Special from Scholarship For Athletes
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Last season, Todd Petty led the Texas Tech women's tennis team to it's second-highest win total in program history. The Lady Raiders' 18-8 record and No. 48 final ranking were good enough to earn Coach of the Year honors for Petty in the Big 12.
Petty sits down with Ross Greenstein of Scholarship for Athletes to talk college tennis - coaching and recruiting.
Questions and Answers Scholarship For Athletes (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?
Todd Petty (TP): This is definitely a good description of the recruiting process. You want to make sure you feel out the right fit for you and the school. The earlier you do this, the better. That way, you will have the time to research college tennis programs, take visits, and form relationships with coaches from a number of different universities.
SFA: What advice do you have for the parents of high school student athletes about the recruiting process?
TP: The most important thing is to relax and enjoy it. It can be a very stressful and time consuming process. But this is what the athletes have worked so hard for all of their life. It is flattering for a kid to be pursued by top universities from across the nation. Also, be patient, this process takes time.
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?
TP: Immediately! The sooner you can start building that player-coach relationship, the smoother the transition period will be. Additionally, if a coach gets to know you early on, they will likely favor you later on in the recruiting period when they are deciding on which kids to offer scholarships to.
SFA: How important is it for potential recruits to build strong relationships with you and the players on your team?
TP: To me, that is the absolute number one priority. It's so much more than just having a great tennis team. It's also about building great friendships and working towards achieving a goal as a group. Great team chemistry can propel this, and team chemistry is elevated when the kids on the team have deep bonds with each other.