Special from Scholarship For Athletes
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Ross Greenstein of Scholarship For Athletes chats with Tyler Thomson, head coach of women's tennis at Minnesota. Thomson comments on all aspects of the recruiting process - and he gives advice to players on how to approach college tennis.
Questions and Answers
Scholarship For Athletes (SFA): At SFA, we try to explain to our clients that the recruiting process is like being on a three year job interview; is that how you view the recruiting process?
Minnesota Head Coach Tyler Thomson
courtesy, Minnesota athletics
Tyler Thomson (TT): That's one way of looking at it. I also see the recruiting process as a fact-finding mission. There are a lot of schools that will appear, on the surface, to be equally great places for you. But comparing colleges is not like comparing apples - there are huge differences in the details.
I'm always most impressed by the recruits who ask some really probing questions and want to gather a variety of opinions about our program - not just from the coaches but from former and current players, past recruits, etc.
SFA: What advice do you have for the parents of high school student athletes about the recruiting process?
TT: First and foremost, be involved in the process but try to do it from the "back seat." It can be very hard to "let go" and trust your child to make good decisions by themselves, but they will have to do this in college, and responsibility requires freedom. When parents are in the driver's seat throughout the recruiting process, it raises many questions about the prospects' true motivation, ability to communicate, and overall confidence.
SFA: What information should an athlete know prior to making their initial school list?
TT: How does my athletic level compare to the level of the current team members? Do I prefer to be in a smaller or larger sized environment? Are the facilities within walking distance from dorms/classes? Can I find the major I am looking for? How involved is the coach, and do the players get along well with him/her? These are just a few.