Special from Scholarship For Athletes
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Ronni Bernstein, head coach of the University of Michigan women's tennis team, sits down with Ross Greenstein of Scholarship for Athletes. She advises prospective college athletes to do in depth research on tennis programs they are interested in, and lists all of the factors that must be taken into account when making a college decision.
Questions and Answers Scholarship For Athletes (SFA): What advice do you have for high school athletes that strive to play college sports?
Ronni Bernstein (RB): The advice that I would give is to do your homework. You need to ask a lot of questions of coaches and players, and make sure you are finding the perfect fit for you. Also, don't rush into anything. It is a huge decision and an athlete needs to make sure they are well informed before they decide.
SFA: At SFA, we try to explain to our clients that the recruiting process is like being on a three year job interview; is that how you view the recruiting process?
RB: I think that things have definitely sped up in the recruiting process. Players now are making decisions in their junior years, meaning they must embark on the recruiting journey around their sophomore year of high school. For me, I want to get to know the recruits, and many are taking unofficial visits early on so that helps. I totally agree that it should be like a job interview and that it goes both ways. Players should be interviewing the university coach just as the coach should be interviewing the player.
SFA: What information should an athlete know prior to making their initial school list?
RB: There is so much information that needs to be assessed when looking at schools. Probably the best thing a recruit can do is write down a list of things they are looking for in a university tennis program. This can include level of team, players on team that they may know, how good the school is academically, location of school, how well players get along and how they get along with coach, the facilities; the list goes on. All of these should be key factors in the decision making process.