| By Carlos Cano
Photo courtesy of Getty Images


Throughout my professional career, I have been fortunate enough to have worked closely with a variety of parents and junior tennis players who have been able to make tennis their profession. Furthermore, I have helped many players achieve academic success through scholarships by ushering them into the next level of their developmental play on the court. In almost all of the above cases, regardless whether the goal was to make tennis a full-time career or to use tennis as an avenue to reach academic success with reduced financial strain, the road was complex, however achievable as long as the player and his/her family fully supported the process.

Starting from a very young age, and for the duration of the journey of junior tennis, a family with aspirations of their child becoming a professional tennis player absolutely must consider the extraordinary sacrifices required. They must consider time; roughly 25 to 30 hours (including a minimum daily commute and weekend travel to tournaments) a week for a minimum of 40-45 weeks of the calendar year, their academic studies, and the financial aspect of play. The basic costs of court time and necessary coaching, along with basic travel and equipment, can easily exceed $60,000 per year, not including higher level tournament travel and coaching.

Additionally, they must contemplate the sacrifices they will have to make to their personal life, which in most cases has to be fully aligned with the goals of the player. 

If the goal is to consider tennis as an avenue for the player to get financial help throughout the collegiate journey, the family and the player should also strongly consider the sacrifices, as the reality is that the level of college tennis has been constantly raising, and with that the sacrifices that need to be made. While the player may not plan on playing professionally, he/she will still need to attain the skill level so that recruiters from universities will notice them. This will still call for hard work and incredible determination.

In regards to time, the player should plan to spend roughly 15 to 25 hours on the court each week. Of course, they must also allocate the necessary time for their studies and academic work. Furthermore, even though the economic investment is not quite as high as the one to reach the professional level, it is still sizable as spending anything below $40,000 per year would be challenging.

The sacrifices that are required for the player to reach a certain level of competitive play also include less time for socialization, accepting that most holiday times available for the family would be spent traveling to and from tennis tournaments, and most likely a lot of missed time that a typical teenager spends on simply being a teenager.  However, in many cases this is all well worth it, as the things that someone learns on and off the court during the above journey are priceless. 

The rewards of the tennis experience outweigh all the sacrifices, and the meaning of giving the best to achieve a goal is something that is irreplaceable.


Carlos Cano is the Director of Coaches and a High Performance Coach at CourtSense. A member of the CourtSense team since its inception, and has played an instrumental part of the development of players such as Christina McHale, Matija Pecotic, Luis Flores and many other NCAA All Americans and tour level players.