Intangibles during the athletic recruiting process that can help you land a scholarship offer

Intangibles during the athletic recruiting processA while back ESPN posted an article written about Bill Conley of Scouts, Inc. that talked about the importance of intangibles during the recruiting process.  While I agree with everyone that he mentioned during the article, I will be talking about each one in my own opinion and also adding a few more intangibles to the list as well.

The four big ones that Conley mentioned were effort, leadership, team attitude, and intelligence.  And considering he has spent 17-years of his life as an assistant coach at Ohio State, Conley likely knows what he is talking about.  The thing to note about these areas is that although they won’t get you a scholarship if you don’t meet the measurables the college coaches are looking for, they can be the difference between similar players on a college’s recruiting board.

Click here for the entire article but here are my thoughts on each and a few extra to consider when going to battle in the recruiting process.

Effort
There is no doubt that college coaches at all levels love athletes who play their sport hard.  It doesn’t matter one bit if it is basketball, football, or tennis.  Coaches want their athlete to compete at a high level and not take plays off.  These college coaches request game tape to make sure you don’t take plays off frequently.  Giving enough effort is something that they want to see.  Chances are usually pretty good that if you put the effort in to being a talented athlete, you will do the same in other aspects of your life.

Leadership
I have seen many times where colleges will include in a recruiting class roundup that 17 of their 23 recruits were captains at the high school level.  What that means is that these athletes were leaders at the prep level and that it will be expected of them in college.  The reason leadership is important because it holds athletes accountable.  Having that leadership in the off-season can help push the athletes and allow the coaches not always to yell at the players.  This leadership is also great because it makes the players think before letting down their teammates by getting in trouble away from the field or court.

Team Attitude
While some schools can get away with players that think about themselves first (And that is because they are amazingly talented), the majority need to put the team in front of everything.  While they didn’t win the Super Bowl last year, the Patriots did that during the course of the regular season and finished that portion of the year undefeated.  This team attitude puts helping the team win games first and foremost.  It doesn’t matter if you rushed for 200 yards and the team lost.  Coaches want athletes who don’t care about stats and would prefer to win the ball game.

Intelligence
I seem to talk about this quite often but coaches are looking for players who are intelligent on the field and in the classroom.  The intelligence in the classroom means that they won’t have trouble making grades.  On the field, the intelligence helps the athletes pickup things quicker and know what they should be doing on the field at all times.  While dumb athletes can make up for intelligence with athleticism, it eventually comes back to haunt them if they don’t know what they should be doing in their sport.

Here are a few others that I personally think can be added to the list:

Coachability
If a coach can talk to a player and they have the ability to listen and use what they just said, it is a major advantage for the player as well as the coach.

Character
As a college coach, you dread getting the 3 AM call about one of your players being in jail.  If your athletes have character, they would be smart enough to realize nothing good happens after midnight.

Work Ethic
As the saying goes, “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”  I love that quote.

Manners
This may be away from the field but having manners means you likely won’t be getting in any trouble away from the field during the day.  This is something minor but important.

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