How to attain a college scholarship with a You Tube link if you are a high school freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior.
By Farley Youman, M.Ed., USPTA
You and your parents have planned for years to use your skills on the tennis court as your path to pay for college with a full tennis scholarship offered by a coach at a Div.I, Div. II, or NAIA school. This article will cover the crucial issue of sending a You Tube link of you playing for college coaches.
Insufficient You Tube link for college coaches: As a former Div. I men’s coach, I believe the majority of players send in a link which does not have enough information for a coach to make a decision about giving a scholarship. Remember that when it comes to giving a full scholarship, if the coach is in doubt, she will not give you a scholarship.
If a link shows you and your opponent on the full court, the coach may not be able to distinguish which person is you. Most players send in a link that shows balls being hit to him or her out of a basket. Although a coach can see the form of your strokes, there is so much that he cannot see. Your foot speed and reflexes are not being tested. You know the ball is coming to your forehand, so there are no anticipation skills exhibited. Finally, coaches do not know how deep your shots are landing, or what your shot selection would be against opponents.
Solution: The best solution would be to put a “video” together starting with a close up of you, while you introduce yourself by name, classification, high school, and hometown. Give an overview of what your link entails. This link should include you hitting shots when a person feeds out of a basket. This is fine, as long as it is brief, and then you show playing a set.
Play either a set or half a set against an opponent. Do not choose someone to play that is below your level of play. This player will not place the ball well enough to test your foot speed. They probably will not hit hard enough to test your reflexes. It is best to get someone that normally defeats you 6-3,6-3. The coach is not looking at whether you win or lose against just this one player. She wants to see you tested in all areas, including your counterattacking ability. Choose an opponent who is an offensive player, and the coach will easily be able to see what skills are in your repertoire and figure out if they can give a tennis scholarship to you.
Finally, do not cut out your errors. It is obvious to the coach that you did editing, and makes the coach hesitant about making a correct evaluation of you.
Coaches will ask for a link of you playing, or you can email one to the coach. Follow this up after a few days with a call to the coach.
Early signing period for NCAA I and II college tennis scholarships starts in the Fall each year. Regular signing will occur between April and August 1st. You may need a professional representative from a company to help you in the process of calling the coaches, and highlighting your strengths.
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