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Recruiting 101
Countdown: Keeping an Open Mind

When we begin working with a new student athlete, we have them start watching the SchollyGuide, and we review the assignments in the syllabus with them. The first assignment calls for the student athlete to reach out to current college players and ask them a set of questions about their experiences as college athletes. One of the final questions is: 'What advice do you have for my recruiting process?' Two very common pieces of advice are (1) to be patient and (2) to keep an open mind about schools.

Anjali Sampath is heading to St. Edwards

Many families focus either on top Division I schools or on Division III schools for their academics. Too often people neglect Division II schools (men, women) and refuse to even consider them. In a previous article, we specifically addressed the amount of money that's left sitting on the table at Division II schools by Americans and how international athletes capitalize on it.

Anjali Sampath is a perfect example of a recruit who was patient and kept an open mind. When SFA began to work with Anjali earlier this year, she did not have a clear understanding of the college recruiting process. Sampath, a senior from Dallas, was looking at this process amidst obstacles of physical injury but through the help of SFA coaches she maneuvered successfully through the college recruiting process and chose to attend the school of her dreams by committing to St. Edwards University in Austin Texas.

Anjali's outstanding grades and test scores enabled her to apply for the highest academic scholarship in addition to getting athletic scholarship at St. Edwards. Once ranked 56 in the nation, Anjali had offers from Division I schools that were interested in her but none of them gave her the sense of belonging.

"I was torn between academics and my love for tennis and the school of choice. The three never seemed to line up with any college thus far and I was getting quite nervous." said Anjali.

She was focusing on Ivy League schools which had shown interest in her along with other top tier Division I institutions. Even being a Texas native, Anjali had not looked at or heard about St. Edwards, an outstanding academic Division II private school in Austin.

"When I visited St. Edwards, I was definitely optimistic, but I didn't get my hopes too high. As we pulled into the school and I saw the campus and the architecture, I was impressed. After I took the campus tour, I realized there was one more attribute that I loved - the coach."

Meeting coach Kendall Brooks definitely sealed the deal for Anjali.

"For me, coaches are more than people who help me with tennis. They are people I respect. They are people I can trust and go to for help. While talking to Coach Brooks, I knew she was someone I wanted to have lead me for the next four years - not only to grow as a tennis player, but also as a person.

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Page updated on Monday, November 04, 2019
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