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Spring Signing Week '14: How is College Tennis Different?
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Junior tennis and college tennis are two very different experiences. Junior tennis players know that they will be competing in a team environment, but they can't really know what else to expect. What was an aspect of college tennis that most surprised you coming out of juniors? What did you find most challenging?

Every year, high school tennis players make their college decisions based on a number of factors. In our commitment profile articles, we often hear athletes talk about the coaching staff and the chemistry they felt with the players on the team. But we also hear about countless other factors - including the weather and the atmosphere at football games.

But are these athletes using the right information to make rational decisions? With so many players transferring, perhaps kids are not doing their homework before choosing their colleges. We put the following question to our panel of coaches...

 

Q) What important factors in the college recruiting process do student athletes often overlook when making their decisions?

 

Jarmere Jenkins, Virginia

College is a great time to learn about yourself, your game and what you need to do on a daily basis to achieve your goals. It is amazing how much my perspective on things changed in college, especially when it came to what it would take to be a pro tennis player. At UVA, I was exposed to a daily routine that showed me what it would take to be a successful pro.

I also learned that what I did off the court was just as important as what I was doing to improve my tennis on the court. The coaches used to always say to us, "The way you are off the court is the way you will be on the court." This was a huge lesson for me - and a major part of my college experience. I don't think I would be as fresh mentally, as strong physically or as mature overall today if I hadn't gone to Virginia.

 

Andre Dome, Cal Poly

I think what stood out to me when I joined my college team - and what I had to learn - was to be selfless. In the juniors, I had to be selfish to work on the things to make my game improve.

In college tennis, I felt that I needed to make my teammates better for us to succeed as a team. Nick Carless, my college coach for the last two years of my career, stressed that every day. Not only did my tennis improve during those two years, but it was a lot more enjoyable.

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