Re: the ‘junior and college tennis a waste of time and money’ thread

mikej

Hall of Fame
Re: the thread about junior / college tennis being a waste of time, which was taken down as I attempted to reply

Someone who shall not be named (don’t feed the troll) tries so hard on these forums to make himself feel better about being a low level tennis player by spamming these forums and bashing those that reached a higher level in tennis as people who wasted their lives.

100-250 in the country as a junior depending on age group, spent tons of time on the court and loved it, made incredible lifelong friends and grew as a person challenging myself to become a better tennis player - parents spent much less than the number someone quotes, but yes they spent a lot of time and money supporting me, and shockingly they enjoyed supporting me and traveling with me to tournaments

Attended Duke, now a practicing physician and professor at an academic medical center, so I guess it didn’t ruin my brain

And still love and look forward to the couple days a week I get out there to compete w 4.5-5.0 friends, stay fit, and enjoy this great sport

May I be so lucky for my kid to pursue this sport and have me ‘waste’ tens or even a couple hundred thousand supporting him and chatting with him about life / victory / defeat as we travel to and from tournaments and he fails to become a pro tennis player
 

Nacho

Professional
Well said, glad you brought it up again

I didn't mind the question even if the thread got "pulled", although that argument can be applied to all of college sports, and not just tennis. I think most recreation players have no idea what College tennis is. The question confirms the perception by many in the public and on these threads that tennis is a "rec" sport, or after school activity not worthy of time or effort. This is made even worse by people who play it for recreation because they don't understand tennis beyond USTA leagues or pulling together a game at the local park. The frustrating thing is that that same approach to tennis is held by this same recreation player, who finds themselves administering the sport on different levels so they have no problem abbreviating scoring, limiting what players can do to improve themselves, changing some of the fundamental playing traditions, and giving away the leadership to the international community. People only know what they have experienced, and they fail to understand the depth of tennis nor what it takes to perform at a high level.
 
Re: the thread about junior / college tennis being a waste of time, which was taken down as I attempted to reply

Someone who shall not be named (don’t feed the troll) tries so hard on these forums to make himself feel better about being a low level tennis player by spamming these forums and bashing those that reached a higher level in tennis as people who wasted their lives.

100-250 in the country as a junior depending on age group, spent tons of time on the court and loved it, made incredible lifelong friends and grew as a person challenging myself to become a better tennis player - parents spent much less than the number someone quotes, but yes they spent a lot of time and money supporting me, and shockingly they enjoyed supporting me and traveling with me to tournaments

Attended Duke, now a practicing physician and professor at an academic medical center, so I guess it didn’t ruin my brain

And still love and look forward to the couple days a week I get out there to compete w 4.5-5.0 friends, stay fit, and enjoy this great sport

May I be so lucky for my kid to pursue this sport and have me ‘waste’ tens or even a couple hundred thousand supporting him and chatting with him about life / victory / defeat as we travel to and from tournaments and he fails to become a pro tennis player
Just because you played tennis @Duke and is now a successful MD/PhD means that everyone playing D1 tennis will be successful like you. Have you looked at Power 5 conferences D1 college websites and see how many players on the roster that majors in Pre-med or STEM, very few if any.

For every successful story like yours, there are thousands and thousands D1 college tennis players that graduated with useless college degrees and ended up being a teaching pro. Now there is nothing wrong with that if that's what they choose to do but I prefer that my kid has an actual job in the corporate world.

Playing college tennis is good but one needs to understand and have realistic expectations and that's the job of parents.
 

mikej

Hall of Fame
Just because you played tennis @Duke and is now a successful MD/PhD means that everyone playing D1 tennis will be successful like you. Have you looked at Power 5 conferences D1 college websites and see how many players on the roster that majors in Pre-med or STEM, very few if any.

For every successful story like yours, there are thousands and thousands D1 college tennis players that graduated with useless college degrees and ended up being a teaching pro. Now there is nothing wrong with that if that's what they choose to do but I prefer that my kid has an actual job in the corporate world.

Playing college tennis is good but one needs to understand and have realistic expectations and that's the job of parents.
I didn’t play for Duke’s team, they were top 10 at the time and well out of my league, still out of my league nowadays even with their fall

Agree with your final comment about expectations and the role of parents - there needs to be some balance - the poster / thread I responded to painted anyone who chased competitive junior tennis or college tennis in an extremely negative light (terrible investment, waste of time, you lose your brain, blah blah blah) - obviously that wasn’t my experience

Don’t take my post as an endorsement of pulling kids out of school to chase pro tennis at the expense of any balance in life, with no backup plan / other interests when they fail
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
I didn’t play for Duke’s team, they were top 10 at the time and well out of my league, still out of my league nowadays even with their fall

Agree with your final comment about expectations and the role of parents - there needs to be some balance - the poster / thread I responded to painted anyone who chased competitive junior tennis or college tennis in an extremely negative light (terrible investment, waste of time, you lose your brain, blah blah blah) - obviously that wasn’t my experience

Don’t take my post as an endorsement of pulling kids out of school to chase pro tennis at the expense of any balance in life, with no backup plan / other interests when they fail
100%
 

ClarkC

Hall of Fame
What about their non-athlete classmates who also got the same "useless" degree?
Well, they will suffer the consequences as well.

