Parents misconception

fireForehand

New User
It’s interesting to read the threads and questions from what seems to be from parents. The questions being asked might be out of touch with what kids really want for their tennis. I see this mostly in their questions for college choices.

What about questions about who the coach is or what the culture of the team is. Those are probably the most important. Also, are they mentally mature enough to fit in with the team/ are they going to enjoy the environment.


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ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
I
What about questions about who the coach is or what the culture of the team is.
Agree here. We always made those priorities with my son in both baseball and tennis. But I have seen so many parents tolerate toxic team attitudes and overbearing coaches because the team or coach was more visible for recruiters before college, and even similar situations even at college.


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jcgatennismom

Professional
It’s interesting to read the threads and questions from what seems to be from parents. The questions being asked might be out of touch with what kids really want for their tennis. I see this mostly in their questions for college choices.
What about questions about who the coach is or what the culture of the team is. Those are probably the most important. Also, are they mentally mature enough to fit in with the team/ are they going to enjoy the environment.
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Meant to reply earlier. Coach and culture are important but even if a player chooses a school based on those, either or both could change before he starts on campus. Many US recruits visit schools their junior year and commit in spring of their junior year or early fall of their senior year. The team leaders the player met may graduate before recruit arrives. If the coach has had several great winning seasons, he may take a new position at a higher level university, and conversely if the teams have done poorly, he may be replaced. Asst coaches move even more frequently, and often those are the ones who build relationships with recruits. Now there are coaches that have been in the same position for 15+ years so they are probably not leaving until they are fired or have health issues so at those unis there may be more of a guarantee of having the same coach for 4 years, but winning popular programs will also have more recruits seeking roster spots.

Recruits have 48 hours max on campus for official visits. If the coach really wants the player, he and the team will try to ensure recruit enjoys his visit. Also in some ways it is the blind leading the blind as recruits usually stay with freshmen-if it is a fall visit, the host may have only been on campus a few weeks and not even played a fall event yet. Now the recruit will meet the upperclassmen who mainly live off campus, but problems with program, team culture, etc may not be obvious with such a short visit. Recruits have to ask around-it is easy to hear about the really bad programs, but maybe not the so so ones. A team culture can flip for better or worse in the 12-18 months before the commit shows up on campus. The heart of the team or strong leaders could graduate and be replaced with players with individual vs team agendas or vice versa.

Recruits who choose to play for an in-state school probably have a truer picture of campus and team culture. They may be able to visit campus multiple times to watch games, practice, etc. Players who travel further from home could be in for some surprises; tennis has one of the higher transfer rates. Bottom line, for US players, they should choose to play tennis where they would be happy if they did not end up playing all four years and could afford it without athletic scholarship. Many US players receive low $ athletic scholarships augmented with merit $ so they really may have a choice of whether to continue playing or not or to transfer. International players have even less knowledge, and often for them, the criteria is budget first, then location and available major. There are plenty of international playing in the UTR 10-12 range who dont have ATP points and the choice of top US colleges.

The other problem is that 16-18yo may not know what they really want. They may think they will be happy at a top 30 team even if they dont get to play, and they are not. They may think they want to attend school far from home and enjoy their independence but they may get homesick. Some may be lucky enough to earn a spot on the team where they already know a player or two from the juniors and have an accurate picture of team culture and campus before arrival. Even some kids with parents who know a lot about college tennis still end up transferring-know of one who transferred twice before trying out a 3rd college without tennis...
 

fireForehand

New User
Meant to reply earlier. Coach and culture are important but even if a player chooses a school based on those, either or both could change before he starts on campus. Many US recruits visit schools their junior year and commit in spring of their junior year or early fall of their senior year. The team leaders the player met may graduate before recruit arrives. If the coach has had several great winning seasons, he may take a new position at a higher level university, and conversely if the teams have done poorly, he may be replaced. Asst coaches move even more frequently, and often those are the ones who build relationships with recruits. Now there are coaches that have been in the same position for 15+ years so they are probably not leaving until they are fired or have health issues so at those unis there may be more of a guarantee of having the same coach for 4 years, but winning popular programs will also have more recruits seeking roster spots.

Recruits have 48 hours max on campus for official visits. If the coach really wants the player, he and the team will try to ensure recruit enjoys his visit. Also in some ways it is the blind leading the blind as recruits usually stay with freshmen-if it is a fall visit, the host may have only been on campus a few weeks and not even played a fall event yet. Now the recruit will meet the upperclassmen who mainly live off campus, but problems with program, team culture, etc may not be obvious with such a short visit. Recruits have to ask around-it is easy to hear about the really bad programs, but maybe not the so so ones. A team culture can flip for better or worse in the 12-18 months before the commit shows up on campus. The heart of the team or strong leaders could graduate and be replaced with players with individual vs team agendas or vice versa.

