I was no different from many other tennis parents with high aspirations and dreams for my child. My son started playing tennis when he was eight-years-old. He quickly rose to the top of his Sunday ladder, finishing second in the “A” group. He did not have any formal tennis training at that point. While I hoped that he was a tennis prodigy in line for a tennis scholarship, I knew realistically that his tennis involvement would more likely help him gain acceptance to the college of his choice or a higher echelon school.
I know many young rising “tennis stars” and their families as an active part of the tennis community for more than 20 years. Initially, we all think that our child may one day play at the U.S. Open, but in reality, the road to getting there is long and hard, and competition is so keen it is unlikely that most children playing USTA National Tournaments will even get an athletic scholarship to a top college.
Here are some statistics on college tennis scholarships according to College Sports Scholarships 2011:
►College tennis has more international athletes per capita than any other college sport.
►Fifty percent of NCAA Division 1 scholarships are given to international athletes.
►Competition for limited scholarships is tough.
►Unless you will be a top five singles player or top three doubles team, coaches will probably not give you an athletic scholarship.
►You may need to look at other division levels.
With these statistics in mind, it is important to start saving for college as early as possible. There are conservative vehicles available. The earlier you start saving, the better off you and your child will be.