| By Ricky Becker

Long Island has a number of colleges that play tennis in the NCAA: Division I (Stony Brook and Hofstra), Division II (Adelphi, Molloy, Dowling and CW Post), and Division III (Farmingdale State College). We spoke to some of these coaches about what they look for in prospective recruits, Long Island as a college tennis destination and advice they have for high school students.

 

 

 

 

Michael Misiti
Adelphi University
Head Men’s and Women’s Coach

Junior Tennis Consulting: Do you prefer local players or does it matter if the player is local?
Michael Misiti: I love to have a diverse team. I like a few local players who know and understand New York. New York presents many distractions, so native New Yorkers know how to deal with them. Also, I have coached locally for almost 10 years, and for instance, my current number one player has been a student of mine since she was 12-years-old. She's a former number one player in the East who won multiple sectional tournaments. Our relationship goes back a long way, and we work quite well together. However, I love international players. I love learning new languages, and having players from different continents teach each other about their culture and language. I identify well with Europeans and appreciate their work ethic. I have a home in Italy and Croatia, so I have connections with those particular federations, and use them well. Internationals tend to be grateful to come to America, and I appreciate that mentality.

How do you sell your program to recruits?
Misiti: Selling my program is simple: Adelphi has a solid business and nursing program, and is located 30 minutes from Manhattan by train. Manhattan is the best city in the world … a place that creates and oozes success. Tennis is considered the sport of a lifetime, but 99 percent of the players will move on to do something else in their life. I believe they are set up in the best location in the world to obtain an internship and then a job once they graduate. Secondly, as a coach, I've created and coached two national champions and many sectional champions. I am working to put Adelphi on the Division II map by getting this program nationally ranked within two to three years.

Do recruits like being on Long Island?
Misiti: Long Island is a place where I grew up and still love. You get a suburban environment, and particularly where the Adelphi campus is in Garden City, a beautiful surrounding area, yet you're within 30 minutes away from New York City. Who could ask for more?

What type of player/ranking are you looking for in a recruit?
Misiti: I am looking for players who have the ability to play on hard courts … players who possess an all-court game. Ranking isn't so important, as I believe I can grow and build players with good raw games. I do tend to like Scandinavians and northern Europeans because of their ability to play on fast indoor court (they've done it all of their lives), and they usually speak good English. At Adelphi, we require an 80 TOEFL score which is quite high. I prefer players in the top 50 in the East, but as a great example, my current number one men's player was outside of the top 50 in the East, and two years ago when I took the position as head coach, he was number six. Now, he plays number one, is super fit, and has a win over Fordham’s number one singles player who was ranked in the top 50 in the country in Division I. Don't focus on the ranking, but the attitude! Anything is possible.

Do you have any advice for Long Island juniors who would like to play college tennis?
Misiti: My advice to recruits is to play a lot of tournaments, show a great attitude, be willing to play a lot of doubles, and be aggressive. Coaches get hundreds of e-mails per week from recruits. Sometimes they cannot get around to all of them but if you keep sending e-mails and calling, you may just get the attention of a coach who may have otherwise passed you by. Most importantly, work hard and let your personality come out in your videos and in meeting with coaches. In the end, it's all about relationships, so build them wisely.



 

Adam Waterhouse
Farmingdale State College
Head Men’s and Women’s Tennis Coach
Junior Tennis Consulting: Do you prefer local players or does it not matter much?

Adam Waterhouse: It does not matter to me where my players originally reside. However, since Farmingdale State College has a large number of commuting students, I generally get players from Nassau County, Suffolk County, and Queens/Brooklyn. As more players begin to reside on campus, I am hopeful to bring in players from greater distances.

How do you sell your program to recruits?
Waterhouse: Farmingdale College is a Division III program, and therefore, does not offer athletic scholarships. However, there are several factors that help sell our program to recruits. The tuition is extremely reasonable, especially if commuting is an option. Farmingdale has abundant programs of study that prepare students for the work force, not just graduate school. Our state-of-the-art tennis complex and record of success are also major factors in helping recruits decide on Farmingdale State College.

Do recruits like being on Long Island?
Waterhouse: Those recruits who have played for Farmingdale absolutely love being on Long Island. Being so close to New York City and the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center is a major reason. The college sits on the Nassau/Suffolk border, so everything that makes Long Island great is within reach.

What type of player/ranking are you looking for in a recruit?
Waterhouse: I am looking for high school players that do not require athletic scholarships. High school players with USTA experience and rankings are always preferred, but not required. I also look for players who understand the concept of tennis as a team sport and not just an individual effort.

