Special from Scholarship For Athletes
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Rice Women's Tennis Coach, Elizabeth Schmidt, sits down with Ross Greenstein of Scholarship for Athletes. Schmidt talks about what to expect from the challenging transition that freshmen must make from the high school to college level.
Questions and Answers
Scholarship For Athletes (SFA): What advice do you have for the parents of high school student athletes about the recruiting process?
Elizabeth Schmidt, Head Coach at Rice
courtesy, Rice Athletics
Elizabeth Schmidt (ES): Be supportive, and provide them with guidance and insight - but also allow your children to make their own decisions. They will be the ones who are attending school and playing for their team for the next four years, so it is important for your children to personally get to know the schools, coaches, and team members.
SFA: How important is it for potential recruits to build strong relationships with you and the players on your team?
ES: It is very important for potential recruits to build strong relationships - both with coaches and with team members. Recruits should look to see if a coach's and team's values are in line with their own values. By building a strong relationship with the coach, potential recruits can hopefully learn if a coach is going to have the ability to help them develop into the tennis player, student, and person that they want to become.
It is important to get to know the players on the team because they are going to be the people you spend the most amount of time with during your college experience. When visiting a school, I would advise a recruit to really watch how the players on the team interact with each other - as well as how the players interact with the coaches.
Ask a lot of questions, and really get to know the staff and players.
SFA: What attributes do you look for in a recruit and why?
ES: There is a lot more that goes into building a team than just Xs and Os and tennis ability. Team chemistry, culture, and values are integral to the success of a team.
As a coach, I look for team players that are athletic and are passionate about the game of tennis. Recruits that are hard-working, respectful, competitive, and passionate in junior tennis are most likely going to be the same in college. Furthermore, we are looking for players that will be just as driven in the classroom as they are on the court.
We are looking for student-athletes that always want to get the best out of themselves every day, no matter what they are doing.