I don't criticize college tennis in general, but we should be honest here: At top Division I programs, players feel pressure to choose a major that does not have three-hour lab courses that interfere with the practice schedule. At a Division III program, the pressures are different. Many college tennis players are quite capable of completing a STEM degree but choose to major in anthropology or whatever because they need a major with no labs and just reading and writing assignments that can be done on the road, etc.

When they finish college, they are highly unlikely to become financially successful pro tennis players, and now they don't have the degree they could have had if sports were not in the mix.
 

mikej

Hall of Fame
Well, they will suffer the consequences as well.

I don't criticize college tennis in general, but we should be honest here: At top Division I programs, players feel pressure to choose a major that does not have three-hour lab courses that interfere with the practice schedule. At a Division III program, the pressures are different. Many college tennis players are quite capable of completing a STEM degree but choose to major in anthropology or whatever because they need a major with no labs and just reading and writing assignments that can be done on the road, etc.

When they finish college, they are highly unlikely to become financially successful pro tennis players, and now they don't have the degree they could have had if sports were not in the mix.
Also well said

If my kid wanted to play college tennis but also wanted to major in bio/chemistry/etc I’d have a pointed discussion with coaches at any school he was seriously considering about the possibility of that combination in their program / any former student-athletes who have pulled it off they could put me in contact with, etc

Some do it - Reka Zsilinszka won a title at Duke and went on to Duke med school etc

There are also plenty of ‘serious’ majors that don’t require lab time
 

jcgatennismom

Professional
@ClarkC @bobleenov1963 If you skim the list of major for most D1 athletes, business and sports related majors are most popular, e.g. sports management, kinesiology (trainer), etc. What's wrong with a business degree? I was looking at the tennis roster at GT a year or two ago. At a school of mostly STEM majors, the tennis team was mostly biz majors. My husband who is a GT grad showed me an article in the university magazine about sport athlete internships; in it an Ernst and Young recruiter was quoted as saying the company liked to hire GT student athletes-one of the recent hires was from the tennis team. Other biz major former team players also seemed to get good jobs after college. Some of them still play local men's tourneys- one's on a 5.0 team. One of the locals who runs a lot of tennis tourneys tries to work with recent grads with career jobs to schedule weekday matches 6pm or later. While tennis players cant co-op for a semester, as athletes and leaders, they often are chosen for career-related internships and find good jobs after graduation. The STEM or premed majors may be hard to find playing D1 but there are a few-maybe more with the girls. I know of some girls who graduated as chemical engineers or who now are in med school who played D1 tennis.

However, D3 is probably the better choice for players interested in STEM majors-maybe that's why the top D3 schools attract 4 and 5 star players.
 
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mikej

Hall of Fame
@ClarkC @bobleenov1963 If you skim the list of major for most D1 athletes, business and sports related majors are most popular, e.g. sports management, kinesiology (trainer), etc. What's wrong with a business degree? I was looking at the tennis roster at GT a year or two ago. At a school of mostly STEM majors, the tennis team was mostly biz majors. However, those guys seemed to get good jobs after college. Some of them still play local men's tourneys- one's on a 5.0 team. One of the locals who runs a lot of tennis tourneys tries to work with recent grads with career jobs to schedule weekday matches 6pm or later. While tennis players cant co-op for a semester, as athletes and leaders, they often are chosen for career-related internships and find good jobs after graduation. The STEM or premed majors may be hard to find playing D1 but there are a few-maybe more with the girls. I know of some girls who graduated as chemical engineers or who now are in med school who played D1 tennis.

However, D3 may be the better choice for players interested in STEM majors-maybe that's why the top D3 schools attract 4 and 5 star players.
Yeah, going the econ/business route works well with D1 athletics, big companies in NYC are full of former athletes, plenty of connections, and even aside from the connections these companies that require you to work your tail off in your early years already know that you can manage your time well
 
@ClarkC @bobleenov1963 If you skim the list of major for most D1 athletes, business and sports related majors are most popular, e.g. sports management, kinesiology (trainer), etc. What's wrong with a business degree?
There is nothing wrong with a business degree and more often than not, they get paid more than people with STEM degree but that's not the point here.

The STEM or premed majors may be hard to find playing D1 but there are a few-maybe more with the girls. I know of some girls who graduated as chemical engineers or who now are in med school who played D1 tennis.
Ok so you know a some girls that played D1 tennis and now in med school. What is the point here? There are 55 Power-5 schools with let say 10 players in the roster, 1100 tennis players male and female. Can you name how many of them are majoring in STEM or premed? What is the percentage?
 
