Very smart student but only three star athlete

Discussion in 'College Tennis Talk' started by kumar157, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. kumar157

    kumar157 New User

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    Hello Parents, Coaches and Experienced players,
    My 15 year old son(sophomore) is a smart student but only a three star athlete with national ranking hovering around 330. He loves tennis and looking forward to play for a lower div 1 school.
    Currently I am forcing him to focus more on academics and that leaves him with only 7 hours of play and 2 hours of fitness per week.
    With all AP courses he makes A and B's. If I let him play for more hours his grades may drop but his national ranking may go up.
    He loves the game and competition and he will be more than happy if I add more hours to his tennis. But I don't want his grades to drop. It's like I want to eat the cake and have it too!.
    I am pretty sure there will be a ton of parents who went through this phase and this topic may have been discussed before. But as a concerned parent I would like to hear the experiences of parents who have navigated this phase of life and did well. Please share your experiences and advice.

    Thanks in advance.
     
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  2. Clemson_tennis

    Clemson_tennis Legend

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    7 hours isn't very much if he wants to get a lower D1 scholarship. Can you evaluate his talent? If he were to practice more would it benefit him in a significant way or has he already reached his talent potential and practicing would help only marginally?
     
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  3. kumar157

    kumar157 New User

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    Hi Clemson_tennis,
    He was 290 nationally (6 months back) but was doing 12 hours play and 3 hours of fitness per week. I cut it down to focus more on academics and he dropped in ranking. So I guess if I can add hours he may do better in the tournaments. But I am scared that his grades may drop. I want him to be a good student athlete and accomplish his dream to play for d1 (low d1 like UCONN or SLU). Is that a realistic goal?.

    Thanks.
     
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  4. JLyon

    JLyon Hall of Fame

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    Why not focus on academics, get a high ACT/SAT score and get a full ride Academic at a major DIII school, where he can play high level and get a great education? That is more realistic than seeking a 10-20% scholarship at a D1 school.
     
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  5. Misterbill

    Misterbill Semi-Pro

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    I agree with that.

    But if the dream....for whatever reason.....is to play low D1 tennis, then who are non-family members to argue?

    I'd say taking all AP courses as a sophomore is an unusual and special academic accomplishment. So I would conclude that there is room "to give" a little on the academic side without compromising college entrance possibilities to schools such as UConn and SLU (St. Louis?)
     
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  6. Clemson_tennis

    Clemson_tennis Legend

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    Not really a high level. UC Santa Cruz(#8 D3) just got worked by Santa Clara.

    D1 is the way to go if you can. I looked at some tennisrecruiting classes and many lower conference d1 schools go for 3 star players.

    who is SLU?
     
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  7. kumar157

    kumar157 New User

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    Thanks JLyon.
    Your advice is perfect for me. But my son does not want to go to DIII school. Not sure what's makes him think that way. May be he will agree with us in two more years...
     
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  8. SoCal10s

    SoCal10s Hall of Fame

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    D1 tennis is a tougher gig to get these days.. even those Ivy league schools are recruiting 4 and 5 stars and some blue chip guys.. I think your son would be a nice fit in a strong academic D3 school say like MIT.. if his grades and SAT's are good enough ..
     
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  9. Clemson_tennis

    Clemson_tennis Legend

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    D1 is far better for an athletic experience. Plus it's not like d1 is bad academically. At a D1 school you will get a lot more tennis gear including clothes, shoes, rackets and stringing. Not to mention access to an athletic trainer and academic tutors if needed.

    I know someone who played D2 tennis and he said it really wasn't very fun. They had to take awful buses and string there own rackets. Had to buy their owns shoes,rackets and clothes.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013
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  10. kme5150

    kme5150 Rookie

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    Keep his grades up and there will be tons of opportunities for him. Even more if he isn't picky about where he plays. He could easily play in one of the weaker DI conferences and definitely in every DII and DIII conference. Many DI teams do not offer much, if any, in regards to scholarships but he can get a top notch education. Perfect example, Georgetown & Villanova do not offer atheltic scholarships for men's tennis but those players are getting a top notch education and both teams have 3 star players in their starting line-up. If you are looking for a scholarship, there are still plenty of them out there. What parents/players don't understand is that the higher a player's GPA and test scores are, the more opportunities they have. Ask any tennis coach in the country, grades are always a factor when dealing with admissions. The less work the AD has to do in regards of entrance the better it is for the coach.
     
