Choosing a College for a Tennis Player
There are many ways to find a right college for a tennis player. For example, you can work directly with college tennis coaches or cooperate with consultants. Today I had a pleasure of talking to Ross Greenstein, President/CEO of premier consulting company Scholarship for Athletes.
How did you start to work as a college placement consultant? What do you like about that?
When I was a freshman in college, I knew there was a need for this type of service. In fact, I started SFA because I noticed there was a huge problem with college athletes quitting and/or transferring schools. I started with some preliminary research by interviewing many college athletes about their recruiting experience. Through these conversations it became very clear that there was a huge need to guide and educate athletes through the recruiting process. Every college athlete wished they would have had more education during their recruiting process.
Also, I have always been intrigued with coaching. I believe that coaching is a form of education and therefore through my service, I am providing some education about the recruiting process. As I did more research it was evident that their was not a company out there that was using the recruiting process as a tool to educate student athletes about important life skills that are needed during the process.
When should a tennis player begin to look for a college?
High school student athletes should start to make a list of potential colleges, email the coaches a resume, and call the coaches in 10th grade. It is very important that the student/athletes know all the differences between the colleges on their list. Making a list of 10-15 universities is a good starting point.
Tell me, how do you work? If someone wants to talk to you and ask for your help, what should he (she) expect?
If somebody an athlete or parents wants to learn more about the recruiting process and how we might be able to help them they can reach us through email, Facebook, or by directly calling us. Our staff is very experienced and is composed of former college athletes. Parents and athletes should expect honest answers from us about their kids’ opportunities. We are here to help and explain to the families about the recruiting process. After hearing how we view the process and what we do with our clients they can decide if they want to work with us. We will gladly talk to the families about the recruiting process before they sign up with us and give them some tips.
There are a lot of rumors that foreign tennis players often receive full athletic scholarships, yet they hardly speak English on a decent level. Are colleges more likely to accept a great foreign player with low understanding of English than an American who is more academically educated but has worse tennis skills?
This recruiting process is just like a job interview. College coaches receive thousands of resumes from student athletes from all over the world. The college coaches are going to hire who they feel is the best candidate for the job. Often, the international athletes out- interview the American athletes by reaching out to coaches and players with more anticipation and by building better relationships with them.
As far as speaking English is concerned, the international athletes all have to take the SAT and TOEFL. This means that English is set at a certain standard for all students. They also tend to do very well academically once they are at American universities. Being American or international does not benefit the student/athletes, how they interview will be the deciding factor whether they are chosen or not versus another athlete with similar abilities.
Your three advices to tennis parents and tennis players who are in search of athletic scholarship?
If you are looking for an athletic scholarship, the first thing you should do is learn about the recruiting process. A good way to do this is to contact our company directly. Even if you have no intention of hiring us we will be happy to give you a basic education and some free advice.
Step 1: Find out the requirements for each school in order to be eligible. If you are ranked top 10 in the world but are not eligible to play, there is nothing a college coach can do for you. The NCAA Clearinghouse will determine your eligibility.
Step 2: Contact college tennis coaches and college athletes. Start asking them as many questions as possible about the programs they are at and their experiences.
Step 3: Try and play against as many tennis players as possible that are current or former college players. This will help the college tennis coaches learn your level.
Thank you Ross and good luck to you!.