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Roundtable: Role of the Personal Coach in the Recruiting Process

Today's junior tennis players often utilize the services of "personal coaches" from their high-performance training programs, academies, clubs, or high schools. The players' personal coaches often play a role for the college coach in the recruiting process.

We asked the panel of experts the following questions:


Q) How valuable in the recruiting process is a personal coach? What type of questions do you ask the coach about your recruit? Do you stay in contact with the coach after your recruit has signed or committed to your program?


Ronni Bernstein, head coach, Michigan Women

It varies how valuable the coach will be in the recruiting process. Honestly, I don't go through the high school coach very much. I will initially get emails from the high school coaches, but many of the top juniors don't play high school tennis.

I do have contact with personal coaches through the recruiting process. It always is good to hear from the personal coach as to how hard the player works and about the parts of their game they are trying to improve.

We also continue the relationship with the personal coach after the commitment to make sure we are all on the same page. There needs to be a plan for the player before arrival on our campus at Michigan. Again, it depends on the particular recruit as to how much we have contact with the personal coaches after the commitment.


Evan Clark, head coach, Illinois Women

I think a personal coach is extremely valuable in the recruiting process. You have to trust they will give you honest feedback, which is necessary for you to make educated decisions on whether or not you think the recruit will be a good fit in your program.

It is important to ask them tough questions about the recruit. I think questions about a recruit's tennis are important, but questions regarding their work ethic, integrity and attitude are more important for me. Their personal coach spends so much time with the recruit and their family. I believe the coach is the best person to give you an accurate representation of the recruit's whole portfolio.

I think it's always important to stay in touch with the coach after the recruit has committed. In the short term, you want to make sure you and the personal coach are on the same page on what the recruit needs to be working on before coming to college. In the long term, it's always good to stay in touch for advice on how to handle certain things when the recruit gets to school, and for future recruits for your program.

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Page updated on Tuesday, May 15, 2018
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