Also well said

If my kid wanted to play college tennis but also wanted to major in bio/chemistry/etc I’d have a pointed discussion with coaches at any school he was seriously considering about the possibility of that combination in their program / any former student-athletes who have pulled it off they could put me in contact with, etc

Some do it - Reka Zsilinszka won a title at Duke and went on to Duke med school etc

There are also plenty of ‘serious’ majors that don’t require lab time
I graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering and I can tell you that:

- Computer Science major: definitely lot of lab time
- Eletrical Engineering: definitely lot of lab time
- Mechanical Engineering: definitely lot of lab time
- CyberSecurity: definitely lot of lab time
- Civil Engineering: definitely lot of lab time
- Pre-med: definitely lot of lab time


Perhaps you can tell me any of the serious majors that do not require lab time.
 

mikej

Hall of Fame
I graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering and I can tell you that:

- Computer Science major: definitely lot of lab time
- Eletrical Engineering: definitely lot of lab time
- Mechanical Engineering: definitely lot of lab time
- CyberSecurity: definitely lot of lab time
- Civil Engineering: definitely lot of lab time
- Pre-med: definitely lot of lab time


Perhaps you can tell me any of the serious majors that do not require lab time.
Econ, math, public policy, political science...

In other words, maybe the STEM —> engineering or medicine routes are more challenging, but routes that lead to business/finance/law generally spring from majors without lab time
 

jcgatennismom

Professional
There is nothing wrong with a business degree and more often than not, they get paid more than people with STEM degree but that's not the point here. Ok so you know a some girls that played D1 tennis and now in med school. What is the point here? There are 55 Power-5 schools with let say 10 players in the roster, 1100 tennis players male and female. Can you name how many of them are majoring in STEM or premed? What is the percentage?
The point is to address your comment from one of your first posts: "there are thousands and thousands D1 college tennis players that graduated with useless college degrees and ended up being a teaching pro..... I prefer that my kid has an actual job in the corporate world. Playing college tennis is good but one needs to understand and have realistic expectations and that's the job of parents. " The point is D1 college players in non STEM majors can earn degrees with actual jobs in the corporate world.
You shouldn't stereotype athletes nor value some degrees more than others. You should want your children to pursue a degree in a major they enjoy as well as one that could lead to a successful job. Whether it is STEM or not, it should not matter.

My daughter graduated college with a 4.0 B.S. degree with a double major and a minor, 2 of those degrees in STEM majors (she also was her sorority president, a student ambassador and a science tutor); she is currently working on her PhD having finished his masters. She lettered in 2 sports in high school but not at the level to play sports in college like her younger brother. Many athletes playing D1 probably took few AP science courses in high school. My daughter with her HS AP science courses and other extracurriculars only played her varsity sports in season; she did not have the time to play on leagues outside school in the off season. To reach D1 level in many sports requires participation on travel teams or in the case of tennis traveling to tournaments. You are correct there is a tradeoff-hard to be the best scientist or engineer and a top D1 player but a small % manage it-one 5 star I knew who took a lot of science APs took a 36 week online course in 6 weeks in the summer while playing a week long tournament-he was an extremely fast reader, writer, and information processor. A smart kid with average speed in those areas would not have been able to manage it.

There is no right or wrong level of sport participation in high school or college nor are some college majors better than others. Some liberal arts majors are employed by Google and Amazon but they were probably outstanding creative and critical thinkers and writers. The job of parents is to support the children in their passions to a reasonable degree-dont spend tuition $ on tennis, but if family can afford sports training without dipping into college kitty, why not as long as kids know they have to keep up their grades. The bright side is those kids will have learned time management skills in high school that many kids dont learn until college.
 

ClarkC

Hall of Fame
@ClarkC @bobleenov1963 If you skim the list of major for most D1 athletes, business and sports related majors are most popular, e.g. sports management, kinesiology (trainer), etc. What's wrong with a business degree?
There is nothing the matter with a business degree. My point was that athletes get steered into certain programs, whereas if they were not athletes, they would choose the program they really wanted. I stand by that statement from observation up close.

My experience in recent years has been at Virginia. Students enter in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences by default unless they applied for admission to Engineering. If they want to get into the McIntire School of Commerce, which offers a highly reputed business degree, they have to do very well on grades as a first-year and then apply to that school to be allowed to study there starting in their second year. They are not allowed to simply declare on arrival that they are majoring in business. Making top grades while competing in sports is not easy, so I see some very smart tennis players majoring in fields they probably would not have chosen otherwise. I am just being honest about what I am seeing.
 

JeffG

Rookie
The bigger problem is considering any degree that’s not STEM or business as not serious. While it’s true that majors requiring a lot of lab or studio time like Fine Arts, Theater, and Music might not be a particularly good fit for athletes, some kids go to college for a genuine liberal arts education rather than treating it as vocational school. Those kids are typically great recruits as they’ve already proven a strong affinity for learning and a work ethic/value system that supersedes those of other students who simply view college as the path of least resistance to a fat wallet sans any greater humanitarian interests or concerns.
 

