Please update your profile

Your Membership Expires in ${daysToExpire} days!

Your Membership has expired!

Your Safe Play Approval Expires in ${daysToExpire} days!

Your Safe Play Approval has expired!

Please complete your account creation

This is the membership endpoints html.
PB Error Codes
getcategories
getproducts
accesstoken
catalogId
catalogVersionId
categoryId
viewCart
deleteCart
addToCart
retrieveMembersDetails
getMemberInfo
unlinkMember
submitNewMemberInfo
updateCustomerDetails
traditionalUpdateCustomerDetails
paymentDetails
createOrganization
addFacility
addVoucher
removeVoucher
validateAddress
setDefaultPayment
getOrganization
orders
organizationSuggestion
facilitySuggestion
deleteCard
signInByUaid
recoveryEmail
customerEmailUpdate
traditionalLogin
signInByProfile
updateSignInProfile
addCard
addEcheck
removeEcheck
setDefaultPaymentInfo
unsubscribe
editFacility
unlinkFacility
editOrganization
duplicateCustomerValidation
getSection
refreshToken
National

Q&A: College coaches on COVID-19 impact

April 02, 2020

As the college landscape continues to evolve due to COVID-19, the impacts are being felt by programs across the country. Administrators, coaches, student-athletes, and even high schoolers and USTA juniors in the recruiting process are among those who have been impacted, as it relates to college tennis.

 

USTA.com caught up with members of the college coaching community to get their thoughts on some of these issues, both in general and as they relate to the coronavirus. Read on to hear from Harvard's Traci Green, NC State's Simon Earnshaw, Bucknell's Bruce Myers, Florida Southern's Trish Riddell and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps' David Schwarz.

 

For more on how COVID-19 has impacted college tennis, specifically the recruiting process, visit our informational page.

 

Q: What is your advice for junior players and parents as they look to be recruited?

 

Traci Green, Harvard Women’s Head Coach (NCAA Division I)

 

“My advice to players looking to be recruited is to stay calm, stay positive and be realistic about what can actually take place right now during a pandemic. Parents should try to stay calm as well. I wouldn’t stress about not going on in-person visits, however, I would try to utilize school websites a lot more, campus virtual tours and team social media pages to get a feel for schools you have on your list. If you are in 11th or 12th grade and you are permitted to talk to coaches directly, I suggest you reach out to coaches via email with updates and ask them about their timeline and interest in you. The reality is most coaches are likely recruiting more than they normally would due to the spring season being cut short. They are also easier to reach.”

 

Simon Earnshaw, NC State Women’s Head Coach (NCAA Division I)

 

“I’d say more than ever before, be proactive and don’t necessarily wait for the coaches to contact you. Reach out and try to engage in as much communication as possible. Be clear and direct. The past few weeks have shown just how quickly everything in our world can change. The more both players and their parents can be involved, the better this is for everyone. Then it’s really a question of trying to keep up and develop relationships as you would expect them to develop once you’re part of a program. Relationships are much better when they are two-way and that’s the same with the recruiting process.”

 

Bruce Myers, Bucknell Men’s Head Coach (NCAA Division I)

 

“There are certainly many great resources available from the online guides, ratings and reviews available. Use everything to help narrow down your choices. There are so many factors to take into consideration when simply looking at a college—size of student population, teacher-to-student ratio, location of school, climate, majors/minors available, etc. When you factor how you are looking to be a student-athlete, you also have other very important elements to consider—level of play, facilities, sports medicine, nutrition, mental performance—so there is a lot of information to digest.

 

“But my number one piece of advice I offer is to be realistic in your level of tennis, potential upside and what a college coach is looking for from their recruits. With the growth and acceptance of UTR, it is a much easier process to gauge the level of a program as well as for a coach to get a pretty good understanding of your level as well. There are always underlying issues which will have a negative impact upon your current UTR… but remember coaches do not want to hear excuses, but much prefer the stories of overcoming obstacles and making improvements because that shows grit, which is something every coach wants and cannot be taught.” 

 

Trish Riddell, Florida Southern Women’s Head Coach (NCAA Division II)

 

“With most campuses being closed, in-person visits are not an option, but you can certainly communicate and research some schools online. Many schools have virtual tours and you can also get information about the academic and tennis programs. It’s a great time to do research on potential opportunities for college tennis, and reach out to coaches at the schools you feel would be a good fit for you.”