Recruits who choose to play for an in-state school probably have a truer picture of campus and team culture. They may be able to visit campus multiple times to watch games, practice, etc. Players who travel further from home could be in for some surprises; tennis has one of the higher transfer rates. Bottom line, for US players, they should choose to play tennis where they would be happy if they did not end up playing all four years and could afford it without athletic scholarship. Many US players receive low $ athletic scholarships augmented with merit $ so they really may have a choice of whether to continue playing or not or to transfer. International players have even less knowledge, and often for them, the criteria is budget first, then location and available major. There are plenty of international playing in the UTR 10-12 range who dont have ATP points and the choice of top US colleges.

The other problem is that 16-18yo may not know what they really want. They may think they will be happy at a top 30 team even if they dont get to play, and they are not. They may think they want to attend school far from home and enjoy their independence but they may get homesick. Some may be lucky enough to earn a spot on the team where they already know a player or two from the juniors and have an accurate picture of team culture and campus before arrival. Even some kids with parents who know a lot about college tennis still end up transferring-know of one who transferred twice before trying out a 3rd college without tennis...
What would you do?

Bank on who the fresh / sophomores / juniors are that are starting? If you are starting then you are probably a bit more sticky. Not put as much weight on the assistant coach. Find a friend from juniors who has been there at least a year or two?

Getting burn is crucial, because it’s hard to improve and get into the starting lineup if you don’t get the match practice. It’s an up hill battle. So whether you play as a freshman is key.

You are right about them (16-18s) not knowing what they want. Sounds the guy that transferred twice had some other issues going on.

Also something to be said on the team living dynamics. Are most of the players living together or not, it’s probability a good clue in how close or not close the team is.






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jcgatennismom

Professional
What would you do?

Bank on who the fresh / sophomores / juniors are that are starting? If you are starting then you are probably a bit more sticky. Not put as much weight on the assistant coach. Find a friend from juniors who has been there at least a year or two?
Getting burn is crucial, because it’s hard to improve and get into the starting lineup if you don’t get the match practice. It’s an up hill battle. So whether you play as a freshman is key. You are right about them (16-18s) not knowing what they want. Sounds the guy that transferred twice had some other issues going on. Also something to be said on the team living dynamics. Are most of the players living together or not, it’s probability a good clue in how close or not close the team is.

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Are you a parent of a recruit or just a curious fan? I would say if possible play in-state-cheaper and if the tennis does not work out, the players has other friends at the university. I have read statistics that 80% of players who dont play dual season freshman year dont play in later years. Not sure if that is true or not. I have seen in-state players for different states who filled in for injured players late in the soph year and then became regulars in the lineup jr year or even guys who hardly played at all being impact players their junior year. I have also seen some guys who didnt play as freshmen, who got some play as sophs, and then were passed over as juniors when a great recruiting class was brought in. Other guys who didnt play freshmen year just quit the team soph year but their tennis had helped them get in a selective school. Do realize all the players usually get to play in 3-4 fall invites even if they dont play in the spring. Some get better just practicing with the higher guys on the team, and when they step in due to injury, they are competitive. However, if a player wont be happy, if he isnt playing, then he should choose a team where he knows he will get to play-that might mean choosing another division than D1 or choosing MM D1.

Since teams may be 60% international, players may not know the former US juniors on the team-they may be from other sections.

Teams that do live together are probably close, but teammates may decide not to live together for other reasons. Freshmen may have to live on campus. The guys on low athletic scholarship may not be able to afford to live with the guys on high scholarship at the newest nicest apartments close to campus. The top of the lineup may have 5X+ the scholarship of the lower lineup guys. I know some guys who played low in the lineup on D1 tennis teams who commuted to universities an hour away bc rent was too high without an athletic scholarship. One way to gauge team closeness is to attend a large fall invite with around 20 teams. See if teammates sit together cheer each other even if they are in different draws. If a player is interested in a team far from home and does his official in the fall, he can watch the team when it travels to play a match closer to his home during spring dual season. Do players who lost pout, just sit there, or cheer on their teammates still playing?
 

