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

I have a friend who I grew up competing against in junior tennis. After college, he developed a theory based on his observations that competing in junior tennis leads to greater probability of success outside of tennis later in life. I believe he even published a paper in support of this thesis while he was in grad school.
 

jcgatennismom

Professional
Average 1280 on the SAT? In areas like the DMV triangle (DC, Maryland, Virginia), a 1280 SAT is a laughing stock around here. Just about everyone that my son hangs out with scores at least 1550 on the SAT and 35 on the ACT. People here have so much resources to send their kids to SAT/ACT preps. No wonder why they score so high on the exam. It is is like a nuclear arm race in this area.

The SAT/ACT is the perfect achievement gap between the "have" and "have not".
I was not talking about the average SAT of a US tennis player. I was talking about the average SAT of an entire university which includes football and basketball athletes, 1st generation students, etc. The top D2 tennis team Columbus State has an average SAT of 981 so 1280 is a high average for a D2 university. I mentioned the fact b/c some people may assume that all D2/NAIA have lower academics than D1 or D3. The academically selective D1 and D3 have the highest SAT scores, but probably 1% or less of college students are attending those. The average SAT score of an international player can easily be lower than 1000 or very high depending on how many years the student has been fluent in English; most of the Europeans have similar SAT scores to US players. However, we knew a South American player who played D1 who had to take the SAT several times to break 800. Remember your son goes to a private school in the DC area where many kids have two parents with graduate degrees.

@andfor and I want many US as well as international players to have successful and fun college careers beyond those who qualify at living at the top 1-5% level. Many international players have a max budget of $10K-some have basically no budget. Not every US tennis player has even a 1300+ SAT. There is a wide range of average SATs even among the Forbes schools. My son had a SAT score 200 points below the average of a couple top 100-150 Forbes schools that recruited him, but he decided on another Forbes ranked school where his SAT was high enough to earn merit aid as well as athletic. You are missing the whole message with your DC elite pride. There are enough colleges for juniors who really want to play college tennis at the right academic and tennis fit if they dont put blinders on and think only certain Power 5 schools or academic powerhouses are for them. They may not earn athletic aid, but if they have passion for the sport and a good work ethic, they can probably find a D3/NAIA/D2 or even JUCO to give them a chance. JUCO is a good choice-mainly for internationals-who dont have the SAT or TOEFl scores needed. After 2 years and much better English fluency, they may transfer into D1 and make a splash. The winner of the Ohio Valley ITA Regional was a JUCO transfer (#2 JUCO player) to Louisville with a UTR 12.38 which is sure to go up after he won 6 straight matches. Louisville will still have a very hard time in ACC but at least the team has one newcomer who can play.
 
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andfor

Legend
Average 1280 on the SAT? In areas like the DMV triangle (DC, Maryland, Virginia), a 1280 SAT is a laughing stock around here. Just about everyone that my son hangs out with scores at least 1550 on the SAT and 35 on the ACT. People here have so much resources to send their kids to SAT/ACT preps. No wonder why they score so high on the exam. It is is like a nuclear arm race in this area.

The SAT/ACT is the perfect achievement gap between the "have" and "have not".
That's not the point. Arrogant comment alert. Good to know your sons student friends are so smart (elite) in the DMV.
 
The average SAT score of an international player can easily be lower than 1000 or very high depending on how many years the student has been fluent in English; most of the Europeans have similar SAT scores to US players. However, we knew a South American player who played D1 who had to take the SAT several times to break 800. Remember your son goes to a private school in the DC area where many kids have two parents with graduate degrees.
It depends on what you define as "fluent" in English. I know several Korean HS students who have trouble communicate verbally and yet they scored > 1570 on the SAT, and I can assure you that no cheating. My son attended SAT prep with them.

That's not the point. Arrogant comment alert. Good to know your sons student friends are so smart (elite) in the DMV.
You're missing the point. Show me a student with high SAT and I'll show you hundred of Asians with > 1550 SAT scores. Asians with high SAT scores are very common in the DMV. Do you know why Asians have high SAT scores? It's because almost all of them take SAT prep with highly qualified SAT tutors, and it is not cheap. If you throw that much resources into an average kid, he/she will do well on the SAT/ACT.

