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Applying a Little Scholarship to the Tennis World: 2 Nagging Questions

Q) Is there a more effective way for coaches to evaluate talent?

Some college programs can skim the cream of the crop off of the top; most middle of the pack programs have to really make smart decisions when it comes to deciding where to invest their scholarships or roster spots. They can get ahead of their competitors by investing in players who are undervalued by other programs.

Evaluating talent can end up being a guessing game with only ranking lists and information gathered by the human eye from watching matches upon matches. Having been in the stands as a college coach evaluating prospects, I have been guilty of favoring players with more aesthetically pleasing games. Is there a way to make better and smarter decisions?

College tennis coaches may want to consider the use of statistics to assign value or project the future value of players, much as has been done in this "moneyball era" of baseball. The only catch is that in pro tennis there are very few statistics compiled - and in college and junior tennis there are none to speak of.

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