The USA TODAY High School Sports Recruiting Tips are provided by our recruiting partner, Playced.com.
No one is perfect. You will make mistakes. Everyone does and college coaches understand that. When a coach comes to watch you play, don’t worry about making a mistake. They don’t expect you to be perfect; in fact, they want to see how you react to a mistake. Your reaction to an error, a turnover, or a fumble tells so much more about you as a player than the mistake itself. Forget about the last play. There is nothing you can do about it. Make the next play and the one after that.
As you go through the college recruiting process, focus on what you can control and strive to be the best student-athlete you can be. The ideal recruit for a college coach is not perfect, but is a student-athlete that maximizes his or her potential in the classroom, on the field and off the field. You can’t be perfect in every area, but if you keep the following thoughts in mind college coaches will be much more likely to reach out to you.
In the classroom
Being a good student and getting good grades will open more doors than athletics ever will. Conversely, not getting it done in classroom is a deadbolt lock on the door of college scholarship opportunity. Can you imagine losing a chance to play for a college you have always wanted to play for because you didn’t care about your grades?
Bottom line, coaches want, expect and need you to be a good student. In most cases, being an academically disciplined recruit shows:
- You are well-rounded and have balance in your life.
- You can be trusted off the field.
- You can manage your time, appropriately.
- You probably have a good on-field IQ.
- You are most likely a hard worker.
On the field
Obviously, the “ideal recruit” has athletic ability. College coaches first take notice of you because of your physical tools. They want to see that you can compete at their level, without physical limitations. There is no getting around that, but here are some other “on the field” attributes that matter:
- You lead by example in practice, in the weight room and during games.
- You care about your teammates.
- You put the team first.
- You respect the game, coaches and officials.
- You love to play.
Physical talent is certainly something you need to possess to become a college athlete. Add these qualities to the mix and you are going to be very appealing to college coaches.
Off the field
There is a huge difference between coaching and babysitting. College coaches don’t want to be babysitters. For that reason, here are some off the field characteristics of an ideal recruit:
- You don’t misuse social media.
- You stay out of trouble and obeys the law.
- You understand what a privilege it is to be a student-athlete.
Here’s the deal
College coaches evaluate the entire package when they are interested in any student-athlete, but they know you aren’t perfect. If you keep the above suggestions in mind, you will increase your chances to play at in college.