Top five things college coaches search for in athletes that they are looking to sign

Top five things college coaches look for in potential recruited athletesOne of the reasons that I pose questions on the weekends to users is to get feedback regarding what they want to see on the site. That was the case last weekend and I have already received some good responses on what users want to see. If you do have any other suggestions, feel free to comment on it.

Bryan was nice enough to ask what colleges look for in potential athletes. So I decided to put a whole article about the top five things that college coaches look for in potential athletes at the next level. There are a lot of different options but I can tell you early on that the first thing a coach looks for is the ability to play.

1.) Ability It doesn’t matter what level or what sport but the number one thing that a college coach looks for in a potential athlete is their ability in that sport. College coaches are getting paid thousands of dollars for their job and they must recruit the best athletes they can to remain in that job. This ability trumps every other thing on this list, there is no doubt about that. Why do you think people with question character and bad grades still end up at some of the best schools in the country? It is because they can flat out play and have what it takes to be successful at that level.

2.) Character I haven’t really talked about how important character is during the recruiting process but it is something that could make or break your chance to receive a college scholarship. When college coaches are recruiting athletes, they are almost like private investigators while trying to find out as much information as possible about this potential recruit. The coach will talk to the high school coach, any other coaches that they have, teachers, administrators, and people in the community to get a feel for what type of person you are. If you are a trouble maker, that honestly does hurt your chances of being a scholarship athlete. The coach does not want to recruit that trouble to their school so it may be something that they eventually look away from. The coaches want to be able to recruit high quality kids that help them sleep at night. They would prefer not to worry about who is in trouble at 3 AM on a Saturday night. But as shown by many schools in the SEC, ability does trump character.

3.) Work Ethic A good story I heard once regarding work ethic came from a Division I basketball coach. We were talking about why they offered a certain athlete a scholarship. This athlete was a player from about as small of a school as they come but he was a talented basketball player who had some major size. The college coach knew he was good but what was the tipping point to offer the scholarship? It was when talking with people around the school, he heard that the athlete came in every morning at 6 AM to lift weights. As a high school athlete with other priorities in your life, coming in every day that early really shows something about the type of person you are and how bad you want to succeed. Who wouldn’t have wanted to get an extra hour of sleep and not worry about being sore the next day? That work ethic helped this player be a three year starter and be named All Conference in the Big 12. Not bad considering his level of high school was the smallest in a state that is not considered a basketball powerhouse.

4.) Grades Grades are an essential factor in the college game, especially in the last few years with scholarships being taken away if the graduation rate slips to a certain percentage for the school. The pay of college coaches are sometimes tied in to the graduation rate so that means it is even more important when it is affecting the bottom line. As I have mentioned in other articles, grades are vital during the recruiting process. I say this because if your grades are good, a lot more doors will open for you. If they are bad, more doors will shut for you than anything. Having strong grades (By this, I do mean GPA and ACT/SAT) can help you get academic scholarships that will pay for your education. While it doesn’t always mean it, having good grades does imply at times that you have strong character. And that is another essential factor in what college coaches will be looking for at the next level.

5.) Family I will be completely honest with readers. I firmly believe that the first four on this list are very important to the college recruiting process. But the fifth thing is something I am a little less confident. Maybe I should have changed the list to for factors but I also find it important to talk about family. A college coach wants a family who is supportive of the program, the coaches, and the school itself. Here is a quick example of parents turning off a potential college coach. A college assistant coach attended a high school basketball game to see a kid. Afterwards, the coach waiting to talk to the high school head coach. While waiting, he saw a parent berate an assistant coach for not getting her son enough touches on the basketball court. I may not have said it before but the game ended with their team winning by a large margin. Instead of being happy for the team, she was mad her son didn’t get enough shots. The next day, the college coach called and said that he would no longer be recruiting this player. That shows that having a over anxious family can hurt the recruiting process.

Are there any others that you think I am missing? Let me know by leaving a comment!

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