Steve Baum | Head Coach | Women’s Tennis | Alderson Broaddus

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

When it comes to recruiting I look for three things in a potential student-athlete…commitment, integrity, and growth.

Commitment- A quality student athlete is 100% committed to playing in college and will make sacrifices during their collegiate career. They will be willing to spend weekends away from campus life to compete for that school, put in the extra hours for fundraising or off season training, put aside personal desires in order to better the team, and most importantly commit to excellence on and off the court. If a recruit is not committed then they are wasting their time, the coaches time, and their teammates time.

Integrity- Quality players are honest with the coaches about who they are as an athlete and what their goals are in college. This means admitting that their game isn’t perfect and that improvements can always be made. They understand that in order to have good relationship with a coach secrets can’t be kept and they should be able to talk with a coach about anything. Coaches respect when a student-athlete tells the truth, even if it means there are consequences, because that builds trust among the coaching staff and the players.

Growth- This is one of the most important qualities because every single player, coach, and team must be willing to grow in order to get better. Quality student-athletes know that they can learn something new about the sport everyday that will help them get better. They will also be willing to put in the extra hours outside of practice to improve, both physically and mentally. A true student-athlete becomes a student of the game and knows that they don’t know everything and must be willing to grow both as an individual and an athlete.

 

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

An example of a student-athlete who exceeded my expectation was when I was a Graduate Assistant for a small Division III school outside Boston, MA. This young woman was stubborn and didn’t want to change her game in order to become a better player, she was content with where she was overall. After the fall season she surprised me when she began doing individual lessons in the off-season and started making changes to her game. All it took was for her to have the will to make a few adjustments to her game and she began beating opponents much more efficiently. This is they type of attitude coaches want to see in student-athletes, to have them understand that everything a coach does is to make them a better athlete and individual at the same time.