Do not choose between sports and academics!

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With National Scouting Report - NSR - young players do not have to choose anymore between studies and sports.
They can succeed in both!

Mens sana in corpore sano.

Tim Wilkison - professional tennis player on both the ATP and Senior Pro Tennis Tour for 25 years, career high ranking of #21 - transitioned into coaching after his playing career was over. Not just a coach anymore, Tim now serves as the Director of Tennis and the Director of International Athletes for National Scouting Report, an institution that has connected high school athletes with US college coaches for athletic scholarships/positions on teams for 37 years. Interview

How do you scout players & connect them with colleges?

Tim Wilkinson : National Scouting Report scouts perform comprehensive evaluations of athletes before we decide if we will offer to work with them.  We evaluate the athlete’s tennis skill, academic performance, character and then their college academic/athletic goals to see if they are a true college prospect.  Because of this evaluation, college coaches know NSR as a trusted source and 95% of our athletes over the past 37 years have received athletic scholarship offers.  NSR works with head tennis coaches from all the men’s and women’s tennis teams in the five main US college divisions; Division 1, Division 2, Division 3, NAIA and Junior College. 

How do you maintain contact with your clients before/during their college experience?

TW : As I mentioned, NSR scouts spend a lot of time scouting our potential prospects.  We watch them play in person and/or on video, we have an extended meeting with the athlete and their family and we gather feedback from the athlete’s private coaches.  Then if we decide to work with an athlete, we discuss their US college preferences in academics, athletics, size of school, location and other factors.  NSR scouts continue to communicate with the athletes as NSR connects them with US college coaches and advises them through the process of deciding which school is the best fit for them.  There are many weeks when I am in communication with 100 college tennis coaches about the players that I work with.

 

National Scouting Report - explication

 

Both the men’s and women’s pro tours have elevated the physical and mental skills needed for their players to be effective (…) That has led to many more high level junior players enrolling in US colleges so they can continue to develop those skills in a controlled environment.
Tim Wilkinson
Director of Tennis - NSR

How do you analyze the evolution of the pro tour in the future?

Both the men’s and women’s pro tours have elevated the physical and mental skills needed for their players to be effective.  It takes time to develop those skills so it has made it much more difficult for young players to break into the pro tours.  That has led to many more high level junior players enrolling in US colleges so they can continue to develop those skills in a controlled environment.  It is still possible to break into the pro tour at a very young age but you have to be the “best of the best” now.  In the vast majority of cases, it is better for the athlete to attend US college where they can train, grow physically and emotionally and still play selected pro events during the long summer break that US colleges offer.

What would be the level of the US Colleges compare to the ATP Tour?

The level of play at US colleges depends on the division.  All divisions offer a high level of play but Division 1 is equal to ITF Futures or Women’s Pro events.  In fact, many coaches take their college teams to these events as part of their development plan.  The coaching, facilities (indoor and outdoor tennis, physical training) is actually at an equal/higher standard than many pro events and national federations are able to provide.

All countries have great academic institutions and high level athletic programs. The US is the only country in the world where a young student-athlete can continue on in both those areas. In the rest of the world, they have to make a choice between the two.
Tim Wilkinson
Director of Tennis - NSR

How are your foreign clients doing in terms of academic’s performance? Any interesting story to tell us?

I think the US college system is one of the best things that the United States does. A nice part of my job is that I get to travel to many colleges and universities to meet with the coaches and I am extremely impressed with this system.  It is an opportunity for thousands of young people to come together and live away from their home for the first time.  The schools are very safe with each school having their own law enforcement program.  The professors are of the highest standard and they really have their student’s best interests at heart.  All countries have great academic institutions and high level athletic programs.  The US is the only country in the world where a young student/athlete can continue on in both those areas.  In the rest of the world, they have to make a choice between the two.  I have noticed that tennis players are smart people and the tennis athletes that we have worked with do very well on the court and in the classroom.  I am very proud of them!

What is the schedule of an athlete during his College years?

US colleges start in late August or early September.  This is the fall season for both men’s and women’s teams.  The coaches have a heavy program of physical conditioning and a lot of work on the fundamentals of the game.  There is a daily team practice, daily physical training and players schedule private lessons with the coaches for different times of the week.  There are matches held during the fall season and they are usually tournaments where a number of teams will meet at a designated site to compete with each other over the weekend.  US colleges have about a month break during the Christmas holiday and this is an opportunity for student/athletes to visit home and enjoy some home cooking!  It is vital that they continue to practice and train during their Christmas break since the men’s and women’s regular season matches begin very soon after they arrive back at school in early January.  The regular season consists almost solely of dual matches where teams will match up against each other in singles and doubles play at one of the schools home courts.  It is a very competitive, very exciting event with the players, coaches and fans wearing their school colors and cheering their team on to a victory! 

How can young tennis players reach out to you and NSR?

I love the opportunity to work with young people to help them achieve their college academic/athletic goals.  Any player, parent or coach who would like to contact me, please send an email to; twilkison@nsr-inc.com

I would love to speak to you!

Tim Wilkinson - Director of Tennis - NSR