It is not an arrogance statement. It is simply the reality.
 

onehandbh

Legend
Just about everyone that my son hangs out with scores at least 1550 on the SAT and 35 on the ACT. People here have so much resources to send their kids to SAT/ACT preps. No wonder why they score so high on the exam. It is is like a nuclear arm race in this area.
That's nothing.

Lori Loughlin's daughter got a 1601 on the SAT and 37 on the ACT.
Plus she got a full ride scholarship offer to play Offensive Guard for Standford University's football team.
 

andfor

Legend
It depends on what you define as "fluent" in English. I know several Korean HS students who have trouble communicate verbally and yet they scored > 1570 on the SAT, and I can assure you that no cheating. My son attended SAT prep with them.



You're missing the point. Show me a student with high SAT and I'll show you hundred of Asians with > 1550 SAT scores. Asians with high SAT scores are very common in the DMV. Do you know why Asians have high SAT scores? It's because almost all of them take SAT prep with highly qualified SAT tutors, and it is not cheap. If you throw that much resources into an average kid, he/she will do well on the SAT/ACT.

It is not an arrogance statement. It is simply the reality.
Your response had nothing to do with the topic you were responding on. I can not assist you with your lack of self-awareness.
 
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BusyMom

New User
@jcgatennismom makes excellent points about finding the right academic and tennis fit. I would like to address D3 and merit scholarships. As my daughter went through the recruiting process, we discovered that it is very hard to combine merit money and tennis at a college in the top 20 tennis rankings. Only about 25% offer any merit money. That’s based on today’s d3 rankings. Many of those that do offer merit tie it into a scholar weekend held in the spring of senior year. You only find out if you ‘won’ after that weekend. That is very incompatible with coaches wanting commitments in the fall of senior year or sooner. I believe the merit game is easier at d1 and d2. Something to consider if you are trying for merit money.
 

jcgatennismom

Professional
@jcgatennismom makes excellent points about finding the right academic and tennis fit. I would like to address D3 and merit scholarships. As my daughter went through the recruiting process, we discovered that it is very hard to combine merit money and tennis at a college in the top 20 tennis rankings. Only about 25% offer any merit money. That’s based on today’s d3 rankings. Many of those that do offer merit tie it into a scholar weekend held in the spring of senior year. You only find out if you ‘won’ after that weekend. That is very incompatible with coaches wanting commitments in the fall of senior year or sooner. I believe the merit game is easier at d1 and d2. Something to consider if you are trying for merit money.
Dont the D3 colleges in the NESCAC and UAA-2 of the top tennis and academic conferences in D3- have very generous student need-based aid that offsets the need for merit aid? Most of those schools have a total annual cost of $65-$75K. I saw one spreadsheet that said for students in the $75K-$110K income level the net price was $15K-$30K for most of them, and even for students in the $110K+ brackets, many of the colleges had a net price of about $40K which is still a significant discount. The net price would reflect both need-based and merit aid. Dont those universities along with the Ivys have some of the largest endowments per student? A lot of out-of-state Power public universities with lesser academics may cost $45K+ with out of state tuition, and most US players who are not blue chips get 20% or less athletic scholarships. Makes a lot of sense for a smart 4 or 5 star to pay $30K for a $70K top notch education at a D3 where they can choose any major and still play. Players can still try for the Ivys but 2 of the top 6 in the Ivy's now are usually internationals, and a lot of coaches expect UTRs of 13s along with the strong academics.
 

BusyMom

New User
@jcgatennismom. Yes, they do have large endowments and generous aid. It is worth running the net price calculator to see if you qualify. This is especially true if you live in a lower cost of living area.