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  11. JLyon

    JLyon Hall of Fame

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    Good enough, but have your son keep his eyes open to opportunities. As a 3* he can play at several smaller schools, but even then scholarship money, if even needed, will be low.
    I know a 4* almost 5* who went to a CUSA school and only got 10%
     
    #11
  12. kumar157

    kumar157 New User

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    Thanks for the great advice. I will keep the pressure on his grades . He has just grown out of his hormones and is more coach-able and probably that should help some with his sport.
     
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  13. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    imo you've got to put grades and SATs above tennis -- and I wouldn't let a teenage see you waffle with the decision. as a 15 yo 3-star he'll have many opportunities to play.
     
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  14. ClarkC

    ClarkC Hall of Fame

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    Maybe someone can explain what is "higher level" about a D1 program where a 3 star recruit can play #5 or #6 in the lineup, as opposed to a good D3 program where a 3 star recruit can only reach #5 or #6 in the lineup.
     
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  15. Vicious Vik

    Vicious Vik Semi-Pro

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    You and your son are Indian am I right?


    I would go D1. D3 tennis is really low quality. There are like 3 respectable teams. Even going to a team like Buffalo is better than a D3 team.
     
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  16. ClarkC

    ClarkC Hall of Fame

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    The top D3 teams are full of four-star players, while numerous D1 teams could never dream of getting a four-star recruit. Do your homework before misleading someone with false information.
     
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  17. kumar157

    kumar157 New User

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    Yes, I am a naturalized US citizen and my son is born here in US. Culturally academics is #1 on my priority list but for my son #1 is his sport. Since I am dominant personality I can always win. But lately I am thinking of relaxing my expectation on his grades a bit and let him play more. We have two more years together.....
     
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  18. Misterbill

    Misterbill Semi-Pro

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    If, as you say, the objective is UConn (does SLU=St Louis?), you have room to cut some slack on the academics, since he is a sophomore taking all APs and getting A's and B's.

    If there is a different objective, I might offer different advice
     
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  19. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    There are EXCELLENT d3 tennis programs. Personnally, the decision to play d1/d2/d3 (assuming no athletic $$ in equation) should come down to the college experience you child desires and the amount of time he wishes to committ to college tennis. Quality tennis can be found at d1 or d3.
     
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  20. kumar157

    kumar157 New User

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    Yes, SLU is St Louis. My son thinks he has a good chance to play for UConn or St louis or Boston Univ. He knows more than me as I did not go to school in US.
     
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  21. Misterbill

    Misterbill Semi-Pro

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    If this is the objective, I repeat there is room to cut slack on the academics.

    At the same time, I agree with the tenor of most of the other posts about the choice of objectives
     
    #21
  22. kumar157

    kumar157 New User

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    Thanks.
    That will bring some peace in our relationship as we fight almost daily due to our conflicting interests.
     
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  23. kumar157

    kumar157 New User

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    Thanks for reinforcing my thoughts.
     
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  24. Clemson_tennis

    Clemson_tennis Legend

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    Well it is true that there aren't a ton of good teams in d3. D1 is far deeper. There are probably only about 4-5 d3 schools that would be in the D1 top 75. Emory the only one with a shot at top 40. There are several results every week of lower d1 schools easily beating D2 and D3 schools.

    I think the person who suggested schools like Villanova and Georgetown earlier is right. Those are great academic schools and also d1.

    Like I said earlier there are several other benefits you get at a d1 school that are separate from scholarship.
     
