Special from Scholarship For Athletes
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Claire Pollard, the Northwestern Women's Tennis Coach, sits down with the SFA team. She emphasizes her philosophy of looking for players who show a high level of commitment and a desire to constantly work to improve their games.
Questions and Answers
Scholarship For Athletes (SFA): What advice do you have for high school athletes that strive to play college sports?
Claire Pollard, Head Coach at Northwestern
courtesy, Northwestern Athletics
Claire Pollard (CP): High school athletes should be prepared for a significant jump in intensity and overall commitment to not only tennis, but to academics as well. Time management takes on a greater importance. They need to be prepared for the recruiting process, which can be difficult without proper guidance.
It is important for athletes to enjoy their time in college, and should understand that college will present them with four of the greatest years of their lives.
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?
CP: I view it as an opportunity for them to reveal their character and dedication to tennis.
From my perspective, it is a time for us to show off all the great things Northwestern has to offer and an opportunity to get to know a young lady and her family. Every recruiting experience is different and we see a lot of different personalities; our job is to make our recruits feel comfortable on their visits, but also to challenge them to show that they belong in our program.
SFA: How important is it for potential recruits to build strong relationships with you and the players on your team?
CP: It is essential. College athletics obviously demand a huge investment in time and effort, so players will be around the same faces for the majority of their college careers; you are going to spend a lot of time with your coach and teammates, so it is imperative you have a feel for what they are all about.