Do you have any advice for Long Island juniors who would like to play college tennis?
Waterhouse: The best advice is to match schools for academics and tennis. Contact college coaches directly (e-mail is best), and if possible, provide a simple YouTube video link of basic groundstrokes, volleys, serves, overheads, footwork and match play. Visit the colleges that have tennis, talk to the players and coaches, and watch a match.



 

Gary Glassman
Stony Brook University
Head Men’s and Women’s Tennis Coach
Junior Tennis Consulting: Do you prefer local players or does it not matter much?

Gary Glassman: We definitely like to have players from the Metro New York area. The top local kids will always be our first choice in recruiting. The energy they bring with their families, friends, coaches, etc. is all great for our program.

How do you sell your program to recruits?
Glassman: Our main selling point is the fact that Stony Brook is one of the top one percent of all universities worldwide, and one of the top 40 public institutions in the United States. We are able to sell great academics and high level Division I tennis. This happens all while competing for a Conference Championship each season.

Do recruits like being on Long Island?
Glassman: I think our recruits really like the fact that New York City is only a train ride away and they are surrounded by beaches.

What type of player/ranking are you looking for in a recruit?
Glassman: Player-wise, we look for recruits who are committed to improving during their college years. Ranking-wise, we try to go after kids in the top 100 to 125 in the United States. However, we have some two and three stars who contribute mightily in our lineup.

Do you have any advice for Long Island juniors who would like to play college tennis?
Glassman: My advice would be to first, make several campus visits. Second, try to attend as many college matches as possible at all levels. There is a college and tennis program in this country, and even on Long Island, for almost every level of player.



 

Victor Carabello
Molloy College
Head Women’s Coach
Junior Tennis Consulting: Do you prefer local players or does it not matter much?

Victor Carabello: Whether a player is local or not, as a coach, what I'm most interested in is whether a player is a team player and is willing to work hard as an athlete and a student.

How do you sell your program to recruits?
Carabello: One of the best ways to sell the program is to invite recruits for a weekend stay, during which, they room with a team member, hit around with them and get a feel for what campus life is like. Nothing compares to a hands-on home away from home experience. I emphasize that if they choose to attend Molloy College, they immediately become family and we take care of one another.

Do recruits like being on Long Island?
Carabello: In my opinion, Long Island is best suited for students looking for a quality education and who are used to being in smaller schools and quiet suburban communities.

What type of player/ranking are you looking for in a recruit?
Carabello: I am not as concerned with rankings as I am in recruits who have a strong work ethic, are determined, competitive and open to suggestion when it comes to working on improving their overall game and match play.

Do you have any advice for Long Island juniors who would like to play college tennis?
Carabello: The best experience they can get in order to be prepared for college tennis would definitely involve being a part of their middle and high school teams, or gaining match play experience by taking part in USTA Tournaments or joining a Junior Team Tennis League. All of those types of settings would best prepare them for being on a college team.



 

Joshua Wolfson
Dowling College
Head Tennis Coach
Junior Tennis Consulting: Do you prefer local players or does it not matter much?

Joshua Wolfson: Local players are easier to recruit because of the ability to contact them but, it doesn't really matter.

How do you sell your program to recruits?
Wolfson: I don't like to think of it as a sell. I simply discuss the opportunities available with the recruit and if their interests are congruent with what Dowling College has to offer then, we move forward from there.

Do recruits like being on Long Island?
Wolfson: Long Island has a lot to offer our athletes. Regardless of where you are located, there is always something to do.

What type of player/ranking are you looking for in a recruit?
Wolfson: When looking for recruits, I decide what attributes I am looking for based on the positions I have available on my roster.

Do you have any advice for Long Island juniors who would like to play college tennis?
Wolfson: Players interested in college tennis should reach out to coaches about potential opportunities.

Ricky Becker

<p>Ricky Becker is director of tennis at Pine Hollow Country Club and independently coaches high-performance juniors year-round at Bethpage State Park and Jericho/Westbury Tennis where he is the junior tournament director. He can be reached by phone at (516) 605-0420, e-mail <a href="mailto:rbecker06@yahoo.com">rbecker06@yahoo.com</a> or visit <a href="http://JuniorTennisConsulting.com" onclick="window.open(this.href, 'JuniorTennisConsultingcom', 'resizable=no,status=no,location=no,toolbar=no,menubar=no,fullscreen=no,scrollbars=no,dependent=no'); return false;">JuniorTennisConsulting.com</a>.</p>