Even if you're not good enough to make the team, give the team your support! Fan attendance is pretty thin at many schools and they'll appreciate any and all support they can.

Agree 100 percent!
Plus, you can learn a lot from watching good players at your school. And at my school at least it's free to watch, unlike a lot of other sports.

weaver
11-13-2008, 10:44 AM
I believe Inter mural would be your best bet. UCLA, UCI, UCD, and UCR are all D1 schools that do pretty well. UCSD is always a top D2 school and UCSC have been finishing either top or close to the top of D3 recently. So it'll be rough to play for a UC. Also I know of the UCLA and UC Davis club team, there traveling team is really hard to get on, but I know they have lower level club teams, so you might want to check it out. If not there is always IM. Good luck to you

tacoben
11-13-2008, 12:06 PM
Check out Junior Colleges, that you could try out for in your area. Who knows where you'll be in 2 years if you put your nose to the grindstone.

http://www.tennis.com/college/general/college.aspx?id=134598

AndrewD
11-13-2008, 03:11 PM
As someone who teaches in the tertiary sector can I just say that Id be more concerned that, despite the necessary information being freely available and highly accessible, you weren't able to find the answers to your questions.

** 'alright' is not a word - If you're going to apply to UCLA and/or other quality institutions please be aware that they will take notice **

AlphaCDjkr
11-13-2008, 04:34 PM
Haha I expected all these answers. I already knew I had no chance, but I was curious and wanted to know what kind of tennis those on the teams played.

I'm definitely considering intramural tennis, though I don't really know how that works either. I know that it's just tennis that is conducted/revolved within the schools. What will I have to do (once/if I get accepted) to play intramural?

Is there some kind of registration, is it just walk-in, etc...?

Again, sorry I'm totally clueless. I just don't want to lose the kind of fun I'm having playing tennis right now in high school :). Hearing that college tennis is way more intense than whatever I'm doing right now, makes me nervous that I'll have to give up competitive tennis once I get into college :(

Joeyg
11-13-2008, 05:03 PM
I'm sorry if my reply sounded a little harsh. Just trying to be realistic. I coach a junior college team in Norcal and there are years where you could make our squad and other years where you would be playing very little. That being said, if you are going to UCLA, Stanford, Cal or another tough tennis school, you should consider club tennis or taking some online JC classes and playing on a JC squad while attending another school. We have had many players attend Cal and play for us at the same time. Good luck.

AlphaCDjkr
11-13-2008, 05:08 PM
I'm sorry if my reply sounded a little harsh. Just trying to be realistic. I coach a junior college team in Norcal and there are years where you could make our squad and other years where you would be playing very little. That being said, if you are going to UCLA, Stanford, Cal or another tough tennis school, you should consider club tennis or taking some online JC classes and playing on a JC squad while attending another school. We have had many players attend Cal and play for us at the same time. Good luck.

That's totally fine, I expected some criticism anyway, pretty pleased that my confusion was resolved quickly. Thanks :)

Hatari!
11-13-2008, 06:36 PM
Haha I expected all these answers. I already knew I had no chance, but I was curious and wanted to know what kind of tennis those on the teams played.

I'm definitely considering intramural tennis, though I don't really know how that works either. I know that it's just tennis that is conducted/revolved within the schools. What will I have to do (once/if I get accepted) to play intramural?

Is there some kind of registration, is it just walk-in, etc...?

Again, sorry I'm totally clueless. I just don't want to lose the kind of fun I'm having playing tennis right now in high school :). Hearing that college tennis is way more intense than whatever I'm doing right now, makes me nervous that I'll have to give up competitive tennis once I get into college :(

Club tennis has a pretty diverse range of skill levels. For example, Cal has a club team that has beaten both D3 and D2 teams. For the most part, you should focus on your academics, apply yourself in your club tennis, and play with people on the real team. What matters is your dedication to get better. And coaches do appreciate that as much or more than talent.

AlphaCDjkr
11-13-2008, 06:56 PM
Club tennis has a pretty diverse range of skill levels. For example, Cal has a club team that has beaten both D3 and D2 teams. For the most part, you should focus on your academics, apply yourself in your club tennis, and play with people on the real team. What matters is your dedication to get better. And coaches do appreciate that as much or more than talent.

That's good to hear, I don't think life in college (which are supposed to be the best 4 years of your life.. right? ... Right? haha.) could ever be enjoyable for me if I couldn't play tennis anymore.

I'll definitely dedicate myself to improving, I find no fun in tennis if I can't honestly tell myself that I'm becoming a better player every day.

OleNole
11-13-2008, 07:16 PM
You definately don't have to give up competative tennis. You can play intramurals or maybe club at your school, plus you can register to play men's USTA tournaments or in a league.
I'd urge you to ask about intramurals when you make campus visits, and you can probably ask someone from your club about USTA play.
Also, there's a new program being put into place by the USTA called One Day Showdowns (or something to that effect) which are effectively open tournaments run at college campuses.

AlphaCDjkr
11-13-2008, 07:34 PM
You definately don't have to give up competative tennis. You can play intramurals or maybe club at your school, plus you can register to play men's USTA tournaments or in a league.
I'd urge you to ask about intramurals when you make campus visits, and you can probably ask someone from your club about USTA play.
Also, there's a new program being put into place by the USTA called One Day Showdowns (or something to that effect) which are effectively open tournaments run at college campuses.

Will do, intramural tennis sounds like fun. I just hope I'll be good enough to become a competitive player by then.

As for that One Day Showdown thing, that sounds like fun.. but from what I can see, very few colleges will host that tournament? For this year's list, the only college that I might want to attend is Harvey Mudd.

Uggg... Thinking about this is making me hate the next 10 months of what's left of high school... College apps and classes are stressing me out right now. I want to go out and play tennis now :neutral:

Julieta
11-15-2008, 07:33 AM
You could look at Occidental College.

AlphaCDjkr
11-15-2008, 10:31 AM
You could look at Occidental College.

Eh.. I'm not too particularly interested in Occidental though :|