How Many Transfers From a College Program?
Thursday, February 9, 2012 at 09:49PM
CAtennis in College Tennis, Hard Truths, Junior Tennis, Parenting

When your son or daughter starts to consider college tennis and the different coaches/programs available, one of the telltale factors about a coach is the amount of transfers in the past 5-10 years. Before making an emotional decision, be sure to do your research on seeking how the roster has changed year to year. It is very easy to get caught up in an emotional decision based on a number of factors relating to the time of year you visited, the charming girls on the team, the best foot forward by a coach, the facilities, the location- so many factors can influence and cloud your judgement.

Most programs will have a transfer from time to time. This is normal because naturally random events happen where mutually both the coach and player are unhappy with the status quo. Your best bet is to analyze how the rosters have changed year to year. How many freshman have transferred in the past 5 years, how many sophomores? Were they unhappy and why? Talk to players- current, former, transfers. Do your research.

It is very hard to discern who is genuine about your own goals and interests. Everyone has an agenda, coaches need to produce results to keep their jobs and impress their Athletic Directors. Coaches will always put their best foot forward and hide the baggage in the closet. Most parents are misinformed and do not know what are the right questions to ask.

Why is this important information to potentially seek out? Simply it shares information about the integrity of the coach. From the coaches perspective, it is an imperfect science (frankly a lot of luck) in picking the right kids to fill the scholarships. Coaches will make big errors that they will need to live with for 4 years. For the most part, college coaches are people of extremely high character and will do their best by the kid. What you want to be careful with is a program that has high turnover and why is that?

Once a child reaches college, the balance of power has shifted strongly towards the coach. The coach has an enormous amount of power over the kid. If a coach wanted to, it would not take much to make a child feel unhappy about their current situation if things weren't working out. Now one could argue, "but yes, the coach needs to win, push the kid, and weed out the weak." Sure that is one way to look at it and it is an easy way to cover up poor recruiting choices and upgrade your squad.

The appropriate way to look at it is to understand the coach holds all the power. Is this the type of coach who will do his or her best by your child- through good and bad? The coach has a duty to coach (definition of a coach is to move forward) and to help the child turn into an adult. Is winning at all costs the most important thing? 99 percent of these NCAA players will be professional in something other than tennis- do you really want someone who is going to give up everytime he or she doesn't agree with? A coach of great integrity is one who is true to his word, character, and integrity- preparing this person not only for tennis, but the long road ahead in the real world. Think about it and please do your research. You will quickly start to sort through the fluff and see the light.

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