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Recruiting 101
Countdown: College Placement Tips

Mark Weil of the Weil Tennis Academy has shepherded hundreds of junior tennis players through the college recruiting process, and he has collected many valuable experiences during that time. Today, in our first Countdown to Signing Day article, Weil scattershoots over college tennis recruiting, talking about how to approach recruiting - and how to make yourself an attractive recruit to college coaches.


Academy Director Mark Weil with '14 Weil Blue Chip Player Ciro Riccardi of Dartmouth
UNIQUE: this is a concept you must keep in the front of your mind during the entire roller coaster ride that is College Recruitment and Placement!

YOU ARE UNIQUE as a young person, student and tennis player. And every college placement I work on with my students is unique as well. Many "experts" I read about would like you to believe there is some "proven secret formula" to a successful college placement (AP Classes, Community Service, Ranking, GPA, SAT, how many times you visit the campus, how many emails you send to the coach, etc., etc.). My Advice? Don't buy it.

NO SECRET FORMULA: I have discovered the Secret Formula for a successful placement is - there is no secret formula! Your college placement will be just as unique as you are - as unique as your thumbprint. Do your best to keep this in mind when you are identifying the colleges you want to shoot for, or choosing the way you want to contact college coaches, shooting your college video, choosing whether or not to take a third AP class, or deciding to take the ACT vs the SAT, and on and on.

GO WITH YOUR INSTINCTS: I've done over 500 placements with my students in the last twenty years, and I haven't found one formula that works for all of them. When I first started helping my students find a great fit for college, every time I tried to use the same process for Player Samantha that I used for Player Serena, my plans would get derailed and my students (and their parents!) would become frustrated and dejected. So, like a good tennis player, I gave up on a "formula" and went with my instincts.

BE YOURSELF: College Coaches want to get to know you - what makes you unique, what you will bring to their team and their program, what you will be like to coach for four years, what kind of teammate you will be, how open you will be to letting the coach help you improve. College Coaches are, after all, tennis coaches! They don't expect you to be perfect or to be the perfect player - they want to coach you! They want to help you improve, make a positive impact on your game, your tennis future and your life as well. Why? Because this is fun for them and it's why they are in college coaching!

IT'S AN ADVENTURE; ENJOY THE RIDE! Approach this process as an adventure - Think Indiana Jones hunting for The Lost Ark. What you are embarking on is a wild, exciting, exhilarating, maddening, sometimes disappointing, always interesting and educational, anxiety-producing, adrenaline-pumping adventure into college admissions and college tennis. Do your best to enjoy the ride! Don't ever let yourself get down about how things are going - you are a tennis player, losing is part of the game, you never get where you want to go in anything in life without a few tough losses.

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Page updated on Monday, November 04, 2019
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