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Recruiting Process and Recruiters

Recruiting Process

As a prospective student-athlete it is important that your recruitment resume is professional, short and dynamic. The United States tertiary education system is a fantastic opportunity to compete at an extremely high level, earn an accredited degree and finally travel the United States. This section will provide you with ideas on what collegiate coaches look for in regards to a resume and other information that will broaden your chances of attaining an athletic scholarship.

Preparation for a Telephone Call with a College Coach

Below are some questions to consider having answers ready for before you get on the telephone with a coach. Coaches understand that teenagers may be nervous to get on the telephone and speak with them, but an effortless, smooth telephone conversation shows the coach that you are mature, prepared, relaxed and confident. It also shows that you have done your homework and are being proactive in your recruiting process.

Questions to Have Answers to

  • Why are you interested in this institution?
  • Is there an academic program that you are most interested in?
  • Do you think you are prepared to compete at the Division I, II, III, NAIA or NJCAA level? And why?
  • Why type of classes are you taking this year?
  • How have you balanced your athletic and academic obligations to date?
  • When do you plan on taking the SATs/ACTs?
  • Are you comfortable attending a school far away from home?
  • Do you play any other sports?
  • Are you involved with anything in the community?
  • Why did you decide to focus on tennis?
  • What do you do in your free time?
  • Do you work well in a team environment?
  • What are your athletic goals?
  • What is the strongest part of your game? Why? What is the weakest part of your game? Why?

The coach will also ask you if you have any questions for him/her and it is important to ask questions as that shows that you are interested, focused and prepared.

Questions to Ask a College/University Coach

  • What is the off-season training regimen/schedule?
  • How many tournaments do you play in the fall?
  • Have you had a chance to see me play? And/or watch my recruiting DVD?
  • How do your players balance school and tennis?
  • What type of academic support is available for athletes? Study hall? Tutors? Advisors?
  • What suggestions do you have for me to become a better candidate for your team and institution?
  • What are a few things you look for in recruits?
  • What are the goals of your team?
  • What is your coaching style? And what are things you emphasis on?

Keep in mind that coaches are also allowed to contact athletes and prospective athletes. When and if a coach is interested they might invite you for an unofficial visit, an unofficial visit by definition are before your senior (final) year of high school.

Unofficial Visits

  • The athlete will be required to pay all travel expenses associated with the visit.
  • The athlete can stay on campus with a member of the team or another student.
  • The athlete can take as many unofficial visits as he/she wants to any number of colleges at a time.
  • The athlete can meet with the coaching staff while on campus and that coach can assist with the coordinating of the athletes NCAA unofficial visit.

Official Visits

  • The athlete is only allowed one official visit to any given college.
  • The athlete can only make official visits during their senior (final) year of high school.
  • The athlete can make no more than 5 total official visits (each to a different school).
  • The official visit can only last 48 hours in length.
  • The college/university team can pay for your travel and lodging (this is the main difference between an official and unofficial visit).

Things to Consider During an Unofficial or Official Visit

  • Take a tour of the campus and the team’s practice/competition facility
  • Go to class with one of the players and get a feel of what a college/university class/lecture is like.
  • See where the players eat their meals, do they socialize with other athletes and/or the rest of the student body.
  • Attend a tennis practice. Are there mandatory strength and conditioning practices? Does the team have a captain? Get a feel for how the coaching staff runs a practice.
  • Go out with a teammate on a Friday night and see what campus life is like. Are there campus activities run? Does the team go to other athletic events? Do they go into a nearby town or city?
  • Stay in a teammate’s dorms/apartment. Do they live on campus? Can you see yourself sharing a common space with 2 or 3 others? Are the dorms coed? Is the housing close to campus and amenities?

Finding the Right College Athletic Recruiting Service

While the resources on the Tennis Canada web page are free, there are excellent paid recruiting services that can really make the difference when searching for a tennis scholarship.  Going through the recruiting process alone doesn’t work for everyone, and paid services can provide the extra boost when looking for a college athletic scholarship.  Tennis Canada has partnered with some of the best paid recruiting services on our site and there is a big difference between free do-it-yourself and a full-service recruiting network.


Tim Donovan

Donovan Tennis Strategies



Greg Novak

Tennis Canada College Program Director