I was just pointing out that Nescac doesn’t have merit scholarships and that the method used for merit at Emory and Wash U of the UAA involves competitions. The coach can’t tell you what your merit package will be in the fall when they ask for your commitment. It was something I didn’t realize until late in the game and it caught me totally off-guard. It wasn’t until about the 3rd coach said you must do ED to be offered a spot on the team that I ‘got it’ and realized there would be no merit at those colleges. I later learned that those competitions put a high value on ‘leadership’ and captain of the tennis team doesn’t count. It’s hard to have stellar ECs if you have spent the time to get a 4 star rating and maintained a very high gpa. At that point, you are lucky if there is time to sleep!

Note, there are d3s that are more transparent about merit and who can offer a package earlier, they just tend to be lower in the ITA rankings.
 

jcgatennismom

Professional
@BusyMom Great info. We never looked into D3 for our son as his goal was just to do the least amount of work to get a 90 in a college prep class in HS (only took one AP)-luckily in college he takes his classes more seriously and is able to balance D1 tennis academics. Lots of lurkers on this forum, so your info should be helpful to parents and recruits. A lot of players in our area choose D3. I suggested D3 to a couple seniors who play on my son's former HS team, but they will probably just play club at one of the better in-state public universities. In state club is still considerably cheaper than D3 for most families in our area but high level D3 is worth the cost for those willing to pay and who have the academic smarts and tennis skills to get in and succeed. Is your daughter a freshman in D3 now? Hope she has a great spring playing!
 

MathGeek

Hall of Fame
I'd say there are lots of factors in play. We didn't think junior tennis was a waste of time and money on our son. But we also limited spending to a couple grand each year and realized his odds at a college tennis scholarship were much lower than his odds at an academic scholarship to college. He's now attending a top state school on a full tuition scholarship, because our greater focus in high school was on academics.

We spent a lot of time attending tennis events in the greater Atlanta area during his high school years. Lots of parents and tennis players fantasized about tennis scholarships. But with equal time, effort, and money, I think the academic scholarships are easier for most of those students to get. GA has a Hope/Zell Miller academic scholarship program that pays for many more scholarships than tennis ever will. If your're not a top 20 B16 in GA, you're probably better off to switch your focus to academics.

Our son still plays tennis in college, though recreationally rather than for his collegiate team. He's simply not that good. He approached the top 100 in B18s in the state, and his UTR is 6. Could he possibly have been a UTR 7 had he doubled his practice time in his high school years and had we spend twice the amount on coaching? Sure. Buthe still would not have been a strong tennis scholarship candidate at any school he really wanted to attend.

I went fishing with a guy this week whose daughter started at a D3 school on a tennis scholarship. It didn't end well, so she returned to GA and attended a school she liked a lot better on the Hope/Zell Miller academic scholarship.
 

jcgatennismom

Professional
@MathGeek I think most of the GA D1 college coaches are counting on the in-state tennis players to get Hope. Dont talk about top 20-even if you are top 5 in GA but not a blue chip, you are probably only getting 20% or less athletic. Know a guy with sr yr 12+ UTR, top 5 in GA playing MM D1 who got little or no athletic $ freshman year-think he signed a NLI so maybe he got books-did hear he got some following year. You and your son were smart to put academics first-moving from UTR 6 to 7 would have done nothing-even at the lowest public GA D2 school, you have to be about a UTR 10 to crack the lineup. However, attending school with in-state tuition and Hope, is relatively cheap (tho R & B is high a lot of places) so many guys are happy just to take books $ and be on the roster. The tennis guys may not have the academics for Zell, but 90% paid Hope tuition for 3.0 with a few rigorous courses is an easy target to hit. It's much easier to get Hope than to get in the top 2 schools in GA anyway... Tennis helps kids get in those schools even if they only get book $ from athletics. The GT team is almost all biz majors... I think 2016 was the last time a player on the men's team graduated with an engineering degree. I assume your son could choose any major.
 
@jcgatennismom.

Note, there are d3s that are more transparent about merit and who can offer a package earlier, they just tend to be lower in the ITA rankings.
My family's experience with D3 recruiting mirrored that of @BusyMom. My daughter received a likely letter from a non-NESCAC D3 school in the summer before the start of her senior year that also listed the minimum merit award she would be offered. However, the merit award was based on test scores/GPA and not tennis since D3 schools can't give athletic scholarships.
 

