Ask the Experts
Real World: Talking with Head Frog David Borelli
by Annette Broersma
, 22 June 2011
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Dave Borelli's most recent stint as Head Coach of Women's Tennis at Texas Christian University began in 2010. He had previously coached the Horned Frog women from 2002-06 prior to a four-year stint with the TCU men's team from 2006-09. Borelli also coached the USC women for 14 seasons, where his teams earned seven national titles, three runner-up finishes and 10 conference championships. Accomplishments in the world of women's tennis earned Borelli a spot in the Intercollegiate Women's Tennis Hall of Fame.
Borelli is the subject of our latest installment of The Real World of College Recruiting with recruiting expert Annette Broersma, where Borelli talks about his coaching experiences and philosophies. These real stories are intended to help potential recruits better understand the road ahead.
Annette Broersma (AB): What is the best way for a recruit to approach you?
Dave Borelli (DB): It's simple, really - sending an email or a making a phone call is always the best start. Obviously, most of the scenarios where you'd see a recruit in person are at tournaments. There are specific NCAA restrictions limiting contact during the tournament so conversations cannot take place during the event.
AB: What measuring sticks carry the most weight with you?
DB: My measuring stick is when I ask myself: Does this recruit value the importance of being good at something just for the sake of being good at anything he or she attempts? It's all about being the best student, best teammate, best tennis player that a person can be. A recruit who understands this will be a success in life, be it a pro tennis player, lawyer, husband, wife, father, mother... a young person who understands this is always your best recruit.
AB: What other things do you think are important traits for recruits?
DB: I try to determine if this young person can handle the ups and downs of her collegiate career and anything else in her life.
People are always easy to deal with when things go well. But what happens when a person faces a poor period in their time at school - like stress with classes or a tennis slump? I want to know that this recruit is someone who will handle challenges in a positive way. Will he or she be willing to listen to me, accept help, and work together with others to overcome difficult times? We don't want people pointing fingers or blaming others for their problems.
I don't want victims on my team. I want young people who can get up after getting knocked down - over and over. I want kids who think about their teammates and want to add positive things to the team. A college team is a family, and taking all the steps to provide a positive environment for this family is a key to a program's success.
When I recruit, I first spend a lot of time getting to really know a player - and then the potential tennis ability of the recruit comes into play.