GCA asked Steve Baum, Head Coach of the Division II Women’s Tennis Team at Alderson Broaddus University, his thoughts on the recruiting process and some things potential recruits can do to help themselves in this process:
When it comes to the recruiting process this biggest issue I run into is that kids have an unreal expectation of what an athletic scholarship really is. Most of them think that the only thing out there is a full ride with 100% of the cost covered, but they don’t understand that those are few and far between, especially in tennis. Most of the D II schools only give a little bit of money on top of academic money, so unless your a blue chip, recruits need to see the reality of the situation and know that they will still need to take out loans in order to pay for college. This also goes for D III and realizing that the important thing is how much aid you are getting, not what it’s called. They need to realize that if a school is giving them 75% of tuition covered through academic and financial aid, that is the better option than some coach who says they get a 50% athletic scholarship, but overall it’s still more expensive. Obviously each individual situation is different, but the crux of the matter is that not everyone deserves a scholarship and recruits need to explore all options, not just the schools that offer athletic money.
Also, I would say that high school recruits need to be better at communicating with college coaches. If we reach out via email, text, or call that means we want to talk with them about something important. The least they can do is respond back in a timely manner, mainly to check their emails more often. At the very least sync their email with the smartphones that almost all of them have so they see that we reached out. Along with the communication is being honest about the school and their intent of coming to play. If at some point a recruit knows the school isn’t a good fit, they should just tell the coach right away because if they don’t then they are wasting our time and theirs by playing the back and forth game. We expect to get a lot more no’s than yes’, just tell us and we can start focusing on the kids who are serious about the school.