What does college tennis mean to me?
It means playing for something greater than myself, traveling to different parts of the country, making lifelong relationships and memories that lasts for years to come. But most importantly, it represents years of hard work, discipline, triumphs, and setbacks being woven together into four of the best years of my life!
Not a lot of people will pick up a racquet on day one and say, “ I want to play college tennis.” however, I am familiar with athletes of various sports, saying their goal is to play their respective sport at an NCAA Division 1 institution. This is a great goal to have in mind, however it does not have to be the only goal.
I made that mistake early and got discouraged when I realized I could not make it on the tennis team at my dream school. Thankfully, I was given the opportunity to compete at a national association of intercollegiate athletics (NAIA) affiliated school: Judson University. We practiced 6 months of the school year, competed almost every weekend, took annual spring break trips to Florida, and even made nationals my senior year! Despite my initial goal of attending a D1 school falling through, I was able to be more realistic with my goal, which was simply to play college tennis.
The NCAA offers athletic based scholarships at the D1 and D2 levels, while D3 institutions do not. NAIA affiliated schools provide athletic and academic based scholarships as well. however, as a former D3 assistant coach, academic performances and other merits in high school can help boost your financial aid and scholarships! With the three NCAA divisions and NAIA combined, there are hundreds of college institutions with tennis teams. Regardless of division or association you may decide to play for, I guarantee that those four years will be absolutely memorable!
I would like to leave you with this: What are your goals with tennis? is it to play through high school? compete in tournaments? or even play college tennis?
Whatever your goals are, enjoy and trust the process of your development! do not get too caught up in missing a few forehands or volleys, but make the proper adjustments, keep working, and have fun with it!
Our staff at GRC is here to support and guide you through wherever tennis takes you!
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It means playing for something greater than myself, traveling to different parts of the country, making lifelong relationships and memories that lasts for years to come.