fireForehand

New User
Are you a parent of a recruit or just a curious fan? I would say if possible play in-state-cheaper and if the tennis does not work out, the players has other friends at the university. I have read statistics that 80% of players who dont play dual season freshman year dont play in later years. Not sure if that is true or not. I have seen in-state players for different states who filled in for injured players late in the soph year and then became regulars in the lineup jr year or even guys who hardly played at all being impact players their junior year. I have also seen some guys who didnt play as freshmen, who got some play as sophs, and then were passed over as juniors when a great recruiting class was brought in. Other guys who didnt play freshmen year just quit the team soph year but their tennis had helped them get in a selective school. Do realize all the players usually get to play in 3-4 fall invites even if they dont play in the spring. Some get better just practicing with the higher guys on the team, and when they step in due to injury, they are competitive. However, if a player wont be happy, if he isnt playing, then he should choose a team where he knows he will get to play-that might mean choosing another division than D1 or choosing MM D1.

Since teams may be 60% international, players may not know the former US juniors on the team-they may be from other sections.

Teams that do live together are probably close, but teammates may decide not to live together for other reasons. Freshmen may have to live on campus. The guys on low athletic scholarship may not be able to afford to live with the guys on high scholarship at the newest nicest apartments close to campus. The top of the lineup may have 5X+ the scholarship of the lower lineup guys. I know some guys who played low in the lineup on D1 tennis teams who commuted to universities an hour away bc rent was too high without an athletic scholarship. One way to gauge team closeness is to attend a large fall invite with around 20 teams. See if teammates sit together cheer each other even if they are in different draws. If a player is interested in a team far from home and does his official in the fall, he can watch the team when it travels to play a match closer to his home during spring dual season. Do players who lost pout, just sit there, or cheer on their teammates still playing?
Not a tennis parent, that I know of - are you a tennis mom from Georgia? Also, does the JC mean junior college?



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bobleenov1963

Hall of Fame
@jcgatennismom: there are only 4.5 tennis scholarship in the program to go around each year, I assume may be one or at most two players get a full scholarship, right? Does that include also cover room, meal, books, fee?

The reason I asked is because one kid that I know went to one of the ACC school last year, in-state, and the school gave him 25% of the scholarship, tuition only, which is about $3200/yr. His family has to pay room, meal, books and fee, and that adds up to about almost 30K/year. A saving of merely of $3200. Another kid attended another ACC school last year but because he lives in Maryland, his "tennis" scholarship is to pay in-state tuition for that school which turned out to be 33K/year (66K/yr out of state). It as also another eye opening for them in the sense that football and basketball players have better food then other student athletes.
 

jcgatennismom

Professional
@jcgatennismom: there are only 4.5 tennis scholarship in the program to go around each year, I assume may be one or at most two players get a full scholarship, right? Does that include also cover room, meal, books, fee?

The reason I asked is because one kid that I know went to one of the ACC school last year, in-state, and the school gave him 25% of the scholarship, tuition only, which is about $3200/yr. His family has to pay room, meal, books and fee, and that adds up to about almost 30K/year. A saving of merely of $3200. Another kid attended another ACC school last year but because he lives in Maryland, his "tennis" scholarship is to pay in-state tuition for that school which turned out to be 33K/year (66K/yr out of state). It as also another eye opening for them in the sense that football and basketball players have better food then other student athletes.
A full scholarship includes tuition, room, meal, books and fees and possibly cost of attendance tho that is probably more for football and basketball players. Now a coach can offer a set % off tuition only. A coach can offer books only just to get an NLI signed-the coach has to give something for the contract to be valid and the player committed. The Power 5 schools can offer multiyear scholarships which are really confusing, e.g. a coach offers 50% full scholarship over 4 years-not 50% each year. The coach could give 12.5% each year or frontload or backload the percentages. A coach could gamble and give 0-10% the first year and just slightly higher the 2nd year figuring the player might quit if he didnt play much and the coach would be off the hook for higher %s in later years.

Some schools have 24/7 food training tables for all athletes, not just football and basketball.

Bottom line, if a player is of the level to play 5 and 6 at a Power school, he probably will pay more to play tennis out-of-state than going to a flagship in-state school and not playing tennis. American guys recruited to play 5 and 6 are probably getting 0% (preferred walk on) to books to a max of 20%. Now academic $ can be stacked on top of that. I know of some kids who play in the lineup of top 75 ITA ranked universities who commuted to college bc they did not get athletic scholarships freshmen year.

