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-   -   Getting a college tennis scholarship: 5 tips. (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=453276)

lendl1986 01-31-2013 01:30 PM

Getting a college tennis scholarship: 5 tips.
 
I interviewed recruiter Ross Greenstein for my blog and he offered these tips to parents and kids with the goal of securing a scholarship at the school of their choice:
  • Start early. Have your child attend practices and camps at local universities as early as 7th and 8th grade, to get to know the college coaches there.
  • Let the kids do the talking. Your kid should send out the emails and make the phone calls to college coaches. Not you.
  • Non-elite players do get scholarships. Having a major coach as an advocate can influence schools to offer you a scholarship based on your potential.
  • The #1 factor in a college’s decision? The interview. Be certain that your kid knows and is liked by the coaches and players prior to the interview.
  • The number one payoff of a scholarship isn’t money. It’s connections. College is a great opportunity to build friendships and business relationships with powerful students and alumni.

The full interview:

What’s the very first thing a parent should do to start the process and when?

Ross: Around 7th, 8th, and 9th grade, go watch a college tennis match or team practice. Get a feel for the level of play and the atmosphere and get your face in front of local coaches. Camps on college campuses during the summer are another way to get the attention of coaches. Most Americans live within 60 minutes of a campus with a tennis team, so you don’t need to fly to one of the major programs to get a taste of college tennis and introduce yourself to coaches.

In 10th grade, kids should make a list of the colleges they’re interested in. This list might change over time depending on the kid’s academics and tennis needs, but it’s good to get 5-10 schools on paper. Then put together a proper resume and email those coaches. Ask what grades and what level of tennis the coaches are looking for. Some programs have really high standards, and as your grades and tennis scores start to accumulate in your 10th year, you’ll start to learn which programs you have a realistic chance to join, and you can start to really focus on those particular schools.


What’s the most common mistake you see parents make when getting their child recruited?

Ross: There’s a couple.

First, not having their kids start early. Take your kids in 7th, 8th, and 9th grades to college tennis matches and introduce them to coaches. So definitely start early. I’ve seen parents assume that their kids tennis will become so fantastic in high school that colleges will be beating down their door. And it rarely works out that way, so make those first contacts before high school even begins.

So keep your kids on a schedule, but it shouldn’t be you making the calls and the emails. Your kid needs to be the one doing those things. It’s their job interview.


How does a kid without a “bluechip” tennis ranking, but a lot of potential, get recruited?

Ross: Get the attention of a local college coach who will become his or her advocate. Go to college matches and practices. Attend summer camps at college universities. Maybe coaches will give you a lesson. If your kid has a lot of raw potential, he or she will catch the eye of coaches there.

You just need one coach who believes in you. Even if you’re not good enough to play at his university, he can get on the phone, call other schools and say “hey, I’ve got this kid I’ve been working with…great work ethic…great attitude…mentally solid…you should have a look at her.”


What % of kids get into their #1 choice of school? And what’s the #1 factor for getting into that #1 choice?

Ross: First, it’s about being realistic about your list of schools. Everyone wants to go to Stanford, USC, and Harvard. If your tests scores, grades, and tennis performance don’t match up then you’re wasting your time.

But assuming you’ve chosen the schools that match your academics and tennis scores, the number one factor is definitely the interview with the coach. By the time you’re face-to-face with the coach, you obviously have the academics and tennis they’re looking for. At that point, it comes down to whether or not they like you. Do their existing players know and like you? Do they want to spend the next 4 years with you? And to pass these interviews, it’s just absolutely critical that you’ve already spent time on their courts with their coaches and players.


What percentage of parents ever get their investment in their child’s tennis back in the form of a college scholarship?

Ross: Virtually none. I suppose some kids have sponsors to help pay. But if the average kid starts at age 10 there’s no way a scholarship is going to offset coaching, court fees, travel fees, and other things that go into a nationally ranked junior tennis player. So you can’t look at tennis as a net positive investment of money.


So what’s the ultimate payoff of securing a college tennis scholarship?

Ross: Relationships and networking. The education and the tennis is great, but the relationships you build with kids at schools like USC, Ivy League schools, etc. are hugely valuable. In fact, even the kids and the parents you meet at national tournaments starting at age 10 are very well connected. They own businesses, they work at the top of corporations like Adidas, Microsoft, Wilson, and Nike. You can get interesting, well paying jobs just by being friendly with the powerful people you meet in your tennis career from age 10 to 22!


Yeah, we had a kid sweep the high school state championships all 4 years. He chose a small school called Claremont McKenna, which wasn’t known for its tennis, but more known for producing hedge fund managers.

