Special from Scholarship For Athletes
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Ross Greenstein of Scholarship for Athletes talks to Vicky Maes, the University of Arizona Women's Tennis Coach. Maes emphasizes the need for recruits to build a relationship with college coaches early in the recruiting process.
Questions and Answers
Scholarship For Athletes (SFA): What advice do you have for the parents of high school student athletes about the recruiting process?
Vicki Maes, Head Coach at Arizona
courtesy, Arizona Athletics
Vicky Maes (VM): Since parents know their kids best, know what kind of an environment is good for their daughter, I certainly encourage them to be involved. At the same time, I don't want the parents to initiate every contact or every question.
I am interested in the student first and foremost, in how they handle themselves throughout the recruiting process. I want to hear from them. I want to hear their questions and concerns. I want to see what kind of individual they are.
Parents certainly need to express themselves too, but mostly I am looking at the student-athlete and how they would fit into my program.
SFA: Assuming that they have the academics and tennis level to attend your school, when should junior players begin to contact you or send you their resume?
VM: Sooner rather than later. Even though we may not be able to have contact until the senior year, it's important for me to know a player is interested. It gives me an opportunity to watch them, evaluate their potential, and see them grow over time. The more I see someone, the more I'm able to make an informed decision.
SFA: How important is it for potential recruits to build strong relationships with you and the players on your team?
VM: It is of utmost importance to me. Being on a college team is a responsibility that goes beyond just tennis. You join a family. And family members look out for each other.
When I talk to potential student-athletes, I'm extremely interested in finding out their goals in life as much as their goals in tennis. I feel that if they get the big picture - meaning if they understand what college athletics can do for them on a larger scale - then they are also going to be able to take care of business on the court.
SFA: What kind of questions should every high school student athlete ask their potential college coaches?
VM: Since the relationship with your coach is probably going to be one of the most influential relationships you'll have in college, you need to know about coaching style, personality, and training regimen. You need to be able to click with your coach(es). This relationship will only work if there is trust and respect in it. Otherwise, even if everything else is great about the school, you could still have a miserable experience.