MathGeek

Hall of Fame
If a true full scholarship is what one is after (room and board and books) from tennis, one may give attention to the service academies. If tennis gets you in, they are places for a great education and a free ride. Due to the service committments, competition is a little lower also for D1 schools. Perusing the USAFA rosters, I see several engineering majors also. They also will let you take time off of tennis to focus on academics. Once you're in, you're in and you can walk away from the sport that got you admitted to succeed in higher duties. (Full disclosure, I taught for several years at USAFA, and my wife taught at West Point.)
 

Bukowski

Professional
Well NCAA sports are a giant profiting mode for schools, its not for the benefit of athletic participants, so obviously. Learned the hard way.
 
If a true full scholarship is what one is after (room and board and books) from tennis, one may give attention to the service academies. If tennis gets you in, they are places for a great education and a free ride. Due to the service commitments, competition is a little lower also for D1 schools. Perusing the USAFA rosters, I see several engineering majors also. They also will let you take time off of tennis to focus on academics. Once you're in, you're in and you can walk away from the sport that got you admitted to succeed in higher duties. (Full disclosure, I taught for several years at USAFA, and my wife taught at West Point.)
I live about 1 1/2 hours drive from the Naval Academy and I would be thrilled if my kids get accepted into the Naval Academy but very unlikely. Upon graduation from the Naval Academy, you become an officer and probably will get top secret security clearance. With engineering background and top security clearance, there will be many very high paying jobs waiting for you after you complete your five years of service. There will be plenty of very high paying government contracting jobs you can choose from. You can work at lot of places like the NSA or DISA in Fort Meade Maryland.

One thing to keep in mind that the Naval Academy is not for everyone. It requires a special person to make it. One of my nephews attended USAFA a few years ago and he left the USAFA after his sophomore years and not having owe Uncle Sam anything. He is now attending UVA. At the USAFA, you are allowed to leave after two years without penalties. Not sure about other academies.
 

jcgatennismom

Professional
If a true full scholarship is what one is after (room and board and books) from tennis, one may give attention to the service academies. If tennis gets you in, they are places for a great education and a free ride. Due to the service committments, competition is a little lower also for D1 schools. Perusing the USAFA rosters, I see several engineering majors also. They also will let you take time off of tennis to focus on academics. Once you're in, you're in and you can walk away from the sport that got you admitted to succeed in higher duties. (Full disclosure, I taught for several years at USAFA, and my wife taught at West Point.)
Military academies are a great option. Most class years 2 tennis players from the Atlanta area join one of the men's teams. Local female also plays for one of the women's teams. However, some of the players dropped off the team but stayed at the academy after 1-2 years.
 

2ndServe

Hall of Fame
I have a friend who I grew up competing against in junior tennis. After college, he developed a theory based on his observations that competing in junior tennis leads to greater probability of success outside of tennis later in life. I believe he even published a paper in support of this thesis while he was in grad school.
The resources and means available to the average competitive junior is far far greater than the avg population. You could write that avg competitive junior golfer has a higher success rate later in life but that's mostly because his family paid for all his head starts in life.
 
The resources and means available to the average competitive junior is far far greater than the avg population. You could write that avg competitive junior golfer has a higher success rate later in life but that's mostly because his family paid for all his head starts in life.
Of course such a thesis must be defended by controlling for economic background.
 

andfor

Legend
Military academies are a great option. Most class years 2 tennis players from the Atlanta area join one of the men's teams. Local female also plays for one of the women's teams. However, some of the players dropped off the team but stayed at the academy after 1-2 years.
Good call on full scholarships and the military academies. Often overlooked in that category is the US Coast Guard Academy. Unless they've changed their admission requirements, unlike the other academies a congressional appointment is not required, entry is based on merit. They are DIII, still a U.S. academy nonetheless.
 
Good call on full scholarships and the military academies. Often overlooked in that category is the US Coast Guard Academy. Unless they've changed their admission requirements, unlike the other academies a congressional appointment is not required, entry is based on merit. They are DIII, still a U.S. academy nonetheless.
Great option since its only for Americans.
 

jmnk

Hall of Fame
[...]

