Want to Play College Tennis? Use YouTube to Nab a Scholarship!
Young tennis players often dream of playing on top teams and through high school, then scoring a spot on a Division I or II college tennis team. Some players even have their eye on the prize, as in a scholarship to help pay for their higher education while they hit the tennis courts. So why not use technology and the second largest search engine in the world to help showcase the skills?
Our own Blue Chip Tennis Academy and USPTA pro, and former Division I tennis coach, Farley Youman explains how high school freshmen, sophomores, juniors, or even seniors can use YouTube to nab a competitive college scholarship.
Show Off the College Tennis Skills
The premise is simple and straightforward: collect videos of the young tennis player, create a highlight video or series of videos and put them on YouTube. Then send a link to the video to college coaches.
But to really catch college tennis coaches attention, there’s a bit more detail that goes into it. Many players send just a link to the video without all the necessary information, or without showing enough versatility. Likewise, a video that is not framed well, or shot well, will not work to the player’s advantage.
For instance, if the video is a wide shot that shows two players on a full court, how will the coach know which player to look at? On the other hand, while a video of a player hitting balls out of basket does show form, it does not show other key details like foot speed, reflexes or how far that shot is landing.
Combine, Collaborate and Crush it on the Court
Ideally, the tennis player’s video shows an edited series of clips from various angles and in different playing situations. Don’t worry, basic editing is easy within YouTube itself and through other user-friendly video software programs. When putting the video together, include a close up of the player introducing himself or herself by name, classification, high school and hometown. Then have the player give an overview of what the coach will see in the rest of the video.
When it comes down to shots on the tennis court, show hitting shots when a person feeds out of a basket. Feature playing a set where the player plays against an opponent. But don’t choose an opponent who is below the featured player’s level. This player will probably not place the ball well enough to test foot speed or will not hit hard enough to test reflexes. Get someone that normally defeats the player. The coach is not looking at whether the young tennis player wins or loses – rather, he or she wants to see the player tested in all areas. With an opponent who is an offensive player, the coach will easily see your best skills.
Although it may be counter intuitive, don’t cut out errors or mistakes from the video. This kind of editing will be obvious and may call into question the entire evaluation. And sometimes how a player recovers from mistakes is important to see.
Send it Off and Follow Up!
Once the tennis player highlight video is ready, you can send the link off to coaches. Remember to follow up with the coach a few days after sending the link. A phone call is best. Keep in mind that the early signing period for NCAA Division I and II college tennis scholarships starts in the fall each year. Regular signing is then between April and August.
Have more questions about what coaches are looking for, or want to refine some skills before showcasing them on the silver screen? MTVAC offers tennis programs, camps, clinics and lessons, while Blue Chip Tennis Academy is a USTA Mid-Atlantic mega provider. Our tennis pros can help you make the most and get the most from your scholarship YouTube video!