mikej

Hall of Fame
sure, sure, there are some people who have a true passion for sociology / communications / etc - great, follow your passion - the vast, vast majority of people who major in these fields across the country are doing so because it's a path of least resistance - notice i didn't mention fine arts / theater / music, as i don't think those are very easy majors, and i think most are choosing those fields to follow genuine passion / talent

you can major in chemistry and still have a well-rounded liberal arts education, still read vonnegut in your spare time, still have a love of learning and helping your community :) ... i'm not going to feel bad about generalizing that the average chemistry major was more serious about their college education than the average communications major and some majors are more rigorous than others

anyway, i'm in agreement with what's been said by others including clarkc: if your participation in college athletics is significantly limiting your choice of major, and you're not highly likely to succeed as a pro in your sport, that's not a great thing - maybe i should have gotten to that point without comparing specific majors, maybe not
 
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JeffG

Rookie
My main point was directed at the poster who suggested that non-corporate aimed students weren’t engaged in “serious” degree programs. Such conjecture seems to be a habit. Any degree program that requires a student to be in specific campus locations for extended periods beyond standard classes on a regular basis can be difficult for student-athletes (and student-employees), so theater majors and chemistry majors are in the same boat as far as time management is concerned. Every campus has majors that are judged (sometimes fairly, sometimes unfairly) for being easier than others. Which programs those are change based on school and individual departments, not necessarily area of study. Per the original “non-serious” assertion, I’ve known lots of science and engineering majors who absolutely could not hang with the reading, research, and writing loads neccessary to complete a rigorous humanities or social science degree. The same thing happens a lot when humanities-talented folks end up in math and science courses. That’s one of the reasons exploration via a strong, interdisciplinary liberal arts curriculum is important. Otherwise, people end up thinking that their particular interest areas are the only ones that matter or that college is just about future paychecks. To be able to spend a few years experiencing those curriculums sans debt load via playing tennis is really a great opportunity, not something to be so easily dismissed vis-à-vis tennis results or corporate prospects.
 
My main point was directed at the poster who suggested that non-corporate aimed students weren’t engaged in “serious” degree programs. Such conjecture seems to be a habit. Any degree program that requires a student to be in specific campus locations for extended periods beyond standard classes on a regular basis can be difficult for student-athletes (and student-employees), so theater majors and chemistry majors are in the same boat as far as time management is concerned. Every campus has majors that are judged (sometimes fairly, sometimes unfairly) for being easier than others. Which programs those are change based on school and individual departments, not necessarily area of study. Per the original “non-serious” assertion, I’ve known lots of science and engineering majors who absolutely could not hang with the reading, research, and writing loads neccessary to complete a rigorous humanities or social science degree. The same thing happens a lot when humanities-talented folks end up in math and science courses. That’s one of the reasons exploration via a strong, interdisciplinary liberal arts curriculum is important. Otherwise, people end up thinking that their particular interest areas are the only ones that matter or that college is just about future paychecks. To be able to spend a few years experiencing those curriculums sans debt load via playing tennis is really a great opportunity, not something to be so easily dismissed vis-à-vis tennis results or corporate prospects.
My son and I visited a few schools this past summer such as University of Virginia (in-state) and Indiana University (OOS). He has 11.5 UTR at the moment, his GPA is just OK but excellent SAT and ACT score, 1580 and 36, respectively. I think his chance of getting into UVA is slim because that school emphasizes more on the GPA than SAT/ACT. IU is OOS school so it will cost much more but it has a very good music program that my son is very interested in. He has been playing music since he was five years old and he spends about 99% of his time practicing music and tennis so he has zero interest in doing school work. It is what it is. He always wants to major in music but I've also advised him that he should also minor in information/cybersecurity because that's something he can fall back on in case music does not work out for him. People that work in information or cybersecurity are making a very good living, earning >250k/year. He will probably end up playing club tennis somewhere.

While I agree generally with you that some of the student are engaged in some "serious" degree programs, the vast majority of student-athletes do not, and that also goes with non student-athletes. I have an engineering background but I can't write or read well like someone majoring in humanities or social science degree, far from it. Smart people who studied humanities or social science do just as well in math or engineering and they will work in places like FAANG. Those people will be fine. However, the vast majority of both student-athletes and non student-athletes are not capable of doing that. If you have average intelligence and major in STEM, you will have a very good chance of getting a good paying job after college than someone with the same intelligence as you but that person majors humanities or social science. These days with a STEM degree, you can get a 100K/yr at Amazon working on cloud technology (AWS) immediately after graduation. I am not sure average people with degrees in humanities or social science degree make after college but I can't imagine it will be much. I know quite a few people with humanities or social degree with a 70K/year salary 15 years after graduation. You can follow your passion but at the same time, you need to be practical because whether you like it or not, everyone needs money to live, especially when you get married and have children.

Playing tennis in college is a very valuable experience but it also needs to be weighed with everything else. If you can use tennis to advance your "networking" and prepare your career after tennis is over, than go for it. You have to be smart about it and not let tennis use up and spit you out.

