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How can I play a sport in college?

I am a tennis player and what to play on a college team. How can I get recruited?

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Paul’s Answer

Justin

I would put together a Sports Resume and a Cover Letter, so you can contact coaches to inquire about potential opportunities.

This concept is similar to the employment resume, except you are outlining your athletic skills, academic background, sports played, awards, and other relevant information.

There are many examples of sports resume's and sports cover letters found online.

The coaches may not be aware of you, so sometimes you need to go to them and let them know what you can do, and what you have to offer their program.

I would send out these sports resume's and cover letters right to the coach at their office through the postal mail. They get a lot of emails, so you want your resume to land right on their desk.

This will allow them to become aware of you, and enable monitor your progress in the year leading to college.
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Atul’s Answer

Securing a sports scholarship is a straightforward path to playing tennis at a college or university. These institutions are often on the lookout for outstanding tennis players to represent their school.

Have you competed at the varsity level in tennis? Have you participated in singles or doubles matches? The former tends to be more highly valued.

Do you have any tennis trophies that could boost your profile when you apply?

Aside from playing tennis, have you ever mentored young players in the sport? Going the extra mile and teaching others can make a significant impact.

Lastly, don't forget to obtain a recommendation from your tennis coach or instructor. This can be a powerful endorsement of your skills and dedication to the sport.
Thank you comment icon Thanks for the help. Justin
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Charles’s Answer

Hey Justin, I shared the below with another student from CareerVillage that was interested as well.

First, the NCAA has a few different guidelines based on what sport you are playing, etc. So, I have included some information on dates as well as links to that information. I also included some helpful hints, as a coach and manager for my daughter's competitive soccer team, I have some knowledge on this and wanted to share.

For the most part, most sports can start talking between June 15 and September 1. So, check out the first link in the Next Steps to see where you are at. Hopefully you are good, or almost there, since one of the other dates is August 1st, which is right around the corner.

In the meantime, check out some of the other information, including researching what schools in DI-DIII offer the sport you want to play. Read the NCAA guide for Student-Athletes and register in the NCAA Eligibility Center, as every student athlete has to do that. Side note don't count out NAIA schools/sports either but be mindful they have dates and an eligibility center, as well.

Now that you have read the information, register through the eligibility center, and can talk to college coaches - what's next?
-- When you send emails out to the prospective college coaches, know that you are one of many, many possible hundreds if not thousands of student athletes doing so. My recommendation is to have a highlight film through HUDL, YouTube, etc. However, you don't want to make it too long and if it all possible to show some key moments in the first 30-60 seconds. Remember coaches get 100's-1000's of these and if each one was 2-5 minutes - that's a lot of time just looking at that and not coaching, recruiting, attending camps/showcases, etc. BUT -- ensure that you have the fails in there too and how you recovered. For example, in tennis, besides your great one end to one end saves and aces, how did you recover with faults or when being down Love-40 or down 1-4 in the match. No one is perfect and coaches want to see, what you do when you make a mistake and how you react. They want to see the nice saves, shots, etc. too, but how you react to mistakes is also important.
-- You have your video, now you are ready to send an email. Do some research on the school, coach and the team. When you start off the email say something what attracted you to the school. Personalize it with your major, congratulating on a successful season, or how impressed you are with the teams GPA. A lot of that information is on their pages or can be found on the colleges site. If your team is playing in tournaments/showcases, give them your schedule of events and ask them if they plan on attending so you can send them the actual game schedules. If you have a one-page flyer on yourself; name, address, email, social media, phone number, GPA, etc. like a resume that shows you you've played for, what position(s), etc. - that is something to share too, so they have it all on one page.

Unfortunately, not every college or coach out there will be the right fit, whether for you or them. But keep your head up and continue moving forward if this is the direction you want to go in. Move on to another school, take a look at NAIA and or start out with Junior/Community Colleges. Many of my daughters' friends that played baseball started with JC's so they can get prerequisites out for less money and more playing time, since you only usually have freshman through sophomore students there, before you transfer to a NCAA or NAIA school.

Also, remember you are a Student-Athlete, emphasis on student, which is why that word comes first. So, remember to keep up on your studies, tests, etc. in high school as well as in college. Many coaches provide themselves on high GPA for their team, especially when they travel a lot and miss a decent number of classes.

Finally, I want to wish you Good Luck!

Charles recommends the following next steps:

Check out this link to see what dates align with your respective sport: https://www.ncsasports.org/ncaa-eligibility-center/recruiting-rules
Next research some schools in DI-DIII: https://www.ncaa.org/sports/2021/5/3/membership-directory.aspx
Check out / read this NCAA guide for Student-Athletes: http://fs.ncaa.org/Docs/eligibility_center/Student_Resources/CBSA.pdf
Read additional info and register in the NCAA Eligibility Center: https://www.ncaa.org/sports/2021/2/8/student-athletes-future.aspx
Get your video, one page and personalized email set to send to the college coaches
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