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College Night: brought to you by Dede Allen

June 2, 2006 09:24 AM

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By Tori Townsend

There are many things kids dream about for their future: getting good grades, winning a championship, becoming a doctor or being a professional athlete.  The dream discussed at “College Night,” hosted by Collegiate Guide for High School Tennis Players author Dede Allen was entry into college tennis.

With an expected audience of 25, the 61 parents and junior tennis players that showed where exposed to seminar topics including: ~ What are college coaches looking for in a player? ~ How and when do I start? ~ When and where can coaches officially contact you? ~ What is the difference between the NCAA, NAIA, and NJCAA?

“College Night” seminars are given three times per year and aim to provide educational information to high school athletes and their families to help guide them through the college recruiting process. They assist in answering all questions related to playing college tennis.  This process can be quite overwhelming as kids search for not only the right academic college to attend, but for the right athletic fit as well.

Robert Teppert, father of two children who have experience with the college recruiting process, understands the importance of starting the course of action early and obtaining as much information as possible.

“It is already a complicated process for kids to decide what college to attend academically,” Teppert said.  “But when you add tennis, it creates an extra layer to that process.  The connection between athletics and the admissions process was an especially useful topic covered by Dede.”

It is important for coaches, parents, and junior players to understand that playing tennis for a college team is like finding the right job.  There is a method to finding the right fit.  It takes hard work and attention to details.

Just as the highest GPA doesn’t solely dictate getting hired for a job, top rankings are NOT the only thing college coaches’ look for.  They take into consideration experience, improvement, attitude, team work ethic, and how players conduct themselves in the interview process.

Dede Allen passionately urges junior players and their parents to be proactive.

“Kids’ can’t sit around and wait for the coach to call them,” Allen said.  “They need to start as early as ninth grade by paying attention to their grades.  Better grades equal more opportunities.”

It is important for both the parent and child to be involved in the recruiting process.  There is no need to hire an outside company to help in the recruitment route.

“Coaches like to see that the kid wants to go to their school,” Allen said.  “They like to see them do the work.  By attending the “College Night” seminars, and reading the Collegiate Guide for High School Tennis Players, players and parents should have a good overall understanding of the recruiting process.”

There are ample resources available to ensure that the junior player makes the best decision possible for them

USTA Florida Director of Competitive Tennis Andy Gladstone attended the information session.  He was thrilled with the turnout.

“I feel that learning about the college recruiting process is so important to the junior tennis player,” Gladstone said.  “There are so many rules and regulations that players are not aware of.  Dede is a wealth of knowledge on this topic.”

“College Night” is intended to inspire potential college players and their parents to do the work necessary, take the next step for their future, and get excited about college tennis!  It truly is a unique experience.

These seminars are open to the public, and for more information, visit playcollegetennis.net.  The next “College Night” will be Aug. 5 in Jacksonville.

A special thanks to Evert Tennis Academy for hosting this event.

 

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