A lot of high school kids are realizing that their tennis sets up a great future in business. Harvard is usually at the top of kids’ lists because they know about Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg and the chances to work at the biggest companies in the world.

It’s ironic because these kids already have access to the kind of connected people they hope to meet at Harvard. They’re at junior tennis tournaments.

Soianka 01-31-2013 01:36 PM

Quote:

Maybe coaches will give you a lesson. If your kid has a lot of raw potential, he or she will catch the eye of coaches there.

You just need one coach who believes in you. Even if you’re not good enough to play at his university, he can get on the phone, call other schools and say “hey, I’ve got this kid I’ve been working with…great work ethic…great attitude…mentally solid…you should have a look at her
Thanks for the article.

Just wondering though if some of the things in the article are allowed by NCAA rules.

Chemist 01-31-2013 04:10 PM

Nice insights from Ross!:idea: I heard that Ross could also arrange to have a potential recruit, who he manages, hit with college player off campus. We have been to so many national tournaments but never thought about asking other parents what they do, if they are the owners or board members of a big company, which college (an Ivy, Stanford, USC???) they attended, whether they are the relatives of Bill Gates.......:roll: We still get a year and half to catch up... Maybe paying Ross a few hundred $ to provide us with some leads - who the powerful people are at the tournaments:):)

rodrigoamaral 01-31-2013 04:11 PM

Very good article.. also very important is how the player gets along with the team members and give him a few days to hang out with them before committing to see if there is any comraderie there..

sureshs 01-31-2013 04:32 PM

Having seen several juniors pass through my club over the years and get some kind of college scholarship, and having seen both those who took lots of lessons and those who were coached by their parents, I have one question. When people say that college scholarship does not provide the return on investment in the financial sense, what is being compared?

Isn't it the case that many families can afford some lessons, stringing, tournaments for their kid on an incremental basis month after month, but would find coming up with the big money for college at the end of high school to be the main issue? And the tennis expenses are spread out and not subject to the kind of tuition fees hikes which far outpace inflation?

If that is true, then college scholarship is a good deal, right?

Misterbill 01-31-2013 04:48 PM

For parents who look upon college scholarships as a return on investment, there is a better chance that it turns out positive for girls than boys.

Pretty easy for each family to do their own math.

For Ivies and D3 the return is zero for both boys and girls. (To the extent that tennis gets a kid into a school that has an academic level the kid wouldn't have otherwise qualified for, there is a whole other set of calculations I guess).

If in-state tuition/room/board is $10,000 per year, and a boy gets .5--.7, that's $20,000--$28,000. Make that the numerator, with the total junior tennis expenses as the denominator. Anything over 1 represents a positive return, anything less than 1 is a negative return.

If out-of-state tuition/private school tuition--rb is $40,000 per year............well anyone can do the math.

Chemist 01-31-2013 05:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Misterbill (Post 7183309)
For parents who look upon college scholarships as a return on investment, there is a better chance that it turns out positive for girls than boys.

Pretty easy for each family to do their own math.

For Ivies and D3 the return is zero for both boys and girls. (To the extent that tennis gets a kid into a school that has an academic level the kid wouldn't have otherwise qualified for, there is a whole other set of calculations I guess).

If in-state tuition/room/board is $10,000 per year, and a boy gets .5--.7, that's $20,000--$28,000. Make that the numerator, with the total junior tennis expenses as the denominator. Anything over 1 represents a positive return, anything less than 1 is a negative return.

If out-of-state tuition/private school tuition--rb is $40,000 per year............well anyone can do the math.

Agree!

Can I guess that parents would spend about $20,000 a year (lessons, clinics, tennis gears, travelling costs etc) for at least 5 years for a kid to play D1 tennis. This is $100,000 total. We spent 50% more than this, mainly due to our "point chasing":). For a girl who plays for a private college, such as, Stanford or Duke, a full ride would be valued at $200,000:). For an out of state public school, the value of a full ride is reduced to about $150,000. However, for an in-state school, the value is further reduced to $60,000-70,000.

A lot less money for boys:twisted:

Soianka 01-31-2013 05:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sureshs (Post 7183283)
Having seen several juniors pass through my club over the years and get some kind of college scholarship, and having seen both those who took lots of lessons and those who were coached by their parents, I have one question. When people say that college scholarship does not provide the return on investment in the financial sense, what is being compared?

Isn't it the case that many families can afford some lessons, stringing, tournaments for their kid on an incremental basis month after month, but would find coming up with the big money for college at the end of high school to be the main issue? And the tennis expenses are spread out and not subject to the kind of tuition fees hikes which far outpace inflation?