    #24
  25. kumar157

    kumar157 New User

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    Researching on Tennisrecruiting, Villanova and Georgetown seem to be a good place for my son. But a 3* may not get in if there are not many players graduating that year.
    I can afford to pay full tution but a little scholarship would be nice after so many years of spending time and money on tennis.
    It was a long and expensive journey so far with over two years left!!.
     
    #25
  26. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    There is a big difference between general admission into SLU, and applying for their med scholars program.
     
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  27. kumar157

    kumar157 New User

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    Yes. You are right. We are only thinking of the 4 year general and not the 8 year integrated medical. I guess it may be easy to switch to general easily but how difficult is it to switch from general to medical?.
     
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  28. kme5150

    kme5150 Rookie

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    Try not to take this the wrong way but if he is having trouble keeping up with his studies now with only playing 7 hours of tennis a week. How is he going to be able to keep up with his studies when a coach expects 15 hours a week out of him?

    Spring Break is coming up. Do yourself a favor and try to visit the campuses that he might be interested in. Since Spring Break for most colleges and high schools don't align, he will get a good idea of what the school is like during session.
     
    #28
  29. ATP100

    ATP100 Professional

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    There should be no fight, discussion is okay, but no fight. Make a decision,
    stick to it.
     
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  30. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    A buddy of mine was med scholar at SLU. When he was a senior in high school he was deciding between Ivy's, Northwestern, and SLU med scholar, to give you an indication of his grades. Med scholars (as opposed to regular pre-med students) are automatically admitted into med school as long as they maintain their grades and a few other requirements. You can only apply to this program as an incoming freshman; you cannot switch or transfer into it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013
    #30
  31. Clemson_tennis

    Clemson_tennis Legend

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    Maybe Boston College with the way that team is. Especially now with Muppidi gone.
     
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  32. kumar157

    kumar157 New User

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    Good thought.
    He played 15 hours at an academy and made A's and B's in his freshman year with all AP courses. He was around 290 nationally during that period. I cut down his hours in this sophomore year expecting that he may not do well and his ranking dropped to around 330. He still makes A's and B's. I just don't want to take chances when it comes to studies. Lately he is arguing with me that he does not need a high GPA but would rather have a better tennis ranking. His aim is to play lower D1.
    I think it's a good idea to visit some campuses early on, as suggested by you, so that he will make up his mind and work towards the target with a purpose.
     
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  33. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    Another thing you might want to sit down and talk to him about is that he fully understands that varsity athletics and being pre-med each require a high level of commitment. By trying to commit to both, you are effectively committing to neither. Sure there are doctors out there who were athletes, but these people are exceptional and it is not the norm. Eventually he may reach a point where he has to decide which one he has to give up.
     
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  34. Misterbill

    Misterbill Semi-Pro

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    All AP courses in freshman year now!!! Must be a private school, right? With that kind of transcript he should be targeting the most selective schools in the country.
     
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  35. kumar157

    kumar157 New User

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    Very true. That may be the reason why I see so many doctors playing tennis in adult leagues. Probably they gave up the sport to pursue medical degree early on in their life.
    Priorities and long term vs short term benefits.

    Thanks.
     
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  36. tennisplayer1993

    tennisplayer1993 Semi-Pro

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    My friend plays for Colgate and he was a two star athlete. His grades were mostly all As/Bs in APs as well
     
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  37. kme5150

    kme5150 Rookie

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    I don't know if this is your first child in the system here but here in the states your acceptance into college is based on 9th, 10th and 11th grades along with ACT/SAT scores. We always pushed the first 3 years and let them take 2 easier classes their senior year. Both of our children committed prior to starting their senior year so this was discussed with the Universities prior. Both schools had no problem with it but they both still took 2 AP classes their senior year.

    Don't give in to your son, you are the parent. Don't fall for, "you didn't go to school here" or "this is what everybody does".
     
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  38. rufus_smith

    rufus_smith Professional

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    I went throught this same thing with my daughter.

