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Dick Gould: Becoming A Collegiate Student-Athlete

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Dick Gould (@Dick_Gould), a PCA National Advisory Board member, is the winningest coach in Stanford men's tennis history, taking 17 NCAA titles in his 38 seasons. Under his guidance, former players have excelled with 9 reaching the top 15 in ATP world singles rankings and 50 becoming All-Americans. His former players have also captured 13 grand slam championships and 10 NCAA singles championships.

Coach Gould is often asked what it takes to be a collegiate athlete from both students and parents. His answer is simple: “If you’re not a student, you can’t be a student-athlete.” For Gould, being a collegiate athlete requires a passion for learning not just in your sport but in the classroom as well.

He also explains that being a college athlete does not require a Division 1 team offer. He makes it clear that there are several other options to play college sports, including Division 2, 3 and NAIA. Overall, working hard wherever you end up is more important to success, Gould explains.

Finally, in order to be a successful college athlete, you do not have to receive an athletic scholarship. Gould urges parents and students not to put pressure on an athletic scholarship because there are several other ways of becoming a college athlete and earning financial support, including merit-based academic scholarships and need-based aid.