The top players easily can be getting 5x+ the lower line players, yet it takes 4 points to win, and even if a team had the top 3 in the country but no depth, that would not be enough to win. Fortunately for coaches, there are plenty of players from upper middle or wealthy families who are happy just for tennis to get them in schools like Virginia, Notre Dame, Wake, UNC, and they are fine paying full or close to full tuition for players who are line 5 to bench level. Some of those universities have 12+ on their roster. Lower lineup US players get the least athletic $ because international players are upfront with their budget-many list $10k, $15K as max they can play on the international recruiting sites. You cant blame them-they could attend university much cheaper at home, their parents are paying high taxes, and they have high travel expenses. However since their home universities dont offer collegiate sports, their parents are willing to contribute some amount to their US college education, but usually much less than their American counterparts.

Many American tennis families are wealthy-have known some who flew kids to tourneys on private jets, had several tennis courts in backyard and hyperbaric oxygen chamber, etc. Some pay thousands of dollars a month for their players to board at expensive academies and travel the world playing jr ITFs. For others with just a reasonable budget, they need to beef up their academics and test scores as their merit aid may be higher than their athletic. If they are good enough to play Power 5, they should look for spots in state first unless they are blue chip level (top 25). Some kids who could play 5 or 6 for Power 5 will choose MM D1 or D3 (if they also have strong academics) partially but not entirely due to finances.

You are from the VA/MD/DC area. Liberty is an example of a MM school that has attracted some players who could have played Power 5 (or transferred from Power 5) even considering weekly convocations, 20+ hours of Bible classes, and very conservative social rules (dont know if school looks the other way for athletes). Liberty recently beat VA Tech and Penn State. The university has a head coach who was a former asst at GT and an an asst who played for Miss State when MSU was a top 5 team. Liberty sent 2 players to fall Futures in Naples FL and Cali plus one player to another Cali fall tourney, the team travels to Cali this spring to play UCLA, and schedules other Power 5 teams like Virginia. Obviously Liberty has booster/donor support to fund travel and good coaches, and with that can draw players who can beat some of the Power teams. Midmajor schools may offer better scholarships to more players. MM players may receive 30-60% athletic with a chance of 20-25% academic on top for 75%+ for top players and even a chance for 50% stacked for lower lineup players. However other MM may only fund 2-2.5 of the max 4.5 scholarships for men.

Miss State was lucky to have an excellent team for several years. However Americans who can mostly full pay and play tennis are not going to choose Miss State. The more Power teams spend most of their scholarship $ on the top of their lineup, the more they will rely on US recruits willing to pay a lot to play tennis to fill out the bottom of the lineup and bench-universities with a lot of in-state talent luck out. Some schools because of their reputation will have no problem filling their rosters. Others may have a steep drop off in talent after line 4 or 5. Power coaches can always find players but they may not be the UTR they hoped. They order their recruits so if their favored recruits turned them down fall of their senior year (time when bottom of lineup recruited, top of lineup US players would be jr year), the coach will probably have another recruit committed in 6 weeks but with less wins or lower UTR. US recruits need to have a list of preferably 8 or more schools as possibilities as they get close to commitment, maybe a top 4 so if they get a lowball offer, they can ask for time, say they want to keep their options open, and then as other more reasonable offers come, choose the best academic, tennis, and social fit within their budget. Sometimes if a recruit's results improve, the coach will call back saying he "found" $. The money was never lost-the recruit just became more valuable to coach. Recruiting is a little like poker-some gambling involved for both coach and recruit, and neither can reveal all their cards or at least for the top 50, top 75 ranked schools. MM and D3 coaches may be more upfront with what they have to offer.
 
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bobleenov1963

Hall of Fame
Some schools have 24/7 food training tables for all athletes, not just football and basketball.
Thank you for the info. I asked because ESPN did several episodes about U. of Alabama football teams during 2018 season and the sports facility at the U. of Alabama is first rated. They feed football players during the summer with ribeye steak, lobster, and other expensive food.

I don't think the men tennis team at Alabama get access to the same facility as men football or basketball team @Alabama. I don't think University of Alabama tennis team get fed with ribeye steak and lobster, and they probably don't get the same treatment like the University QB Tua Tagovailoa :(
 

fireForehand

New User
A full scholarship includes tuition, room, meal, books and fees and possibly cost of attendance tho that is probably more for football and basketball players. Now a coach can offer a set % off tuition only. A coach can offer books only just to get an NLI signed-the coach has to give something for the contract to be valid and the player committed. The Power 5 schools can offer multiyear scholarships which are really confusing, e.g. a coach offers 50% full scholarship over 4 years-not 50% each year. The coach could give 12.5% each year or frontload or backload the percentages. A coach could gamble and give 0-10% the first year and just slightly higher the 2nd year figuring the player might quit if he didnt play much and the coach would be off the hook for higher %s in later years.

