With the hype and upsets of the French Open happening these past few weeks (what happened to Federer!?), the sport of tennis has been in the spotlight as of late.
(Side note: Let me shout out to a tennis alumnus and head tennis recruiting coach at NCSA Athletic Recruiting, Brandon Videtich, who’s pictured above.)
In the midst of updates from Roland-Garros, a friend sent me a really interesting profile of tennis pro Kyle LaCroix by USTA.
Kyle has had a passion for tennis from a young age. So much so, the Floridian and self-professed “beach boy” had a dream of attending school in a significantly chillier, significantly less sunny locale: Big Rapids, Michigan, at Ferris State University. His dream of going to Ferris involved tennis, but not in the traditional sense of knowing how to play college tennis for their team.
Ferris State offers one of the most unique academic opportunities in the country for anyone interested in a career in tennis — a degree in Professional Tennis Management.
While Kyle had a true passion and love for tennis, and excelled at it, his dream was to make tennis a career after college. He dedicated his time in school to preparing for this.
Now the head tennis pro at the Oaks in Boca Raton and a USPTA Elite Tennis Professional, kyle’s story is a great one for not only tennis student-athletes, but really for anyone going through the process of finding the right college fit for them.
Shape your college search around more than just a school’s tennis program.
It’s not just about learning how to play college tennis. Kyle based his college search around his goal of making tennis a career, and found a rare and exact program to do just that. Of his experience, Kyle told USTA:
“We had some really great speakers and some incredible connections with a lot of the top industry professionals. I’m talking the top of USTA. I’m talking the top of USPTA. Top head pros. We had relationships with some of the best, most exclusive private clubs in the country for internships. We would have Tom Gullikson come in and talk to the class. These are very elite people in the industry, and they had enough respect for PTM to come in and share their time and knowledge. I had no idea I was going to learn so much in such a short amount of time.”
While tennis will be a huge part of your time in college, your college degree will affect the next 40 years of your life. Make sure the schools you are researching for tennis also match your ability and interests on an academic level.
Follow your passion.
At the end of the day, following your athletic and academic passions is the name of the game. Dig deep, listen to the voice inside your head and your heart – not what your parents, high school coach, or friends want you to do.
Now is the time to take your life and your future into your own hands and seize the opportunity to grow and educate yourself to become the best you, you can be. Kyle knew he wanted to stay in tennis since he was 11 years old. How do you dream of succeeding with your sport, or by using the lessons of your sport in your life?
As a current member of the Ferris State University PTM Advisory Board, kyle flies back to Michigan from Boca Raton every year to support the program and give back to the school that gave him a career that makes him happy to go to work every day.
“I had an amazing experience and have nothing but amazing memories from Ferris State,” Kyle told USTA. “It was a great time. Any kid who’s interested in tennis, who’s interested in a career in tennis or who is interested in getting involved in tennis – PTM is just a no-brainer.”
For more tips on how to play college tennis and succeed, you can always get expert help from tennis scouts and recruiting coaches. Get started by building a recruiting profile.