With the spring signing period around the corner, it's time to weigh the pros and cons of the colleges recruiting you and decide which team you'd like to play tennis for next fall.
For tennis players, the main signing period starts April 16. You actually have until Aug. 1 to sign a National Letter of Intent, but it's best not to leave it until the last minute.
How do you narrow it all down and be certain of making the right decision? Consider these points:
1. Academics: Are you looking to go to graduate school, medical school or law school? If that's a possibility, you want a school with a strong academic reputation. If you are not the greatest student or anticipate having a tough time balancing college tennis and classes, you may want to consider a less-demanding school.
2. Coaching staff: How do you get along with the coaches? Do you like their teaching styles? Your new coaches are going to be like parents for the next four years. Consider how you felt interacting with them during the recruiting process and how comfortable you feel around them.
Jamie Loeb, currently the top-ranked women's college tennis player in the country, chose the University of North Carolina because of "phenomenal" coaches Brian Kalbas and Sara Anundsen. "I feel they will help me reach my full potential," she says. "I also felt very comfortable with the girls on the team and think we will have a strong camaraderie."
3. Location: Is the school far from your home? Does that matter? If you plan to make frequent visits home or expect your family to come to your matches, you'll want to pick a school nearby.
Eric Butorac, now the No. 2 professional doubles player in the world, spent a year at Ball State University, then decided to transfer to Gustavus Adolphus College, where his father once played.
4. Future teammates: This is why your official visit is so important. You get to meet your teammates. During the season, they will be your family. You need to be comfortable with them and get along on and off the court.
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- Tennis Recruiting: Official vs. Unofficial Visits
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