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Preparing for Success in College Tennis
by Tim Donovan, 1 May 2014
Special from Donovan Tennis Strategies
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Over the next few weeks, college tennis recruits who did not commit early will be making their college decisions. Many will be signing a National Letter of Intent or sending in a deposit - committing to a college or university. Recruits for 2014 have nearly all made their decisions... now what?
Players' success on a college team - or lack thereof - depends primarily on how committed they are to the new programs and how hard they are willing to work over the next four years to grow and develop as a person and player. Recruits tend to go in one of two directions after making their commitment to a college tennis program. Some celebrate the fact they achieved a longtime goal of playing tennis, sense that the hardest part of pursuing college tennis is over, and take their foot off the gas pedal in terms of their dedication, work and commitment. Other players look at their selection of a school as the beginning of an exciting and challenging journey to be the best college player, competitor and teammate they can be. Those players redouble their commitment to hard work on and off the court.
Being a 4-star, 5-star or blue chip recruit does not ensure success at the college level. Being a 1-star or 2-star recruit does not mean four years on the bench. It is not uncommon for coaches to share examples of how they have former 1- or 2- star players in the starting line-up and former 4- or 5-star players on the bench. Much can unfold in the years after a player commits to a college in terms of developing physical and mental skills, maturity, confidence, strength and experience. Those who tend to be most successful in college tennis share a positive attitude and drive and are open to further learning, development and new goals.
After committing to a college, it is recommended that players take the following steps to best prepare themselves to join their new team. Following this checklist helps to ensure that recruits start off on the right foot when they step on campus in September.
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