My 2c.
 

jcgatennismom

Professional
My son and I visited a few schools this past summer such as University of Virginia (in-state) and Indiana University (OOS). He has 11.5 UTR at the moment, his GPA is just OK but excellent SAT and ACT score, 1580 and 36, respectively..... I IU is OOS school so it will cost much more but it has a very good music program that my son is very interested in....he spends about 99% of his time practicing music and tennis so he has zero interest in doing school work. It is what it is. He always wants to major in music but I've also advised him that he should also minor in information/cybersecurity because that's something he can fall back on in case music does not work out for him... Playing tennis in college is a very valuable experience but it also needs to be weighed with everything else....My 2c.
My 2c to the above: Do you really want to send your son to a university 10-11 hour drive from your home in VA when you already know he will prioritize music and tennis over school? Yes he is very intelligent based on his SAT/ACT scores but he is selective about where he is going to put his effort. Tennis is a big time commitment esp at Power 5 D1 schools-it is way more than 20 hours a week at most d1s-read this document to see what is not included in the 20 countable hours-most players are probably at 32 hours a week: https://www.ncaa.org/sites/default/files/20-Hour-Rule-Document.pdf He might get on the team at Indiana, but he is unlikely to play unless he is mid 12 UTR (could get there by freshman spring), and I doubt he will get much athletic $ as I know UTR 12.5s who got less than 15% offers at Power 5 schools

It almost seems like you have perverse pride in the fact that your son spends so little time on regular schoolwork. I would suggest you tell him to put in the effort this fall semester if he wants you to send him to an out of state school which could cost $35-$50K annually without much athletic $; most public universities give the majority of merit to in state students unless they are National Merit Scholars. Now if your son improves his GPA to match his SAT/ACTs then maybe he will get merit. If he is double majoring in music plus something totally unrelated like cybersecurity, he is probably looking at 5 years of college or 4 1/2 if he goes every summer. My daughter did her double major with an additional minor in 4 years but she had a semester from APs coming in plus she attended 2 summers, and all her major/minors were related with the same Gen Eds. If your son tests well, have him take some CLEP tests for Gen Eds if Indiana accepts. If your son does not spend much time on schoolwork, I doubt he has taken many APs. Maybe challenge him to take 1-2 APs this year.

We should encourage our kids' passions as long as they manage the core stuff like regular school. Your son is fortunate that he is smart enough to coast through HS but he may struggle some in college with 30 hours of tennis, wanting to play music, and still having to write those pesky papers for Gen Ed courses, doing group projects, or coding for his cybersecurity classes. My son wanted to be homeschooled and go play grade 4 and 5 Caribbean jr ITFs like some other kids he knew. We aid no but compromised and let him take two courses online but he had to go to regular school half day. He mainly played USTA tourneys on weekends to limit missed school. All that was contingent on keeping a 3.5. If your son is truly talented in tennis and music, he can cut down the hours on those and still do well-quality over quantity. My son was a 5 star training 3.5 hours a day 3-4 x a week plus tournaments twice a month-dont have to do 20+ hours of training a week if you make the most out of every hour there.
 

atatu

Hall of Fame
My son and I visited a few schools this past summer such as University of Virginia (in-state) and Indiana University (OOS). He has 11.5 UTR at the moment, his GPA is just OK but excellent SAT and ACT score, 1580 and 36, respectively. I think his chance of getting into UVA is slim because that school emphasizes more on the GPA than SAT/ACT. IU is OOS school so it will cost much more but it has a very good music program that my son is very interested in. He has been playing music since he was five years old and he spends about 99% of his time practicing music and tennis so he has zero interest in doing school work. It is what it is. He always wants to major in music but I've also advised him that he should also minor in information/cybersecurity because that's something he can fall back on in case music does not work out for him. People that work in information or cybersecurity are making a very good living, earning >250k/year. He will probably end up playing club tennis somewhere.



My 2c.
Why not go to William and Mary ? Great school and he could probably play there.
 

Rattler

Professional
Lol my daughter was given a tennis scholarship D-1 Junior college and then was was given a scholarship to at Big 10 school, not a tennis powerhouse by any means...but she got a free education and turned that into being a successful business owner.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Well, they will suffer the consequences as well.

I don't criticize college tennis in general, but we should be honest here: At top Division I programs, players feel pressure to choose a major that does not have three-hour lab courses that interfere with the practice schedule. At a Division III program, the pressures are different. Many college tennis players are quite capable of completing a STEM degree but choose to major in anthropology or whatever because they need a major with no labs and just reading and writing assignments that can be done on the road, etc.

When they finish college, they are highly unlikely to become financially successful pro tennis players, and now they don't have the degree they could have had if sports were not in the mix.
That assumes that they were interested in the tough majors in the first place. I know of several D1, D2 and D3 players who were not interested at all - one of them even had a simple criteria for her major after high school: Nothing with math.
 
My son and I visited a few schools this past summer such as University of Virginia (in-state) and Indiana University (OOS). He has 11.5 UTR at the moment, his GPA is just OK but excellent SAT and ACT score, 1580 and 36, respectively. I think his chance of getting into UVA is slim because that school emphasizes more on the GPA than SAT/ACT. IU is OOS school so it will cost much more but it has a very good music program that my son is very interested in. He has been playing music since he was five years old and he spends about 99% of his time practicing music and tennis so he has zero interest in doing school work. It is what it is. He always wants to major in music but I've also advised him that he should also minor in information/cybersecurity because that's something he can fall back on in case music does not work out for him. People that work in information or cybersecurity are making a very good living, earning >250k/year. He will probably end up playing club tennis somewhere.

