Mythbusters: Focusing Too Much on Tennis Will Negatively Affect Your College Options

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Early college choices are starting to be decided by the Class of 2012 and Long Island should be very proud. So far, Long Island junior tennis players have been accepted to colleges with great academics and great tennis. According to TennisRecruiting.net, Long Island junior tennis players have been accepted to: Duke, Penn State, Wake Forest, Williams, Amherst, Washburn-Topeka, Virginia, Brown, Dartmouth, Emory, Marist and Adelphi. I asked four Long Island standouts about their recruiting experience and any advice they may have for people who still have to go through the process.

Katherine Yau • Manhasset High School
Committed to Dartmouth

Can you think of anything that surprised you during recruiting?
What surprised me was how easy it is for coaches to get in contact with recruits and how organized their schedules are so new recruits could plan their visits ahead of time.

When did you construct your first list of colleges that you wanted to consider? How many schools made that list?
I made a list around the beginning of junior year. There were about six or eight colleges on that list.

At the end of your junior year of high school, how many schools were you considering? How many schools were you considering at the beginning of your senior year?
At the end of junior year, I was considering four schools. By the beginning of senior year, I narrowed it down to my top two.

What advice would you give to high school tennis players who have not gone through the recruiting process?
Coaches know of your potential before they even get a chance to watch you play, so don’t stress over those “bad” matches they so happen to watch. It’s important to stay positive through the whole process.



Andrew Yaraghi • Friends Academy
Committed to Amherst

Can you think of anything that surprised you during recruiting?
I was really shocked when I saw coaches at sectionals and nationals in the beginning of my junior year. I was not expecting it and I think I actually benefited from it as I could play without any pressure.

When did you construct your first list of colleges that you wanted to consider? How many schools made that list?
I began to make a list of schools during the beginning of my junior year. It was after the thanksgiving National Open that I really put some time into thinking about schools. At the time, my list consisted of about five schools, and all of these coaches were at the National Open.

At the end of your junior year of high school, how many schools were you considering? How many schools were you considering at the beginning of your senior year?
Going into the summer, I had many more schools on my list, closer to 10. At the time, I liked everything about these schools and continued to be in contact with them. When the school year started up, I had three official visits lined up and ultimately took five in total.

What advice would you give to high school tennis players who have not gone through the recruiting process?
You definitely want to take a couple of unofficial visits during the winter or spring of your junior year. Seeing the campus, the team and meeting the coach should be your number one priority. Try not to lose contact with a coach, even if the school isn't at the top of your list, as you want to keep your options open. Going into the summer, you should try to develop a list, taking into consideration aspects such as the level of tennis, academics, coach, team and location of the school. For me, location of the school was a huge factor. Before deciding on a school, you have to make sure that you know what you want in a school and that your decision isn't someone else's. Finally, try not to choose a school solely because of the coach as that coach's stay can easily change.



Stephanie Loutsenko • Bellmore JFK
Committed to Emory

Can you think of anything that surprised you during recruiting?
How nice and open the coaches were. I was a little nervous about e-mailing some of the schools I had interest in, but communicating with the coaches put me at ease.

When did you construct your first list of colleges that you wanted to consider? How many schools made that list?
Around the time I began my junior year. I always had an idea where I wanted to go, but that was the point where I narrowed it down to about 15 schools I was really interested in.

At the end of your junior year of high school, how many schools were you considering? How many schools were you considering at the beginning of your senior year?
I think I narrowed my list down to 11 or 12 by the end of junior year, but at the beginning of senior year, I had a list of five schools I was seriously considering.

What advice would you give to high school tennis players who have not gone through the recruiting process?
Really think about what you want and who you are. You should definitely listen to the advice your parents and coaches give you, but ultimately, you'll be spending four years there and you want to be happy.



Josh Levine • Cold Spring Harbor High School
Committed to Duke

Can you think of anything that surprised you during recruiting?
There wasn't much too surprising about the recruiting process; however, some of the schools reaching out to me was really flattering on how much they went after me. With Duke, I didn't think there was serious interest until Kalamazoo when we had breakfast and I found out that I was one of the two guys they wanted badly.

When did you construct your first list of colleges that you wanted to consider? How many schools made that list?
I constructed my first list of colleges right before the summer of my junior year. The amount of schools that were on that list was probably about 20 to 25 schools.

At the end of your junior year of high school, how many schools were you considering? How many schools were you considering at the beginning of your senior year?
By the end of junior year, I was considering around five schools that I was in very close contact with. By the time that senior year rolled around, I was fortunate to commit early to Duke University on Aug. 29, 2011.

What advice would you give to high school tennis players who have not gone through the recruiting process?
I would say to contact the coaches early and get a good relationship going with them through e-mails. Also, just play your game and compete hard in your matches and the coaches will notice your abilities. Don't be too worried about who is looking at you or what you hear from other kids. If you perform well on and off the court, the coaches will contact you.

Over the last few years, I have been lucky enough to spend time with all four of these kids. They are all extraordinary people/athletes and there is little doubt they will represent themselves and Long Island very well in everything they do in the future.