SFA Interviews Illinois St. Coach Cris James
Special from Scholarship For Athletes
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Illinois State University men's tennis coach Cris James talks recruitment with Scholarship for Athletes. He explains his recruiting philosophy and advises incoming freshmen on the best ways to approach this process.
Questions and Answers
Scholarship for Athletes (SFA): At SFA, we try to explain to our clients that the recruiting process is like being on three year job interview; is that how you view the recruiting process?
Cris James (CJ): Illinois St.
Head Coach Cris James
courtesy, Illinois St. Athletics
Certainly the recruiting process is at least somewhat like a job interview. The prospects should certainly be aware of the way they present themselves, the things on their Facebook, and the things that others say about them. These are important impressions that a coach gets.
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?
CJ: In the sport of tennis for the moment, the beginning of their Junior year should be plenty of time to start the recruiting process. For some of the very top prospects the process may start just a little earlier but that is a small group of prospects typically.
SFA: How important is it for potential recruits to build strong relationships with you and the players on your team?
CJ: Certainly it helps to develop relationships, particularly with the coach. The coach will ultimately make the call on scholarship offers and so the more comfortable he feels with the prospect the better. As a coach we are always slightly apprehensive about adding an unknown quantity that might upset the team chemistry.