While I agree generally with you that some of the student are engaged in some "serious" degree programs, the vast majority of student-athletes do not, and that also goes with non student-athletes. I have an engineering background but I can't write or read well like someone majoring in humanities or social science degree, far from it. Smart people who studied humanities or social science do just as well in math or engineering and they will work in places like FAANG. Those people will be fine. However, the vast majority of both student-athletes and non student-athletes are not capable of doing that. If you have average intelligence and major in STEM, you will have a very good chance of getting a good paying job after college than someone with the same intelligence as you but that person majors humanities or social science. These days with a STEM degree, you can get a 100K/yr at Amazon working on cloud technology (AWS) immediately after graduation. I am not sure average people with degrees in humanities or social science degree make after college but I can't imagine it will be much. I know quite a few people with humanities or social degree with a 70K/year salary 15 years after graduation. You can follow your passion but at the same time, you need to be practical because whether you like it or not, everyone needs money to live, especially when you get married and have children.

Playing tennis in college is a very valuable experience but it also needs to be weighed with everything else. If you can use tennis to advance your "networking" and prepare your career after tennis is over, than go for it. You have to be smart about it and not let tennis use up and spit you out.

My 2c.
I don't know about the rest of the post, but I can tell you that Amazon is a lot more selective about who they recruit to work on their cloud technology stack. You are going to need to be in the top 2-3% of STEM graduates if you expect to get hired straight out of school by any of the FAANG's (or Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, etc.). You average STEM grad is going to be starting out making 60K as a junior developer in some small to midsize business IT department.
 

3kids

Rookie
Just because you played tennis @Duke and is now a successful MD/PhD means that everyone playing D1 tennis will be successful like you. Have you looked at Power 5 conferences D1 college websites and see how many players on the roster that majors in Pre-med or STEM, very few if any.

For every successful story like yours, there are thousands and thousands D1 college tennis players that graduated with useless college degrees and ended up being a teaching pro. Now there is nothing wrong with that if that's what they choose to do but I prefer that my kid has an actual job in the corporate world.

Playing college tennis is good but one needs to understand and have realistic expectations and that's the job of parents.
My son and I visited a few schools this past summer such as University of Virginia (in-state) and Indiana University (OOS). He has 11.5 UTR at the moment, his GPA is just OK but excellent SAT and ACT score, 1580 and 36, respectively. I think his chance of getting into UVA is slim because that school emphasizes more on the GPA than SAT/ACT. IU is OOS school so it will cost much more but it has a very good music program that my son is very interested in. He has been playing music since he was five years old and he spends about 99% of his time practicing music and tennis so he has zero interest in doing school work. It is what it is. He always wants to major in music but I've also advised him that he should also minor in information/cybersecurity because that's something he can fall back on in case music does not work out for him. People that work in information or cybersecurity are making a very good living, earning >250k/year. He will probably end up playing club tennis somewhere.

While I agree generally with you that some of the student are engaged in some "serious" degree programs, the vast majority of student-athletes do not, and that also goes with non student-athletes. I have an engineering background but I can't write or read well like someone majoring in humanities or social science degree, far from it. Smart people who studied humanities or social science do just as well in math or engineering and they will work in places like FAANG. Those people will be fine. However, the vast majority of both student-athletes and non student-athletes are not capable of doing that. If you have average intelligence and major in STEM, you will have a very good chance of getting a good paying job after college than someone with the same intelligence as you but that person majors humanities or social science. These days with a STEM degree, you can get a 100K/yr at Amazon working on cloud technology (AWS) immediately after graduation. I am not sure average people with degrees in humanities or social science degree make after college but I can't imagine it will be much. I know quite a few people with humanities or social degree with a 70K/year salary 15 years after graduation. You can follow your passion but at the same time, you need to be practical because whether you like it or not, everyone needs money to live, especially when you get married and have children.

Playing tennis in college is a very valuable experience but it also needs to be weighed with everything else. If you can use tennis to advance your "networking" and prepare your career after tennis is over, than go for it. You have to be smart about it and not let tennis use up and spit you out.

My 2c.
The irony of painting with a wide brush and assigning college tennis players majors as useless and not serious while one's own offspring is a SAT/ACT genius but has zero interest in doing school work? While I have 2 college kids majoring in STEM at the HYPS schools, I would not be as disrespectful to other kids' choices in college and the road that they and their parents took to get them there. Whether they are student athletes or non-athletes, STEM or non-STEM, all these kids are on a path that may or may not pan out in life to varying degrees of "success".

Below is one story of success. I'm sure there are other stories of "success" as I'm sure there are also other stories of "failures" from junior and college tennis.
 

md3113

Rookie
Respectfully, I think this argument is silly. Firstly every school has thousand of athletes, and knows how to handle labs vs practice and competition. It’s obviously much more difficult to balance high level academics with athletics, but most schools serious about academics (which seems to be what we’re talking about here) absolutely encourage it. If not, it’s up to a student and parent to discover that during the recruiting process and decide if the school is a fit for them or not.

