Pitfalls when placing yourself

I interviewed a player who had originally spoken to Tennis Smart but chose to place       himself. He is a top British player who had no one to guide him through the eligibility process or advise which set up would be the best for him. Don’t make the same mistakes


Did you speak to any placement firms regarding placement


I spoke to Tennis Smart briefly before I started the process.  ( Tennis Smart made it very clear that there would be academic issues but with so many coaches showing interest and promising the world, the player believed the process would be easy. This isn’t always the case)


If so, why did you choose not to use the placement firm?


Felt that is was money not needed to be spent as I knew other guys who had done it  alone successfully. ( Very rare to find someone who chooses a University which covers all of their needs and meets their financial requirements)


Did you find the registration process stressful?


Not until the very end when eligibility problems started to appear. ( Something which would have been highlighted if a placement firm was used and the problems prevented. Full eligibility was possible.)


Did you get full eligibility or were their problems?


There were problems, due to school I’ve lost a whole year of playing. (Without fully understanding the British academic system, no one pre-empted the issues and by the time they figured it out, it was too late)


Did you negotiate a good scholarship?


A very good one considering the eligibility issues. (Possibilities of scholarship decreasing due to eligibility issues, another problem which can arise)


The school you chose, was it everything you thought it would be? If not, why not?


Not particularly. Wasn’t enjoying it at the start, wasn’t as good as everyone made it out to be for various reasons (program and housing)  but things smoothed out and they’re a lot better now at the end of the semester.


If you had to redo, would you ask for help? If yes, how would it have helped your case?


Yes. Placed in a school fit for your needs and wants. Don’t have to worry about the process of it all as its done for you. Making sure I had someone who understands the British schooling so problems could be sorted out before they arose and I could have had my 4 years with a guarantee of same scholarship for my whole college career.


This player could quite easily have had 4 full years of eligibility but no one pre-empted the problems.  Many American Universities don’t understand the British system and therefore can’t change academic timelines to prevent issues.  The player also could have ended up at a school with a far bigger budget and more potential to excel. It is very difficult when you have many people selling you a product, it can become difficult to make a decision.  Thats why it is important to have someone there who understands the system and also knows exactly who to trust and why to trust them.

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