    Just My Opinion. Playing college tennis has some drawbacks in that it limits what schools you can attend and it is time consuming and he may end up not liking the coach or his fellow players or traveling and the scholarships are not that big. If he really likes tennis he can still play in tourneys on his own. Still college tennis could make sense if the family was hurting for money and he got a good sized tennis scholarship.

    OTOH, if he can get top grades in high school he can attend a prestigious top college which will serve him well the rest of his life. Recreational tennis will always be there.

    Everybody has their own needs and priorties. gl
     
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  39. Misterbill

    Misterbill Semi-Pro

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    If you want him to accomplish his dream to play for a d1 such as UConn or St Louis................I cannot understand what the two of you are fighting about every day.

    Seems to me the two of you are in agreement
     
    #39
  40. coaching32yrs

    coaching32yrs Semi-Pro

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    There is no "magic dust" that goes with a D1 program. I have seen some of the D1 teams you mentioned play: BU, UConn, 'Nova.
    There are D3 teams that are as good and better. Your son is not going to be a pro player. Why go to a D1 program where he will be training and practicing up to 20 hours a week year round? It gets in the way of academics. At D3 the practices are less hours per week, and the season is shorter. Missing an occasional practice is OK. Many kids have an obsession with D1 and I do not understand it.
     
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  41. kumar157

    kumar157 New User

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    I think we are in agreement as far as the goal is concerned (be a good student athlete at a low d1).
    He wants to go back to playing 15 hours a week and I am not OK with that(fearing his grades may fall). He thinks he has a good GPA and I want him either to maintain it or improve it further.
     
    #41
  42. kumar157

    kumar157 New User

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    Well said, Coaching32yrs.
    This is the reply I want to show to my son.

    Thanks.
     
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  43. kumar157

    kumar157 New User

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    Thank You. Good Advise.
    Yes, it is my first child.
     
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  44. Misterbill

    Misterbill Semi-Pro

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    Whether the "obsession" is justifiable is a valid issue. But I can think of a number of reasons why some kids have it:

    1. Kids have been brought up in a competitive tennis environment and the competitive spirit motivates them to compete at the highest level they can. (Yes, I know there are exceptions but most of the time that is D1)

    2. Youthful love of a challenge

    3. Money, especially for women.

    4. Sense of accomplishment
     
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  45. Misterbill

    Misterbill Semi-Pro

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    If the goal is low D1, you have little to worry about. It is ok to chill.

    He has been taking all AP courses since freshman year and getting A's and B's. That means he will be able to graduate as a junior. I do not know of any high schools that offer courses more advanced than AP, and I am not aware of any AP courses that have more than a two-year progression in high school. So by end of sophomore year he will have exhausted his high school curriculum.

    Don't know how he will do on SAT/ACT, but his transcript has to be in the top .01% of the country! He should skate into UCONN or St Louis
     
    #45
  46. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Getting A or B in AP courses is great. Most make only C.
     
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  47. kumar157

    kumar157 New User

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    Wow Misterbill, you made me think again.
    Parents can be very emotional when it comes to kids and your 4 points can stir up emotions (I have a daughter who also plays competitive).
    Your arguments and Coaching32yrs arguments are like two sides of a coin. I took notes from both your replies and need to think seriously.
    Appreciate your time.
     
    #47
  48. kumar157

    kumar157 New User

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    Two coaches who raised very successful kids,both academically and athletically, told me that sport has helped in their kids studies. It may be true but I don't want to experiment any further by making them play more or less.
     
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  49. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I know a girl who took all possible AP courses, had a GPA of 4.2 or something like that, and is now studying science in Berkeley. She was on her high school tennis team and played at least 2 hours a day, plus all the matches.

    My son is just coping with two AP courses this year, and I try to keep it realistic. He is on top of one course, but hanging in there in the second. Every child is different, that is why no point in giving in to peer pressure.
     
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  50. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    Another way of looking at this is that a kid should be able to easily handle 15 hrs/wk of tennis and keep up grades. It's the other time demands that can be the issue.
     
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