Generally professors and academic advisors are aware that they will have athletes as students. In my experience athletes are prohibited from registering for labs/courses during in season competition hours, but given priority to register for them during the off season.

This is a strain on time, but managing your time and a demanding academic/athletic schedule should demonstrate sontthing to employees. You also can’t write off the connections/networking factor of college athletics. I’ve been asked about college tennis on every interview I’ve ever been on.

It’s definitely harder, but works for some and not for others. Just like every other college student, you’ll get out what you put in.
 

Holdfast44ID

Semi-Pro
Well, I wanted to be on the pro tour but blew out my shoulder and wrist. I only had three years of college and became a teaching pro. I learned IT on my own and went on to having a six-figure income as an IT executive. We all have our different paths and I don't see anything wrong with chasing our dreams, at least a little bit.

Sent from my Pixel 3a XL using Tapatalk
 

ChaelAZ

Legend
For your consideration

That article is gone, but there are tons of articles out there on youth sports, costs, the amount of time, etc. It really all boils down to parents in those siutations which are very much the exception and not the nule. Again, if you spent time with juniors at tournaments, academies and campus you would find most the young players enjoying themselves and NOT living in the highest pressure situations, but with an eye on college and more. And even at ITF, pro circuit, and such, many of the players get hosted by families and you get to talk with them about their experiences with it all. It is just that, a bit of grind, but they are happy to be playing and being able to chase their dreams.

Fact is, you can be unhappy grinding away at a crappy job you hate just as easily as grinding away to make something you love possibly work. True for kids too.
 
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Raul_SJ

Legend
Just because you played tennis @Duke and is now a successful MD/PhD means that everyone playing D1 tennis will be successful like you. Have you looked at Power 5 conferences D1 college websites and see how many players on the roster that majors in Pre-med or STEM, very few if any.
Years ago a Junior College player was telling me about his team practice schedule. Think it was something averaging 3 hours a day. Maybe more, I forget.
 
It almost seems like you have perverse pride in the fact that your son spends so little time on regular schoolwork. I would suggest you tell him to put in the effort this fall semester if he wants you to send him to an out of state school which could cost $35-$50K annually without much athletic $; most public universities give the majority of merit to in state students unless they are National Merit Scholars. Now if your son improves his GPA to match his SAT/ACTs then maybe he will get merit. If he is double majoring in music plus something totally unrelated like cybersecurity, he is probably looking at 5 years of college or 4 1/2 if he goes every summer. My daughter did her double major with an additional minor in 4 years but she had a semester from APs coming in plus she attended 2 summers, and all her major/minors were related with the same Gen Eds. If your son tests well, have him take some CLEP tests for Gen Eds if Indiana accepts. If your son does not spend much time on schoolwork, I doubt he has taken many APs. Maybe challenge him to take 1-2 APs this year.
He is taking two AP courses this year, AP calculus BC and AP physics but he is not taking school seriously because he just does not have the time even if he wants to. As parents, my role is there to support my child. Fortunately, he is able to follow his dream because his older brother and I have the financial to support him. If things do not work out, he can always get a high paying job where his brother works or through the connections at the private prep where he is attending now. He does have a valid point that since he will be a music major in college, AP calculus and AP physics is overkill.

I don't know what your son did in high school with his time but here is mine on a regular weekdays and weekends:

Monday-Friday
6:30am: Practice piano for 45 minutes
7:15am eat breakfast and get ready for school
7:45am: head to school
3:15pm: school is dismissed.
3:45pm: arrive home from school and get ready for tennis
4:00pm: Tennis lessons on Tues/Thursday for two hours. Tennis hitting with college players on Mon/Wed/Friday for one hour and physical training for one hour
6:15pm: private tutor reading/writing for an hour
7:15pm: dinner
8:00pm: study time until 10pm.
10:00pm: practice guitar or write music for 45 minutes
10:45pm: bed time

Saturday:
6:30am: breakfast
7:00am: physical training with a physical trainer for 2 1/2 hours
9:30am: break time & snack
10:00am: tennis practice with local college tennis players for 90 minutes
11:30am: break time
12:00pm: lunch
12:30pm: piano lessons for 90 minutes
02:00pm: break time and snack
02:30pm: practice with his own band for 2 hours
04:30pm: break time and snack
05:00pm: study time
06:30pm: dinner
07:00pm: his band performs at private events for money
11:00pm: bed time

Sunday:
08:00am: breakfast
08:30am: light work out
09:00am: swimming for an hour
10:00am: practice tennis for an hour
11:00am: break
11:30am: guitar lessons for an hour
12:30pm: lunch
01:00pm: study time for 5 hours with some guitar/piano playing time in between
06:00pm: go out to dinner with brother and parents
07:30pm: watch TV
09:30pm: bed time
 

andfor

Legend
I think you may be a little overly wound tight about what you want versus what the kids wants. While school is more important than tennis, if you're trying to steer him into a field you want versus what his aptitudes and desires are, someone is going to be disappointed. Probably the kid. My suggestion is help him the best you can as you are with his schooling and tennis. But find out from him and with some help from some career counseling where his career vocational desires are. Then help guide him to where the best school and college tennis fit may be.

