They say there’s only one chance to make a first impression and that is true for athletes during the recruiting process. You may have only one opportunity to prove to a coach why they need you on their team. This opportunity could come at any time and as an athlete you need to be prepared to impress!
Whether coaches are seeing you play in person, or through a highlight video, how do you make coaches want to take a second or third look? What are coaches looking for in a student athlete?
First lets talk about in the classroom. ALL coaches are looking to recruit quality STUDENT athletes. There is no excuse for neglecting your classwork, staying on top of your grades and proving a commitment in the classroom is just as important as your commitment to your sport. We’ve said it before and will continue to say that your time in collegiate sport is 4 or 5 years long at the most….your career however, will last for the rest of your life. Coaches will not recruit students who don’t work just as hard IN the classroom as OUT of it!
On the field, there are many traits and qualities that coaches look for both technical / skills related, as well as leadership qualities and work ethic. here’s an abbreviated list to think about…
fitness, conditioning and strength
overall effort, tenacity
tactical understanding – game sense
play on and off the ball
poise under pressure
hand speed / elimination skills
exceptional basic distribution and reception skills
defensive positioning / tackle ability
your versatility (able to play more than one position or master multiple skills)
It is important for all of these skills to be practiced developed and perfected to the best of your athletic ability. The harder you focus and train these traits, the better prepared you will be when you get your opportunity to showcase your talent for the first (or second or fifth) time to recruiting coaches!
Moral of the story? Study, Train and always be prepared!