For high school junior and senior tennis players, summer is usually the most important part of the college recruiting process. Give yourself the best chance of earning a scholarship offer from your first-choice school by following these steps this summer:
With the college tennis season wrapping up in May and All-American lists announced shortly thereafter, early summer is the perfect time to take a long look at the schools you've been considering. How did the teams do this year? Did their play improve throughout the year? How many seniors left the squad, and how many will be leaving next year?
Update Your Résumé
Update your résumé when the school year ends. Include the year of high school you just completed, your grade point average and your SAT/ACT scores. Mention any tournaments you won or players you defeated who were seeded higher than you. Don't get too concerned with your ranking, since it's an ever-changing number that doesn't matter much to college coaches. Coaches are much more interested in how you finished in your league, whether you participated in extracurricular activities and what big changes have recently occurred in your life.
Connect With Coaches
When the season concludes, coaches have more time to look at recruits. Get on their radar by calling the coaches at your top schools. Let them know where they can watch you play this summer and set up meetings. Follow up by sending your updated résumé.
Summer is the time to plan official and unofficial visits. Take as many unofficial visits as you can to get a feel for different types of college atmospheres. (Some junior tournaments are played on college campuses, allowing you to take care of two things at once.) Plan your official visits at the end of the summer, when you've had a chance to speak with coaches, learn more about schools and decide where you really want to go on your five official visits.
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock