The burden of the recruiting process is not only challenging for you, but for the college coaches as well. Coaches and their teams have to evaluate a plethora of potential recruits every year. Choosing a select few is always daunting, and while they might question their decision-making on occasion, they essentially have the recruiting process down to a science.
Key Attributes of a Successful College Athlete
College coaches are looking for athletes who are coachable, have good character, and who are hungry and willing to learn and compete with a vengeance. They also need to know how competitive you are at the high school level.
Highlight Videos and Showcases
For most sports, your highlight video is the best place to showcase your talent. Coaches are not looking for over the top videos with intense music and overbearing special effects. They are looking for a video that is under 5 minutes and easy to watch. They need to concentrate on what is important, and that is competing.
You want the video to showcase the other players as well; this way, the coaches can see how you are maneuvering through other athletes. This means you do not want to zoom in on yourself to the point where they can not see other players. Showing off your skills and attributes in-play is important. You should work with your coach or a former athlete on what plays you should be using in your video – a coach will know what plays best showcase your abilities in a video.
College coaches also compare and contrast how you perform against other potential recruits. When you take an athlete that plays at a powerhouse school and compare them to an athlete who is the “best” at a smaller school, it can get tricky. You can ask coaches who else they are recruiting soyou can look at their skills, strengths, and weaknesses. Know your competition.
Bonus tip: If you happen to be competing against a potential recruit that the same head coach is looking at you, notify that coach so he can come and watch you compete.
Potential to Develop
Coaches will also consider your body type and size. This is extremely important when preparing to play at the next level. DI and most DII schools want to see that you are still developing. Competing at the college level will require most athletes to grow in size, speed, endurance, and agility. They want to see that your potential to grow and develop correlates with their roster needs.
Reaching your peak in high school is not what coaches want to see. Coaches need to know that you will be able to grow and improve so that you can handle playing at the next level. If you are training at the college level while in high school, then coaches might not see much room for improvement. They will evaluate your training schedule, and they may discuss it in detail with your current coach.
Being coachable and hungry to compete is also important to coaches. If you expect to compete at the college level, then you will have to be up for learning their system and new skills, and expect to be challenged at a higher level than you are used to. Coaches will focus on the athletes who are willing to adapt to their new environment.
LRT Tip: Keep the coaches updated on your improvements. Give them your new records and scores. Coaches want to see that you are on a gradual incline and not plateauing.
Now let’s talk about eligibility. If you are a risky recruit in terms of academics, coaches are not going to be 100% confident that you can handle the college academic workload in addition to a sport. The first thing a coach will ask about is your academic standings. You will have to meet their standards. They will need to see that you consistently meet the eligibility requirements and that your time management is under control.
If you are not on track with your academics, then get help. When determining whether a potential recruit is on the right track with his or her academics, coaches use the rule of 0.5, which means that your GPA will be 0.5 less in college than in high school. Bottom line, keep your GPA up in high school to show coaches you can manage the college workload along with your sport. All colleges have different standards, so research what they are looking for. Look in our Huddle articles for coach interviews, and they will tell you exactly what they are looking for.
Coaches will want to hear from you, not your parents! Enough said! Parents can be supportive along the way, but they should not be communicating with the coaches – that’s your job!
Coaches will look at your social media accounts. In most of our head coach interviews, most coaches said that they do look at social media accounts. Athletes have lost scholarships due to negative posts. When interviewing head coaches, the response we received the most was, “if you do not want your grandmother to see it, then don’t post it.” There are so many stories of athletes who lost their offers because they posted inappropriate content.
This is a lot of information, but if you take the time to focus on each of these categories, you can become a more “recruitable” athlete.
* Originally published on September 10, 2021, by Keirsten Sires