Discussion in 'College Tennis Talk' started by SourStraws, Sep 28, 2009.
Do coaches for college teams usually take walk ons?
If you're good enough. I know Princeton has a walk on and I believe Stanford has a tournament for walk ons at the beginning of the school year.
Some do and some do not. Many men's programs give hardly any scholarship money to begin with, but you still will generally need to be recruited to get a spot on the team. I think the women's teams tend to take more walk-ons (this is true at my school (D1), and another D3 school where my friend plays, where even though there are no scholarships given expressly for tennis, the coach seldom takes on players he has not recruited to the program.
I know some thoroughly average girls who have walked-on to D1 teams, and some men who are very good players who were never given a tryout.
Let's be realistic. I'd hate to see someone really believe that if they win a walk-on try-out that they're going to get the position. Sorry to say it, but coaches and programs are political. Come on, tennis is political. If they really want the finalist instead of the champion, I have a feeling that they'll make it happen somehow.
Let's say the champion is someone who would cause chaos on the team, due to his ego, finances, ethics, parents, etc. ???? So then the finalist MAY get the position instead.
I'd like to believe the other way, but I've seen to many things in tennis go awry.
Also, I think the coaches all had to turn in their unused $$ for the 09/10 year. I assume you were asking about a walk-on in January, who hasn't trained with the team for the past 4 months? That's also not popular and rarely done.
Also, for the guys at the bottom of the roster they may be on the team for some reason other than their ability. Maybe their Dad played for the team thirty years ago, or maybe their Dad is a big booster. It's unlikely that a walk on is going to take that spot. I know a really good player at the local university who split sets some guys in the top six and could surely beat the guy at the bottom of the roster, but he was not given a spot on the team. This guy is probably going to go play futures after he graduates.
Every program has their own format. Some colleges will host walk on tournaments to fill out their practice squads. If your a strong enough player and you can figure out a way to show the coach, you will get your chance.
There is a walk on at UPenn. He got in on his own grades and wasn't recruited. He comes to practice evry day and plays some of the fall tournament so it can be done.
My team had a lot of guys who didn't get money, but all were recruited or otherwise invited. We already kept 10-12 guys on the team (usually including one of those guys who wasn't good but who had generous donor parents) and all (except that one guy) were good players so we generally didn't have open tryouts or a walk-on tournaments. Practice was extremely competitive. Once in a while, someone would ask to tryout and coach would have him play a match against the #4 player. If he could take a set then he could earn the chance to play against the #5 or #6 player and see where it goes from there, but the result of the first match was always a 6-0 6-0 complete destruction. It doesn't sound fair, but basically our coach didn't want to deal with people asking how to get on the team when he had all the guys he needed already.
No...I havent graduated from HS yet, and I was just curious
Believe it or not a good friend of mine was a walk-on for a D1 team and not only did she make the team but she was an integral part of it as well. Maybe she was a fluke but it is possible for a walk-on to make the team and be a starter. The only problem in her case was that the coach screwed her over for some major scholarship money. Most walk-ons don't get scholarships unless they are REALLY good.
To answer the original question, a college coach will probably take a walk on if they are good enough. Why would you turn down a good player that is paying their own ticket?
I volunteer with a D1 team and we have more than one walk on on our men's team. Basically they were more interested in the academics of the school than getting a scholarship from some other school. But this is extremely rare.
The other thing is as a walk on, no receiving scholarship, what is the real commitment to the team unless you are playing in the line up?
But again some coaches will take walk-ons who are good enough, even if it is to fill up the practice squad.
When Eastern still had a team, some years it couldn't fill the roster and tennis was really an after-thought sport there.
I like the way he sort of forces them to be his witnesses afterwards points camera at his students "you guys are all witnesses, i didnt do ****, he charged me, RIGHT?" LMAO. That was cool
Does anyone know if any of these schools do walk ons? I'm not good enough to get recruited by some of them, especially the Ivy's, but I've been working my butt off and i think next fall I might be good enough.
I think every program will try and get the best players they can. Face it, they want to win. Problem with being a walk on is that you get no $. Then if you are really good, and trust me in the Big 10 I've know of walk ons that make the team, you are there getting nothing while some recruit get a free ride, and barely plays. It really speaks more to the coach and the program.
Posting on the wrong thread? Posting on the wrong planet?
You can make it. If you make the team, you can improve quickly then who knows ? maybe even make the top 6 in the lineup.
hahaha way off
Generally not. Walking on is not easy. I'd talk to the coach and ask if he takes walk on's much. Some coaches welcome walk on's, while others don't even hold try-outs.
Someone mentioned women's tennis vs. men's tennis. Due to Title 9, some women's teams will have a larger budget than the men's team, so a women's coach may be more inclined to take a walk-on than a men's coach.
Finally, one more warning, Walking-on is not easy, and it's not glorious either. IF you make the team it will be a grind. You will likely not start, and not play, but still be required to participate in practices, team work outs, and travel with the team. I'd find it very hard to get up at 6am every other day to work out, and give up my weekends to travel with the team, knowing that I wasn't going to play.
That being said, if you understand what you're getting into, and you want it, than by all means give it a try. Worst case scenario you get beat badly, spent a weekend playing with players much better than you, and you can go try out for the club team the next weekend. Good luck!
Right ON! I still believe that the real problem comes with some of the players that coaches recruit, and the criteria they use. I have no faith in the "stars" system. Or in the College Tennis Camps. The practice squad is really where you make it or not, and every coach is looking at finding that top player. I had the experience of seeing a player, on the practice squad kick the living snot out of the two player on a Big 10 team. And I mean level this guy. Why was he on the practice squad? He was a late developer that had health issues early in his high school career. Parents were of modest means, so he just played the local tournaments in his town, and maintained a part time job. It happens. But still this is a sport that favors kids of upper financial abilities. The coach never really knew much about the kid. This coach was a a good coach in a Big 10 program, so what do you think its like at lesser D1 programs, they recruit by reputation, tapes, etc..
Be sure to ask the coach if he or she takes walkons in advance of starting your freshman year. If the answer is yes and your serious ask if you could schedule a meeting with him in advance to introduce yourself and go over his expectations. In advance of that be ready for him to ask you about your tennis background, your results, why you want to play college tennis as a walkon, what you expect to achieve, he may even ask for references, etc. Good luck
In my experience - it is all up to the coach and how they run their program.
Coach my freshman year's motto about walk-ons was either "I asked you to be on the team because you've got a national ranking" or "you are not on my team". To be polite, he was unsuccessful as a D1 level coach.
I got lucky. My school hired a substantially better coach before my sophomore year. This coach held a tournament for walk-ons. I beat a bunch of guys in that tournament to become a practice player on the team. That said, I didn't consistently win against the players on scholarship enough to play many matches though.
After a year, I decided to concentrate on my studies instead. It was a great experience - one I look back at with no regrets.
Good Luck! K_I
Well put, and it also touches on what I had said in my earlier post. Some of these coaches, what they see, what the criteria is. I had a coach just rave on and on about a 3 star recruit. The person never got out of the first round of the HS State Tournament, and lost to the same player in both their junior and senior year. Showed up on the team, and could barely beat anyone, and if they did it was one set. At the top, the coaches are pretty good, and are generally open to letting anyone try out, as they have seen this time and time again. I'm partial to the Big 10, but you look at coaches like Ty Tucker or Dave Gaetz, they do a great job of in state kids, and knowing where hidden gems are. Dave will have it more difficult at Cornell due to academics, but it is amazing at some programs what light weights get recruited.
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