Tennis is a very popular sport at college level in the USA. It s played by over 1,000 college teams - both men's and women's - across the country. Tennis scholarships at the collegiate level are very competitive with most teams having 8 to 10 players on their roster. In order to win a university tennis scholarship to the USA, you need to play at an extremely high level and have good academics to back up your skills on the court.
The Universal Tennis Rating (UTR)
Having a Universal Tennis Rating - or UTR - is very important for tennis players. The UTR is a rating system that consolidates a single standard for tennis players across age, gender, and location. The higher your UTR, the better - the highest UTR a player can have is 16. For male players looking to attend Division 1 programs, they need to achieve a UTR of around 12, while female players need to have a rating of around 9. If you are only finding out about UTR’s now, don't worry! Male players with a UTR of 7 and female players with a UTR of 5 have been able to find some fantastic opportunities at many colleges. There will always be a chance for you to obtain a rating and place at a college in the USA.
If you are unsure of where to start, entering national and ITF tournaments is key for you. Playing often and against top opponents is only going to help you improve your game, both mentally and physically. By playing these tournaments you will be awarded a Universal Tennis Rating. Depending on your results, you can also scale up your ranking really nicely. Improving your UTR is one of the best ways to win a university tennis scholarship to the USA, so you should focus on it!
Along with a good UTR, coaches will want to see your tennis ability in a video. With the Covid shutdowns across the world, coaches have been unable to go and watch as many recruits as they would like. This means that video footage has become crucial for coaches to identify technique and skill. A coach can tell a lot about you as a player just by watching your demeanour and attitude on the court. Coaches want to see all aspects of your game - serves, forehands, backhands, volleys and overheads. Be sure to also send the coach a clip of a game or two as it is key for them to see how you play in a competitive setting.
5 Tips to Improve Your Chances of Getting a Scholarship
- Get a formal coach
- Working with a dedicated coach can take you from being competitive to obtaining great results and wins on a regular basis, and quickly improving your UTR
- Set yourself monthly goals and seasonal goals every year
- You have to set yourself achievable goals in order to achieve your dreams
- Create a great resume
- Make sure to include your achievements and wins as well as your placings at specific events throughout the season
- Record your competitive matches and training sessions
- Coaches love to see how you compete under pressure as well as how you train
- Supportive Circle
- Make sure to surround yourself with family and friends that have a positive impact on you and your dreams of studying overseas
Obtaining a tennis scholarship takes lots of hard work and dedication, with many hours spent on the court in sweltering conditions. However, know that the effort you put in now will pay off. Start working towards earning a scholarship today by signing up for a free evaluation, and let us guide you through the process to ensure you succeed in your dream of studying and playing tennis in the USA.
Remember, it’s always the perfect time to begin your journey towards studying at the university of your dreams. Sign up here for a free consultation with one of our recruitment experts. You could join over 300 student-athletes already placed in the USA, competing at the highest level and earning a world-class degree!