Amanda Halstrom from Bellmore, NY was a scholarship player and 2015 graduate of the University of Delaware. She was a 4-star recruit on tennisrecruiting.net ranked as high as #149 nationally for her class the year she was recruited by Delaware.
Questions and Answers
Donovan Tennis Strategies (DTS):Describe your tennis schedule?
Amanda Halstrom (AH): We usually practice 5 days/week for 2 hours each day, and practices are pretty intense. Generally we have matches 2 days/week. On heavy match weeks the coach usually gives us time off. We have lifting 3 days/week for an hour each day. The schedule is not set in stone and changes depending on our matches in a given week.
DTS: Has your game developed while playing college tennis?
AH: Absolutely. I have to thank my coach for that. She zeroed in right away on my strengths and weaknesses and her coaching has brought my game up to a different level. I also think that the practices and physical training have made a big difference in my game.
DTS: How do you balance academics and team? Is this difficult?
AH: I have a great coach who is concerned with our success in school (and our well being and happiness). I am a biochemistry major and have many labs in addition to my classes. It is difficult to juggle everything (especially when we are traveling) but fortunately for me, I have an amazing coach who is flexible as long as we are responsible, hold up our end and fulfill our commitment to coach and the team. I am also fortunate that my teammates are amazing and truly care about each other. My teammates have rearranged their schedules on numerous occasions to help me or my other teammates out.
DTS: Do you have time for social events between playing tennis and studying?
AH: No. If I ever have free time I am so tired that I prefer to go with friends for dinner or stay in and watch TV.
DTS: What is the best part of being on team?
AH: We are very close and we really care about one another. I don’t have too much time for a social life but I love being with my team so I don’t feel like I am lacking anything. As for our tennis, we really push each other and have brought each others games up. We are all very supportive of each other. We enjoy being together and we love our coach and assistant coaches. I am very lucky; I have a great extended family at school.
DTS: What is the difference between your college tennis experience and your junior and high school tennis experience?
AH: The commitment, the training and the practice. College tennis is much more intense.
DTS: What was the toughest part of the recruiting process for you?
AH: Waiting for my coach to make an offer. Once I met her, I knew I wanted to play on her team and the waiting was torture (but well worth it!)
DTS: What piece(s) of advice do you have for recruits?
AH: Do research, have a good idea of what you are looking for before starting the recruitment process. For example, if you plan to have a very demanding major it is important to look for a coach who is as interested in your success as a student and development as a person as your success on the court. Be aware of the amount of travel that is involved with being a member of a particular team. Make sure to visit the schools, keep an open mind and ask questions. Don’t be intimidated asking a lot of questions because you can only make an informed decision when you have all the information.
Donovan Tennis Strategies
Donovan Tennis Strategies has been helping prospective college tennis players and their families navigate the recruiting process since 1997. In addition to consulting services DTS runs two College Prospects Showcases to help players get exposure to college coaches.