May 17, 2011
What are your coaching philosophies?
Coach Cristodoulou: I want to develop a comprehensive individual. It is important to me that the parents of these young women trust me, and are comfortable handing their child over to me for four years. My job is not only to make our student athletes better players, but also better individuals by the time they leave. It's important to show each student athlete that a lot of the things we learn on and off the court as a team will help them in their life after Siena College. At Siena College education comes first, so that's where our focus will always be.
How do you think junior players and their parents perceive your school and your tennis program?
Coach Cristodoulou: Siena College and the Siena Athletic Department do a fantastic job selling the College and the Athletic Teams, and specifically in my case the Women's Tennis program. I show every student athlete who comes for a visit what an esthetically beautiful campus we have. Furthermore, this campus is so vibrant and full of life you literally fall in love with it. Our admissions standards are getting higher every year, which means higher standards in education and a better experience for our student athletes. I always tell my recruits we will work hard, and I will push them beyond what they think they can handle, but we always have fun along the way, and we always take time to enjoy the process.
What should student athletes do while taking a visit?
Coach Cristodoulou: They must ask a lot of questions, and leave knowing that they saw and did everything they went there to see and do. Always be yourself, and don't let mom and dad answer for you. Establish a relationship with the coach after the visit. Even better, establish a relationship with the coach before the visit. Come and see a team match. E-mail the coach with your tournament schedule, how your high school team is doing and keep in touch throughout the process.
What are you looking for in a recruit?
Coach Cristodoulou: Character is number one. I want someone who loves the game but also can bring more to the table than tennis by making the people around them better. A good character person will do that for your team; someone who is willing to sacrifice whatever it takes for the team to succeed. My current players are my screeners. I asked them if someone will be a good fit for our team, and I trust them.
How is recruiting going for the incoming class of 2012?
Recruiting for the Siena Women's Tennis Team is a team effort. We are evaluating several prospective student athletes and we will keep at it until we are sure we have a good fit. We started this process last fall, and we will continue until we are ready to make a decision. We are losing five seniors, three of which are starters, so we have to do an efficient and thorough job.
What is S.A.IN.T.S and how does is help you as a coach?
Coach Cristodoulou: S.A.IN.T.S, or "Supporting Athletes IN Their Success", is an initiative offered through our Athletic Department. When a student/athlete comes to Siena College, they are taken care of very well from the educational side of things. We constantly monitor of all the student athletes academic performance, and we provide the support immediately where is needed in the form of tutoring, counseling, extra help, class registration and study hall. The Athletic Department will not let any of its athletes fail as long as they ask for help. That is why Siena College is one of the top five Division I institutions in the nation for graduating student athletes.