 

David Schwarz, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Women’s Head Coach (NCAA Division III)

 

“Players should obviously keep in touch with coaches and ask them if their recruiting timelines and/or criteria are being adjusted in any way. Related to that is the question of how the inability to visit campuses for potentially several months will impact the coaches’ decisions to make offers. For example, would a coach make an offer without an on-campus visit? I also think players updating coaches on any physical activities they are able to do is helpful.”

 

Q: Can you discuss what your athletic department is doing to help your program?

 

Traci Green, Harvard Women’s Head Coach (NCAA Division I)

 

“Our university and athletic department was one of the first to shut things down and start to social distance. We now have Zoom classes and team meetings, and voluntary wellness workouts. Technology has definitely kept us connected as a team and institution. I’m sure we will continue to implement more technology into our program in the future.”

 

Simon Earnshaw, NC State Women’s Head Coach (NCAA Division I)

 

“I would say it was clear when I came to NC State that they wanted to be successful in every sport and understood the piece that a coaching staff can be the main difference maker. There were high but clear expectations and although historically that level of achievement hadn’t been present, being able to have control and that support from the get-go was the help I needed. There was a plan that if you were able to achieve specific benchmarks then you would be supported more and more based on that. For me, that was the most important piece, as simple as it sounds. I was provided with a pathway where I had a good degree of control and our mutually high expectations matched. I think for many that could create a ton of pressure or be a situation that could cause some trepidation, but it’s one of those things where I was looking for that and felt I could thrive in that environment.”

 

Bruce Myers, Bucknell Men’s Head Coach (NCAA Division I)

 

“Our athletic program, along with so many others, currently have circled up pretty tight and have put together different game plans based upon and depending upon NCAA decisions and the reality of the current world. Seeing a rather substantial decrease in annual fund disbursements to the individual conferences, I think our department is trying to tackle this from two related but different standpoints. First and foremost, Bucknell has enlisted the assistance in our University Advancement to increase our fundraising a great deal. I am very lucky that I have a great alumni base who support the program.

 

Secondly, I believe that every university will be looking for creative ways to stretch budgets much further than in the past—reduce travel costs by sharing trips amongst programs, more regional play, versus out of region—while continuing to strive to enhance the student-athlete experience. Recently over the last few seasons we have [made several department-wide improvements that] allow us to remain competitive in the Patriot League, which has always been the goal of the department.”

 

Trish Riddell, Florida Southern Women’s Head Coach (NCAA Division II)

 

“We are encouraged to continue recruiting, and we are speaking with admissions constantly regarding potential incoming students.”

 

David Schwarz, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Women’s Head Coach (NCAA Division III)

 

“We aren’t dealing with athletic scholarships in Division III but my department is working closely with the coaches on budget, recruiting, schedule, etc.”

 

Q: What are your initial thoughts on the NCAA ruling about granting current college student-athletes another year of eligibility? 

 

Traci Green, Harvard Women’s Head Coach (NCAA Division I)

 

“College sports play a big role in the lives of our students. I trust the NCAA took great care in making their decision that affects spring sports. It’s ultimately up to the student if he or she wants to pursue competing another season. It will be interesting to see how this will pan out across the various conferences and divisions.”

 

Simon Earnshaw, NC State Women’s Head Coach (NCAA Division I)

 

“It’s been a real rollercoaster the past few weeks, from the initial end-of-season announcement, to the hope of eligibility relief through to this week’s ruling and then the process each school is now working through based on our new normal. There are many perspectives, as there’s a huge ripple effect that every athletic department, program, student-athlete, recruit and their families are feeling. I’m still trying to grasp all the ins and outs, and with most everything there seem to be more questions than answers currently. Therefore, my initial thoughts are that it’s a positive step but there’s going to need to be some mitigation of the implications of the ruling and we’re going to have to be flexible and creative reacting to how this is going to work functionally moving forward.”

 

Bruce Myers, Bucknell Men’s Head Coach (NCAA Division I)

 

“The recent ruling allowing an extra session of eligibility to all spring student-athletes certainly makes sense on a number of levels. With the current economic climate and recent potential short-term unemployment situation, it certainly gives the student-athlete options, which is all they are looking for at this point. With the Patriot League and Ivy League not allowing fifth years or graduate student-athletes, unless under unique or relatively unusual circumstances, the only impact upon our student-athletes is they might have the opportunity to transfer to finish their final year of eligibility. The majority of the Patriot League graduating student-athletes are looking to begin their initial foray into the workforce. I am curious to see the repercussions for the incoming fall 2020 first-year student-athletes who expected to immediately step into the lineup at their Power 5 school, only to have to sit the bench the entire season behind a returning, fifth-year senior.”

