Special from Scholarship for Athletes
When trying to find a college that will be a perfect fit, there are many academic, social, and athletic factors that must be considered. Let's take a more in-depth look at one of the most important factors of a schools tennis program: the opportunity to receive playing time. Playing time is a factor that can make - or break - your collegiate tennis career. There are two extremes when it comes to playing time, and there are many points in between. The goal is to know what you want, and what to expect from your program.
Before we discuss the role of playing time in choosing a college, lets look back at last years recruits, the class of 2007. We have researched the top #50 men's and women's tennis players from 2007 and the position they played in their first college season.
These tables show each player's spot in the lineup at the end of the 2008 spring season. Players listed as N/A are not in school for one reason or another - they could be playing professional tennis or beginning their collegiate career this coming fall. Factors such as injury, illness, or academic ineligibility could have led to a player being on the bench. Moreover, the charts do not include athletes who are playing only doubles for their respective team.
Taking those factors into account, it is still shocking how many of the top players in the nation from just a year ago did not break into the top 6 consistently as freshmen. 22 of the top 100 athletes were unable to crack the starting lineup by the end of their first collegiate season. More players (22) were on the bench then those that played first and second singles combined (21). Even the most highly touted, highly recruited athletes need to consider playing time as they navigate the recruiting process.