How important is club tennis in getting recruited?

Club tennis, although not a mandatory stepping stone to getting recruited, most definitely helps players improve and hone their skills. At clubs, players are exposed to a higher level of competition that they may not have faced at school. Club level tennis allows players to showcase their prowess to college scouts, most certainly a deciding factor on whether or not they stand a chance to get recruited. 

While some student-athletes prefer the old-fashioned way of getting recruited through the high school path, an increasing number of athletes are opting to compete on club level tennis. Younger children are participating in club sports in large numbers, with parents hoping that their kids will earn an athletic scholarship. It must be noted that it does not matter who one plays for in order to get recruited, rather it is one’s individual skills which can play a role in the same. This may vary depending on the sport in question. For instance, soccer sees a whopping ninety-five percent club participation, making high school athletics not-so-popular in this sport. In the case of soccer, club participation most definitely helps in college recruitment

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According to the NCAA, around 8 million students participate in high school athletics. This goes to show that club tennis is not a prerequisite to college recruitment. However, it must also be noted that college coaches attend club tournaments more than high school games. While high school games are restricted to just a couple of months, club sports can take place throughout the year. With the large number of college prospects playing at a club level, coaches are more drawn towards matches played at regional and national levels rather than high school tournaments. 

Another positive aspect of club level sports is the experienced level of coaching which can be found in comparison to high school level sports. Club tennis coaching can offer a better chance at self-development and improvement of skills. However, playing on a club level may require one to pay large sums of money, which may not be financially feasible for everyone. This should not be a demotivating element in determining one’s college career, since the old-fashioned way of competing at a high school level and earning a way into college sports is still a solid option for many prospective athletes. 

For some, spending hefty sums of money and hoping for an athletic scholarship can seem no different than gambling. For some parents, it is an investment. However, there is no guarantee that playing tennis at a club level will fetch an athletic scholarship. At the end of the day, all that matters is how well one can play. An individual may spend thousands of dollars to participate on a club level and see no improvement, while another may stick to high school and take the path of discipline and determination and eventually end up with a college athletic scholarship. In other words, the most important factor is how hard a student tennis player works in order to develop their skills and improve over the course of their career, be it in high school, or at a club level. 

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