The USA TODAY High School Sports Recruiting Tips are provided by our recruiting partner, Playced.com.
College coaches consider thousands of athletes for their rosters every year. They attend showcase camps, review video, read emails and talk with their trusted sources about which athletes might make sense for their team. The recruiting process for a college coach takes a tremendous amount of time. For that reason, nearly every college coach in the country has a few warning signs or “red flags” they look for when considering a high school athlete. If they see or hear about a red flag for a player, that player’s name gets scratched off the recruiting list almost immediately. It’s one less player they have to consider.
College coaches want hard working, selfless players who put the team first. Every recruit should know the red flags coaches notice. Here are the recruiting “red flags” we’ve heard from three current college coaches.
Minnesota State University softball coach Lori Meyer
“My “red flags” start with lack of hustle. Laziness. I want hard workers that are all about the team. This is a team game. The NCAA didn’t call us up at the end of the year asking us to bring just our starting shortstop or centerfielder to the NCAA Tournament. The NCAA called us up and invited Minnesota State University, our team, to the NCAA Tournament. If a prospective recruit is all about “me” and what “I” did rather than what the team did, that’s going to turn us off a pretty quickly. This program doesn’t have room for prima donnas. If mom or dad is carrying your bat bags around the park while you’re staring at your phone, we won’t waste our time recruiting you. Because that’s not how it works at this level.”
North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams
“It’s easy to spot the player that plays for himself. He plays selfishly, he acts selfishly. I always like to see a prospective athlete play at least twice before I decide on what I think of his ability-level. Often, we’ll watch guys numerous times before we make any decisions on them. When it comes to a player exhibiting that selfish character, all it takes is one time. Once is more than enough to turn us off a guy when it comes to something like that. For every talented kid with poor character, there’s two other kids with excellent character. It’s a decision and it’s something every good coach pays attention to.”
Ashland University women’s basketball coach Robyn Fralick
“Within our program, we have five core values and one of those is being a great teammate. How do you treat your teammates, win or lose? How do you treat your coaches? If a young lady doesn’t meet the highest standard of being a great teammate, we won’t go any further in the recruiting process with her. Another thing that we really pay attention to is not doing well in school, due to a lack of effort. We just feel that effort is something you can control. You can’t always control the grades you get, but you can certainly control the effort you put into your classwork.
We also pay great attention to how a recruit and/or her parents talk about a current coach. It’s a major red flag if they’re speaking poorly to us about a coach, because we’re coaches! It’s so important for kids to understand respect and for parents to display support, regardless of the situation. It just toxic and it’s not something we want in our program.”
Here’s the deal
Knowing the “red flags” will help you avoid them and avoiding them might be the difference between a coach calling you or passing on you.