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Roundtable: Academic Majors and College Tennis

The college experience can be a demanding one, with students putting in long hours in the classroom. For college athletes, the experience can require even more time management to account for practice, competition, nutrition, and recovery.

An interesting wrinkle to time management is the choice of college major. Some areas of study - architecture, engineering, pre-health, and others - are known for their rigor even without the demands of a sport like college tennis.

We put the question to our panel of college tennis coaches:


Q) Are there any limitations student-athletes face in terms of their intended major? Are there any such issues that impact your ability to recruit certain student-athletes?


Brian Boland, former coach, Virginia Men

[Note: Boland left UVa following his national championship season to become the men's coach of USTA Player Development at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Fla.]

I believe a student-athlete should attend college to develop holistically. College allows young people to grow and to learn what they want to do with their lives. Each individual should be afforded the opportunity to explore this passion.

I have seen young people come with one idea - and within a year of getting to know themselves better, they change their mind. It is a positive part of the process.

The academic disciplines they choose to study is completely up to the student-athletes. Our job as coaches is to ask them questions as they seek answers. This is part of their development and growing.


Lele Forood, head coach, Stanford Women

Of course not. We must all remember that a student-athlete will spend much more time of their working life in their "field" rather than in tennis - unless they pursue coaching tennis as a profession.

We have had many pre-med majors come through Stanford, and they played at the championship level for four years. They went on to medical/veterinary careers. Any major is doable with proper planning!


Colt Gaston, head coach, Missouri Women

A potential student-athlete's intended major does not influence my decision on recruiting. Our journalism program is one of the top "J-schools" in the nation, and we have had multiple incoming freshman classes choose that field.

It is my goal to help each player maximize her potential on the court and in the classroom. In order to do this, my staff and I work very hard on scheduling to help create a balance four our players throughout the season. Finding that balance allows me to offer a scholarship - no matter what the recruit's intended major may be.

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Page updated on Tuesday, July 18, 2017
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