Some schools have 24/7 food training tables for all athletes, not just football and basketball.

Bottom line, if a player is of the level to play 5 and 6 at a Power school, he probably will pay more to play tennis out-of-state than going to a flagship in-state school and not playing tennis. American guys recruited to play 5 and 6 are probably getting 0% (preferred walk on) to books to a max of 20%. Now academic $ can be stacked on top of that. I know of some kids who play in the lineup of top 75 ITA ranked universities who commuted to college bc they did not get athletic scholarships freshmen year.

The top players easily can be getting 5x+ the lower line players, yet it takes 4 points to win, and even if a team had the top 3 in the country but no depth, that would not be enough to win. Fortunately for coaches, there are plenty of players from upper middle or wealthy families who are happy just for tennis to get them in schools like Virginia, Notre Dame, Wake, UNC, and they are fine paying full or close to full tuition for players who are line 5 to bench level. Some of those universities have 12+ on their roster. Lower lineup US players get the least athletic $ because international players are upfront with their budget-many list $10k, $15K as max they can play on the international recruiting sites. You cant blame them-they could attend university much cheaper at home, their parents are paying high taxes, and they have high travel expenses. However since their home universities dont offer collegiate sports, their parents are willing to contribute some amount to their US college education, but usually much less than their American counterparts.

Many American tennis families are wealthy-have known some who flew kids to tourneys on private jets, had several tennis courts in backyard and hyperbaric oxygen chamber, etc. Some pay thousands of dollars a month for their players to board at expensive academies and travel the world playing jr ITFs. For others with just a reasonable budget, they need to beef up their academics and test scores as their merit aid may be higher than their athletic. If they are good enough to play Power 5, they should look for spots in state first unless they are blue chip level (top 25). Some kids who could play 5 or 6 for Power 5 will choose MM D1 or D3 (if they also have strong academics) partially but not entirely due to finances.

You are from the VA/MD/DC area. Liberty is an example of a MM school that has attracted some players who could have played Power 5 (or transferred from Power 5) even considering weekly convocations, 20+ hours of Bible classes, and very conservative social rules (dont know if school looks the other way for athletes). Liberty recently beat VA Tech and Penn State. The university has a head coach who was a former asst at GT and an an asst who played for Miss State when MSU was a top 5 team. Liberty sent 2 players to fall Futures in Naples FL and Cali plus one player to another Cali fall tourney, the team travels to Cali this spring to play UCLA, and scheduless other Power 5 teams like Virginia. Obviously Liberty has booster/donor support to fund travel and good coaches, and with that can draw players who can beat some of the Power teams. Midmajor schools may offer better scholarships to more players. MM players may receive 30-60% athletic with a chance of 20-25% academic on top for 75%+ for top players and even a chance for 50% stacked for lower lineup players. However other MM may only fund 2-2.5 of the max 4.5 scholarships for men.

Miss State was lucky to have an excellent team for several years. However Americans who can mostly full pay and play tennis are not going to choose Miss State. The more Power teams spend most of their scholarship $ on the top of their lineup, the more they will rely on US recruits willing to pay a lot to play tennis to fill out the bottom of the lineup and bench-universities with a lot of in-state talent luck out. Some schools because of their reputation will have no problem filling their rosters. Others may have a steep drop off in talent after line 4 or 5. Power coaches can always find players but they may not be the UTR they hoped. They order their recruits in order so if their favored recruits turned them down fall of their senior year (time when bottom of lineup recruited, top of lineup US players would be jr year), the coach will probably have another recruit committed in 6 weeks but with less wins or lower UTR. US recruits need to have a list of preferably 8 or more schools as possibilities as they get close to commitment, maybe a top 4 so if they get a lowball offer, they can ask for time, say they want to keep their options open, and then as other more reasonable offers come, choose the best academic, tennis, and social fit within their budget. Sometimes if a recruit's results improve, the coach will call back saying he "found" $. The money was never lost-the recruit just became more valuable to coach. Recruiting is a little like poker-some gambling involved for both coach and recruit, and neither can reveal all their cards or at least for the top 50, top 75 ranked schools. MM and D3 coaches may be more upfront with what they have to offer.
Spot on


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