I went fishing with a guy this week whose daughter started at a D3 school on a tennis scholarship. It didn't end well, so she returned to GA and attended a school she liked a lot better on the Hope/Zell Miller academic scholarship.
how is that possible given the fact that D3 school do not offer athletic scholarships......?
 
This article explains how D3 coaches can arrange scholarships for recruits without violating the "athletic scholarship rule."

I really like this quote in the article: "Merit-based scholarships, for example, are awarded to student-athletes for their excellence in academics or leadership."

This is how they game the system.
 

jmnk

Hall of Fame
This article explains how D3 coaches can arrange scholarships for recruits without violating the "athletic scholarship rule."

I'm not sure what you are implying here. There's no athletic scholarships in DIII schools. Do schools, whether DI or DIII or any other find ways to financially help a student they really want - sure. So what. Scholarships for excellence in leadership are awarded everywhere, not just in DIII schools. However there are certain implications and/or restrictions tied to something that is formally awarded as athletic scholarship, and it is simply wrong to say or imply that " daughter started at a D3 school on a tennis scholarship " - because it is impossible to do so.
 

MathGeek

Hall of Fame
I'm not sure what you are implying here. There's no athletic scholarships in DIII schools. Do schools, whether DI or DIII or any other find ways to financially help a student they really want - sure. So what. Scholarships for excellence in leadership are awarded everywhere, not just in DIII schools. However there are certain implications and/or restrictions tied to something that is formally awarded as athletic scholarship, and it is simply wrong to say or imply that " daughter started at a D3 school on a tennis scholarship " - because it is impossible to do so.
I just related what the father related to me. If the tennis coach helped the daughter attend on a scholarship for academics or leadership, I can't say that the father lied to me by failing to note the distinction between a true athletic scholarship and the tennis coach arranging a different kind of scholarship. It was a casual conversation while fishing. I explained how it can happen in answer to a direct question. I am not implying that DIII schools offer true athletic scholarships, only that some of them work around this by using other kinds of scholarships to recruit athletes. The service academies do the same thing. No one attends a service academy on a true athletic scholarship, but there are lots of athletes who would not have been recruited or admitted or given a scholarship if not for their athletic abilities.

Just because a school does not offer true athletic scholarships does not mean that one's athletic prowess cannot get one a free ride to that school.
 
I just related what the father related to me. If the tennis coach helped the daughter attend on a scholarship for academics or leadership, I can't say that the father lied to me by failing to note the distinction between a true athletic scholarship and the tennis coach arranging a different kind of scholarship. It was a casual conversation while fishing. I explained how it can happen in answer to a direct question. I am not implying that DIII schools offer true athletic scholarships, only that some of them work around this by using other kinds of scholarships to recruit athletes. The service academies do the same thing. No one attends a service academy on a true athletic scholarship, but there are lots of athletes who would not have been recruited or admitted or given a scholarship if not for their athletic abilities.

Just because a school does not offer true athletic scholarships does not mean that one's athletic prowess cannot get one a free ride to that school.
At the end of the day, it is just "semantic". As long as you don't have to pay anything out of your own pocket, it really doesn't matter how the school defines it whether it is athletic or academic.
 

BusyMom

New User
A D3 coach can NOT help you get merit or financial aid. Every D3 coach my daughter spoke to always said, "speak to financial aid" when my daughter said the word "scholarship". Clearly this had been drilled into them. The coach has NO influence over these scholarship awards. One coach even told her being an athlete would hurt her merit aid chances because admissions didn't understand the junior time commitment of tennis. So not only does athletic prowess not get you a free ride at a D3 college, but it can hurt your chances. If a tennis player gets an academic scholarship, it is for their academic achievements and sometimes their non-athletic extra curricular achievements. But definitely not for athletics. Also, if you need the coaches help to get admitted, you are definitely NOT getting merit aid. On the other hand, D1 coaches can help you get merit aid and several of those coaches were happy to discuss that with my daughter.

Are there some unscrupulous coaches and colleges breaking this rule? Probably.
 
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