If that is true, then college scholarship is a good deal, right?

I guess the point is the families could save or invest the money they are spending on tennis from age 10 to age 18 and they would have more than enough to pay for college.

However, I think lots of people are paying less than the value of a 4 year scholarship when accounting for 8 years of training and tournaments. A full ride scholarship could be worth upwards of 240,000.

ga tennis 01-31-2013 05:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Soianka (Post 7183383)
I guess the point is the families could save or invest the money they are spending on tennis from age 10 to age 18 and they would have more than enough to pay for college.

What fun would that be. :)

sureshs 01-31-2013 05:40 PM

Yeah that won't be much fun

ga tennis 01-31-2013 06:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sureshs (Post 7183391)
Yeah that won't be much fun

Glad your posting in the junior section suresh. I like how you give em hell on the tennis tips section.

Misterbill 01-31-2013 06:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Misterbill (Post 7183309)
For parents who look upon college scholarships as a return on investment, there is a better chance that it turns out positive for girls than boys.

Pretty easy for each family to do their own math.

For Ivies and D3 the return is zero for both boys and girls. (To the extent that tennis gets a kid into a school that has an academic level the kid wouldn't have otherwise qualified for, there is a whole other set of calculations I guess).

If in-state tuition/room/board is $10,000 per year, and a boy gets .5--.7, that's $20,000--$28,000. Make that the numerator, with the total junior tennis expenses as the denominator. Anything over 1 represents a positive return, anything less than 1 is a negative return.

If out-of-state tuition/private school tuition--rb is $40,000 per year............well anyone can do the math.

I don't think I was completely fair here. There is more value that should be put in the numerator.

That is the value of college-level coaching (ahem....anyone can fill in their own blank here), equipment, training room, travel expenses, medical insurance if any.

I'm not crunching the numbers real hard here, but most decent college programs have a couple of hours of privates per week---at least in fall season--and lots of "group lessons"; i.e., regular practice.

At 20 hours per week (just sayin') at $100 per hour (cause the math's easy) plus the other freebies, I think we are looking at over $75,000 per year of "stuff" parents would have otherwise paid for.

So, to be fair, I think we need to factor this in as well.

luvforty 01-31-2013 06:34 PM

i don't think you can count the $75k stuff that way.... because if a kid just attends college without tennis, he does not need all that extra stuff.

the pay off is usually negative.... because getting a full ride is not a sure thing.... what about all them 2, 3, 4 star recruits, who may have invested just as much, but ending up with no scholarship at all.

and I do agree that boys have it tough.

girls - low hanging fruits everywhere.... daughter is already on D1 path (golf) with only 1/10 of the effort that a boy would need to put in.. if she end up going to one, instead of Ivies.

sureshs 01-31-2013 06:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ga tennis (Post 7183438)
Glad your posting in the junior section suresh. I like how you give em hell on the tennis tips section.

I don't do anything like that. I just point out the facts. "Them" are the people who have gotten banned, come back under a different name, and gotten banned again.

Misterbill 01-31-2013 06:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by luvforty (Post 7183485)
i don't think you can count the $75k stuff that way.... because if a kid just attends college without tennis, he does not need all that extra stuff.

the pay off is usually negative.... because getting a full ride is not a sure thing.... what about all them 2, 3, 4 star recruits, who may have invested just as much, but ending up with no scholarship at all.

and I do agree that boys have it tough.

girls - low hanging fruits everywhere.... daughter is already on D1 path (golf) with only 1/10 of the effort that a boy would need to put in.. if she end up going to one, instead of Ivies.

Good stuff. Hope others chime in too!!

sureshs 01-31-2013 06:40 PM

Also to consider is how many families would really save up the money if they did not spend it on tennis. We tend to blow it on overpriced vacations.

Chemist 01-31-2013 07:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ga tennis (Post 7183387)
What fun would that be. :)

I guess we are very smart in how we spend $:(. But I am sure that I am not the only parent who enjoyed more watching their kid winning points, games, and matches, than killing time sun bathing on beach:)

luvforty 01-31-2013 07:36 PM

right, it's all about the journey.... the destination is a bonus.

andfor 02-01-2013 02:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Soianka (Post 7182946)
Thanks for the article.

Just wondering though if some of the things in the article are allowed by NCAA rules.

College coaches can teach private tennis lessons clinics.

chalkflewup 02-01-2013 03:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by andfor (Post 7183873)
College coaches can teach private tennis lessons clinics.

Is that new? Are there specific restrictions or parameters such as acceptable time of year and/or age of the student. The reason I ask is I know otherwise.


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