News & Features
Thomson on Scholarship Questions
by Paul Thomson, 10 September 2013
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As a college tennis coach, I spend a large amount of my time recruiting. I have the fortune of being able to travel all of the country - and sometimes even different parts of the world. Everywhere I go, I get to see new places and meet new people. Many of the people I meet are academy pros or other college coaches. The wealth of information I am able to pick up is immense. I have discussions about scheduling tactics, player development, how to stretch a budget, and recruiting methods and practices. These conversations go a long way in the success of being a head coach.
Coach Paul Thomson addresses frequent recruiting questions
The other group of people I get to meet are the players - and families of players - who I am recruiting or who want to be recruited. Without fail and like clock-work, players and their parents ask me the same questions over and over. Families are always interested in the ins and outs of what they can expect - not just during the recruiting process but also what is expected of players and what happens from year to year once a player is in a particular program. I have been graciously asked to address these topics by Tennisrecruiting.net. This submission will answer some frequent questions about the scholarship process:
- How do coaches generally distribute the scholarships they have?
- Is a player's scholarship likely to go up or down over the course of four years?
- On average, what is the players' (or parents') cost per year?
In the next submission, I will address questions about the expectations of players by coaches and teammates after they have signed a scholarship and have joined their team.
Please make note. The one thing in common to the answers of all of these questions is that there is no exact across-the-board response. In all cases the answers should be preceded by, "It all depends." Coaches have different resources, needs and requirements. No two programs - and no two players - are exactly alike. The same coach and program often has different resources and needs one year to the next. Sometimes these differences can be true from one semester to the next. Things happen in a blink of an eye that can unexpectedly free up or consume resources for coaches.
How do coaches generally distribute the scholarships they have?
There are basics that are going to apply to just about every situation. Men's and women's coaches are going to distribute their scholarships in the best way to help make their programs and student-athletes successful. I myself have coached both men and women at the collegiate level. Never have I had a men's or women's program that was fully funded - which, at the D-I level means 4.5 scholarships for the men or 8 for the women. Even working with a fully-funded men's program can be a challenge. Parents and players, please do be advised: regardless of what you hear from other parents and teaching pros, most D-I and D-II programs are not fully funded!
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