I am often amazed when talking to ranked competitive high school tennis players about their college plans.  In many cases their school choices are mostly based on tennis related factors – the coach, the ranking of the team, the quality of the players, the competitive schedule, the tennis facilities, etc. In addition, their chosen field of study is usually limited to degrees that will allow them to maximize their time on the court.

This should not surprise me, since for most ranked players, tennis has always been their priority.

However, the cold truth is that for the grand majority of college tennis players, their tennis career will end after college, and they will have to compete in the “real” world against the rest of all college graduates. Tennis skills will become secondary.

Smart players looking for colleges should approach the matter from a totally different perspective:  The goal should be to find the best academic school where they can play tennis and where they can work on the major of their choice while on the team –a program that will allow them to excel as students while still competing. 

Tennis can be a valuable ticket to very competitive and wonderful schools.  Used smartly, it will open doors to amazing academic opportunities. 

For most players, after college, success is measured by your performance in the classroom not on the court.

Be smart! Boost your education! Use tennis to maximize your academic potential while continuing to enjoy and benefit from all the wonderful experiences competitive tennis has to offer. And, if the stars allign for you and you have what it takes, college tennis can be a great pathway to the professional tour our player Dominik Köpfer has demonstarted. (pictured above with his college coach Mark Boras from Tulane)

We gave Dominik exactly the same advice 7 years ago when he was looking for an opportunity to study in the US. Dominik had always balanced academics and sports and wanted to continue on the same path. As it turns out, Dominik’s game blossomed in college while completing his degree. Now a college grsaduate and a top player on the ATP tour, his furute looks bright!

For more on the topic of becoming a professional player visit: