Carol Matsuzaki | Head Coach | Women’s Tennis | Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Describe the qualities that your program is looking for in a potential student-athlete?

a. Hard worker – To excel at MIT AND play on a varsity sport, you need to be a hard worker and bring those qualities to the court. When you come to practice, don’t waste your time or my time. Always have specific goals in mind to make your game better, and keep at it everyday, you’ll see a difference on match day.

b. Love to compete and play the game – You need to love the battle. Tennis is a sport with a lot of ups and downs and when you’re out there, there’s nowhere to hide. People who just know how to be competitive bring a certain energy with them and it’s contagious, in that they can positively influence their teammates to compete harder as well.

c. Team-oriented player – Tennis tends to be an individual sport, but at the college level it is a team sport, and the type of team culture that the team creates is a huge factor in the success of the overall team.

d. Sportsmanship – A true competitor always wins and loses with grace.

Could you give an example of a current or former player who exceeded your expectations, highlighting the reasons that player excelled?

I have a freshman on the team who has already come so far. She came in to the year and lost the second match she played, a match she should have won pretty easily. She could have been really discouraged from that loss, but instead, she’s used it as motivation and learned a lot of things about the college game. Since the loss, she has been undefeated, even beating the defending national division 3 champion. Along the way, she has also worked harder at practices, and has been a BIG positive influence to her teammates in terms of loving the battle and being a better competitor.