It is true, tennis really can pay for college, but not the way you think it can. So listen up all you junior tennis players.
It is official, my son is a Presidential Scholar so I won’t be paying for college. I don’t think he would have ever received this high honor if it hadn’t been for tennis. In a sea of applications from every other smart student in the country, he needed something to make him stand out. That something was his tennis. From the moment he was invited to apply for the scholarship his counsellor told us that being a high level athlete made him unique and an excellent candidate for the award.
From the time my son started playing tennis his coach emphasized the importance of getting good grades. He always told us that Alex could play college tennis but he would need the grades to be sellable. If you can present yourself to a tennis coach as a good player that they don’t have to pay for, the doors to the college tennis teams will open. Focus on the grades so you can get your scholarship money through academics. The amount of money a tennis coach has to offer is limited, but the amount of money you can get for academics is unlimited. A great tennis player that is a poor student will not see much money, but a good tennis player that is a great student can go to college for free.
As I have said time and time again, tennis is about the life lessons. It is these lessons my child was able to draw upon to sell himself as a candidate for his scholarship. His experience on the court in high pressure situations allowed him to be comfortable and confident during the interviewing process. He was able to demonstrate to the college that he could balance a heavy practice and tournament schedule while maintaining top grades.
So listen up all junior tennis players. While focusing on bringing your game to a college level don’t forget to bring your grades to the same level. Make yourself a sellable commodity. Don’t limit your college options with your grades, and maximize your scholarship potential. You need to be able to balance your tennis and your education. You already have the skills to focus, work hard and succeed under pressure on the tennis court. Take those skills to the classroom and watch your grades go through the roof. In turn, watch the money start rolling in.
Dream big and work hard!
(A final word for the parents, make sure you spend as much time looking into the academic scholarship as you do the athletic scholarships. If you need any help on how to get your tennis player academic scholarships please don’t hesitate to ask.)