I had previously assumed that the majority of high school coaches would be completely honest with college coaches trying to recruit their athletes. These prep coaches would tell their potential future coaches if a kid works hard, is lazy, or is known for his partying with friends.
But in talking to a college coach recently, he said that rarely ever happens. Just to let you know, this coach is at the Division III level so it is not like these athletes are battling for scholarships from USC and Texas. The coach said that in most situations, the high school coach would not go out on a limb to be honest.
There are a few reasons that this happens. First, the coaches likely doesn’t want to be held accountable if this came back to them. While I would assume it would be pretty obvious if a player is lazy in his or her workouts, the last thing the coach would want is bad blood between them and the family.
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Another reason may simply be that the high school coach doesn’t want to negatively affect the recruiting process for their athlete. If it is a small school that doesn’t send a lot of players to the college level, why would the coach want to limit the options of their player? In keeping all doors open, if the coach shuts some himself, it is difficult to find a lot of options.
The high school coach may also not have a good feel of the work ethic needed to succeed in playing at the college level, regardless of if it is Division III or Division I. Unless they have played at that level, it is definitely not easy to figure out what it takes to be a starter in the Division III ranks. It takes a lot of time and work, regardless of the school.
So what does this mean? It likely means that if the high school coach is always saying how great his athletes are and how hard they work, the college coaches will go to other sources to figure out the truth. They could try assistant coaches, teachers in the school, sources they know in the area, or even opposing coaches. Each should be able to give this coach a good feel for the truth.
What makes it tough for athletes is if there are any bad reports coming back, this can definitely hurt them overall. Having no work ethic or being a pain to coach is something that those at the college level don’t want to deal with in most situations. This happens all the time and unfortunately can really hurt you in the recruiting process.
This is yet another example of the importance of working hard, staying out of trouble, and getting good grades. I know teenagers don’t always make the best choices but doing these three things can definitely help make you a more marketable recruit, regardless of what your high school does or doesn’t say about you.