 

Trish Riddell, Florida Southern Women’s Head Coach (NCAA Division II)

 

“I think this is a great thing for many student-athletes, it also poses a potential turmoil for some. Seniors who had plans to graduate and pursue graduate degrees, internships, fellowships or jobs may question their options. For most, if they had plans in place I feel they will continue with those plans. For the underclass students, this is a definite benefit as they can graduate or potentially have a year of playing while in graduate school, so this is a good option. There will be many issues to follow with have large roster sizes and ‘five classes’ of students, incoming freshmen may not be getting an option to play if seniors stay. So interesting times [ahead].”

 

David Schwarz, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Women’s Head Coach (NCAA Division III)

“It’s a little different in Division III because we aren’t talking about athletic scholarships. It will be interesting to see how many D-III athletes pursue the extra year. I don’t think it will be a huge number, but I think places with extensive graduate programs could possibly have an advantage. Some D-III schools have either zero or close to zero graduate programs available. At CMS, we are probably in a middle category of some, but limited, graduate programs. Then there are the larger universities in D-III that have extensive graduate programs across many different disciplines, and this could potentially impact the competitive balance.”

 

Q: Is there anything you would like to add about the overall COVID-19 situation?

 

Traci Green, Harvard Women’s Head Coach (NCAA Division I)

“COVID-19 should be taken very seriously. We all need to take the necessary precautions to stay home, social distance, wash your hands, etc. It’s ultra important to focus on your own personal wellness at this time, stay socially connected (from a distance) and find ways to grow from this experience. We are all in this together and we will get through it.”

 

Simon Earnshaw, NC State Women’s Head Coach (NCAA Division I)

 

“I don’t think any of us could have seen this coming and are ready for what’s ahead of us in the next few weeks and months. Maybe we should all have been more mindful or prepared for it; I don’t know that and it’s easy to think that in hindsight. The main thing is to follow the advice and mandates we are being given by medical professionals and be as disciplined as possible with that. We’re all in this; no matter where we live, this is an invisible enemy and in order to get past this we’ve all got to do it together. It really makes me appreciate doctors, nurses and the first responders, those on the front lines, more than before—their selfless commitment, putting others first despite not having all the tools and protective equipment, has been both uplifting and demoralizing. Last night on one of the news programs I recognized a former high-level Division I women’s tennis player that was sharing her experience as a doctor currently in New York. It’s positive to see former student-athletes in roles like this beyond the high-profiles ones we hear about like professional athletes. We don’t hear or see this enough, that’s where former student-athletes really make a difference big picture and can use their experience.”

 

Bruce Myers, Bucknell Men’s Head Coach (NCAA Division I)

 

“[There are a lot of questions due to the] unknown with the COVID-19 situation. Will we resume on-campus classes in the fall? Will students look for lower-cost alternative methods for higher education? Will international student-athletes return to America and will international recruits still look for opportunities in America? Do we, as college coaches, need to look at potentially recruiting more American student-athletes moving forward? I feel confident with the support from my administration that I receive at Bucknell and because of the fundraising and community service we are engaged in each season that my program will be fine. But I feel a great deal of apprehension about some of the programs across the country with the pending and potential budget cuts that are certainly going to take place in college athletics in the immediate future.”

 

Trish Riddell, Florida Southern Women’s Head Coach (NCAA Division II)

 

“Treat this time as an opportunity to do something you don’t normally have time to do—try a new workout, read a different book, listen to webinars or podcasts. Stay connected with people. Come through this stronger, physically and mentally, than you were before.”

 

David Schwarz, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Women’s Head Coach (NCAA Division III)

 

“These are unique times requiring unique responses. Obviously the first priority is everyone’s health and welfare. It may take a while but I believe that the country and college tennis will come back strong.”

Advertisement

Related Articles

  • With the collegiate landscape rapidly changing due to COVID-19, the USTA would like to provide junior tennis players and parents with important information surrounding the recruiting process. Learn more. Read More
  • ITA Fall Nationals
    November 10, 2020
    North Carolina's Alexa Graham and Central Florida's Trey Hilderbrand won the 2020 ITA National Fall Championships titles, triumphing over a fields that included both collegians and top juniors. The addition of juniors and prize money to the event is a pilot of a new level-based pathway for American players. Read More
  • The Southeast Missouri State women's tennis team held a clinic for blind and visually impaired youth, in partnership with Southeast Kids in Actions (SEKIA). Read More