What happens if you’ve gone all through high school, but have not heard anything from college coaches or recruiters? Just because you are getting form mailers and letters of interest does not mean that coaches are ready for you to be offered a tennis scholarship, nor does it mean they are actively recruiting you.
All it means is that schools need to get their name out to players in some way. Don’t rely on this type of correspondence to get you an athletic scholarship.
Coaches need to know who you are. Send them an email–include your grades, stats, video clips, tournament experience, rankings (USTA, ITF or other national ranking) and your current coaches and trainer’s contact information.
Even if you don’t have the best tournament scores and standings don’t be ashamed, be truthful. Tennis coaches want to know the type of player you are. Tell them about your current game style; what your strong shots are and what you’re currently working on to improve your game. Let them know about your long term playing goals and how you plan to develop as a player.
What College Coaches are Looking For
Coaches are looking for players as a whole rather than recruiting from only rankings and tournament play. If college coaches only gave tennis scholarships to the top 20 ranked players, there would not be enough tennis athletes to fill all collegiate teams. Coaches are in search of athletes who are coachable and willing to work hard at improving their game. Of course all coaches want to win, but they need to recruit solid tennis players in order to win.
Take the Initiative
As a player you need to take initiative and reach out to college tennis coaches as early as your sophomore year. Don’t bombard coaches by contacting them every time you do well; rather work up to increasing the correspondence as your skills progress and as you get more confident in your tennis recruiting. This way, by the time you are a junior and awaiting your senior season you can begin to inquire about official visits and possible college opportunities.
Show a Genuine Interest in the Program
Research all the programs that you’re interested in; coaches like to see that you are genuinely interested in their program and not just wasting their time by sending out mass emails to all NCAA tennis teams.
Coaches are extremely busy and want to keep in contact with interested players. Don’t waste their time if you are not interested in their university. Keep in mind that college coaches are connected and if one coach finds out that you’re not worth the effort, word will spread and you will not get responses from any coaches.
Make Every College Visit Count
Get familiar with many college tennis teams. Take unofficial visits to view the campus. If you attend a tournament or a college tennis camp at a college or university, take time to check things out and get a feel for the surrounding areas, the training facility and, most importantly, the tennis coach. Could you see yourself attending the school? Is it what you think of when you think of your college experience?