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Recruiting 101
Spring Signing Week '16: Who Really Gets Recruited?

The recruiting process for college tennis players is no different from companies looking to hire new employees. It includes research, evaluation, interviews, comparisons, negotiations and offers.

USP President Thomas Anderson
Coaches understand that they are evaluated first and foremost by their team results. A winning record or a trip to the NCAA Championships could be their ticket to a contract renewal or even a salary increase. With this in mind, they are very careful in selecting the best possible fit for their team. Here are some of the things college tennis coaches are looking for in recruits:

(1) Proven Results

You are a great hitter, have tremendous power and serve ten aces per match. But, do you have enough "quality" wins in tournaments? When talking about wins, quality should be prioritized over quantity, meaning that you should prove yourself against ranked players rather than having tons of insignificant wins. An impressive win against a nationally or internationally-ranked player will increase your value as a college prospect more than a club-level tournament win.


(2) Playing ITF vs. USTA

College coaches can never get enough of ITF results. The ITF sanctioned events are the playground for players from all over the world, and many of them share your dream of playing college tennis. However, it can be very costly to travel and play a dozen ITF tournaments in a year; moreover, there is a risk of not obtaining the previously mentioned "quality" win in some of these tournaments since the level can be subpar at times.

I always recommend that the best strategy when preparing a tournament calendar is to choose a balanced schedule between tournaments where you have a realistic chance to win some matches and others where it gives you a chance to play against other ranked players. Something else to consider that many recruits are not aware of is the ITA Summer Circuit. In these tournaments you will play current college players - which will not only provide you with quality results, but also give you a better idea of your fit for college tennis.

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Page updated on Monday, March 11, 2019
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