Special from Scholarship For Athletes
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Simone Jardim, the coach of the Michigan State women's tennis team, sits down with the Scholarship for Athletes team in this exclusive interview. She continually notes that passion and ambition to improve are the top things she looks for in recruits.
Questions and Answers Scholarship For Athletes (SFA): What advice do you have for high school athletes that strive to play college sports?
Simone Jardim (SJ): I would suggest that they play tournaments at least once a month not only for the results, but also to make sure they are match ready. It is important to challenge yourself and face the best competition possible. Also, I advise kids to focus on their studies and figure out how to juggle academics and their sports simultaneously.
SFA: What information should an athlete know prior to making their initial school list?
SJ: Here is a list of what I deem the most important things to consider:
- What kind of school they want to attend, large or small?
- What kind of city, large or small?
- Do they have the major I'm interested in studying?
- Do I like the team?
- Do I like the coaches?
- What kind of weather?
Set a list of what are the most important things, the ones you can't live without and then the ones you can. Once you start making your visits, you can check what each school has to offer and the one that fits you best overall should be your number one option.
SFA: What kind of questions should every high school student athlete ask their potential college coaches?
SJ: Student-athletes should ask prospective coaches what their coaching philosophy is, their developmental plans, and how grueling their training schedule is. In addition, they ought to find out a little bit about their personality to see if it is compatible with their own.
SFA: What is your recruiting philosophy?
SJ: I'm not pushy, and I don't exert too much pressure on my players. I want players who, deep down, want to become a Spartan. If I think they have the necessary work ethic, potential and character, I let them know right away that I'm highly interested.