Recruiting Tip: Focus on what you can control

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Recruiting Tip: Focus on what you can control

Recruiting Column

Recruiting Tip: Focus on what you can control


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As you go through the college recruiting process you can’t dwell on things you can’t control.  Don’t worry if it seems like your teammates are getting more attention, that may or may not be the case.  Don’t try to guess what college coaches might be thinking, that will drive you crazy.  And especially don’t stress when you make a mistake.  No one is perfect and college coaches know that. You will make mistakes, everyone does. In fact, most college coaches want to see how you react to a mistake. Your reaction to a strikeout, a missed layup, or a penalty tells so much more about you as a player than the mistake itself.

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 focus on the following three areas college coaches will be much more likely to reach out to you.

In the classroom

Being a good student and focusing on your grades will open more doors than athletics ever will. Conversely, not getting it done in classroom is a deadbolt lock on the door of a college scholarship. 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?  I can’t imagine how that might feel.

Bottom line, college coaches want, expect and need you to focus on academics. In most cases, being an academically disciplined recruit shows:

  • You can manage your time, appropriately.
  • You probably have a good on-field IQ.
  • You are most likely a hard worker.
  • You are dedicated.
  • You can probably be trusted off the field.

On the field

Obviously, the first thing a college coach is looking for is 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 to focus on that will make a difference:

  • 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 your sport.

Physical talent is certainly something you need to possess to become a college athlete. Focus on these other qualities and you are going to be very appealing to college coaches.

Off the field

There is a big 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.

Again, focus on these things off the field if you really want to get on the field in college.

Here’s the deal

The college recruiting process isn’t as complicated as many people make it out to be.  If you focus on your goals in the above three areas, you stand a great chance to play in college.


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