I pushed my kid though school. Although he loved tennis, he hated school. Now he plays golf and works in a field for which most colleges do not have that curriculum. The golf is one thing, that's cool. In hindsight we should have put more effort into identifying his vocational preferences. Then we could have better tailored his choice of post secondary education coupled with college tennis.
 

jcgatennismom

Professional
@bobleenov1963 From the posted schedule, it sounds like your son splits his after school time between schoolwork and tennis/music with 3 hours of studying M-F and 2:45 of tennis/music. In your earlier posts, you implied your son spent very little time studying; in reality his time is balanced. Saturday is the only day that is primarily tennis and music which is reasonable. 2 hours a day for tennis training during the week is actually light, but quality can sometimes offset quantity with the right coaches and focus. If I added right he has 9,5 hours of tennis practice a week and 7 hours of conditioning/workouts/cross training. Most players would have more tennis and less conditioning, e.g. 30min-1hr or strength conditioning per 3 hrs of tennis. However, he needs to fit in some time for tournaments. My son probably spent 13 hrs on tennis training/conditioning M-F (much less during HS tennis season) with tournaments twice a month on weekends. On the weekends without tournaments, he caught up or worked ahead on his two online classes as he left school at 1pm each day (and came back at 3;45 for HS tennis matches-most team followed similar schedule). He probably arranged some matchplay and did some conditioning on his own on those off weekends.

In college I think most players practice 3 hours of tennis with an hour of weights/conditioning sometime during the day-either after practice or early in the am. Typical college schedule-classes in am, grab a quick light lunch, then tennis/conditioning. Get dinner then study but also spend evening/weekend time attending other sports (strongly encouraged), attend meetings, do some volunteer work, travel, do laundry, go grocery shopping if you live off campus and dont have meal plan-not much free time during week and limited free time on home weekends-need to use that for projects, bigger papers. Your son might be able to do his music in the fall as players may only play 3-4 fall invites, but in the spring, once the season starts, there are matches every week, with half away. He might only get to do his music on home weekends. In a tight van with players and tennis bags, there probably wont be room for a guitar.

Your son needs to fit in some tourneys along with all the training and practice matchplay to see if he can execute his new skills and develop mental toughness. There are some kids who look great in practice but fall apart in competition.
 

Okes

New User
He is taking two AP courses this year, AP calculus BC and AP physics but he is not taking school seriously because he just does not have the time even if he wants to. As parents, my role is there to support my child. Fortunately, he is able to follow his dream because his older brother and I have the financial to support him. If things do not work out, he can always get a high paying job where his brother works or through the connections at the private prep where he is attending now. He does have a valid point that since he will be a music major in college, AP calculus and AP physics is overkill.

I don't know what your son did in high school with his time but here is mine on a regular weekdays and weekends:

Monday-Friday
6:30am: Practice piano for 45 minutes
7:15am eat breakfast and get ready for school
7:45am: head to school
3:15pm: school is dismissed.
3:45pm: arrive home from school and get ready for tennis
4:00pm: Tennis lessons on Tues/Thursday for two hours. Tennis hitting with college players on Mon/Wed/Friday for one hour and physical training for one hour
6:15pm: private tutor reading/writing for an hour
7:15pm: dinner
8:00pm: study time until 10pm.
10:00pm: practice guitar or write music for 45 minutes
10:45pm: bed time

Saturday:
6:30am: breakfast
7:00am: physical training with a physical trainer for 2 1/2 hours
9:30am: break time & snack
10:00am: tennis practice with local college tennis players for 90 minutes
11:30am: break time
12:00pm: lunch
12:30pm: piano lessons for 90 minutes
02:00pm: break time and snack
02:30pm: practice with his own band for 2 hours
04:30pm: break time and snack
05:00pm: study time
06:30pm: dinner
07:00pm: his band performs at private events for money
11:00pm: bed time

Sunday:
08:00am: breakfast
08:30am: light work out
09:00am: swimming for an hour
10:00am: practice tennis for an hour
11:00am: break
11:30am: guitar lessons for an hour
12:30pm: lunch
01:00pm: study time for 5 hours with some guitar/piano playing time in between
06:00pm: go out to dinner with brother and parents
07:30pm: watch TV
09:30pm: bed time
I feel sorry for your kid. Could you keep up a schedule like that? Relax. Let kids be kids.
 

tennisbuck

Professional
I haven’t read the whole thread but if playing junior or college tennis gives you meaning and purpose for a number of years, it’s not a waste of time. There’s a lot of unhealthier ways to find those things. It must be only in a success driven society that recreation is deemed a “waste of time”.

Now, I guess if you weren’t playing tennis for the right reasons it could be a waste of time looking back, but that’s probably the case for anything
 
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