In today’s growing competitive world finding the right university for a student/ athlete is becoming more and more competitive. During the past 17 years of coaching and consulting tennis players through this rigorous process, I have witnessed some great success stories because of smart decision making. I have also witnessed disappointment because of poor decisions. Just like everything in life hard work and timing is everything.

1. First it makes good sense to start coming up with goals around the beginning to middle of sophomore year. There’s nothing wrong with dreaming big, so come up with a few schools that would meet your ultimate expectations next set some realistic goals. Do your homework compare your current ranking from your current age group and see how it compares to players on teams you are interested in. Obviously also make sure you can have a realistic chance of getting in academically.

2. As you move into your junior year come up with a letter to send out to all the coaches of schools you would like to attend expressing your interest in there school. Then do follow up. College coaches are normally difficult to reach right away unless they are really after a player, so be patient.

3. By your senior year if you have reached the ranking and academic requirements for a school or schools you are aiming for,you should be in a good position to enter one of the schools you are aiming for. A lot also depends on whether there are openings on a roster. So if your first school has a full roster go to tour second or third choice.

4. Things don’t always go as planned when it comes to athletic and or academic progress. If this is what happens to you and you haven’t quite reached your goals by senior year, then it’s time to step back and find a smaller school maybe even a 2 year program. Everyone peaks at different times and I have witnessed several occasions from past students that had to attend a smaller school and went on to have great success.

It’s all about hard work and timing. Once those two things come together anything is possible.

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