Do you think that who you are, how you dress, how you speak, how you carry yourself, the circle of friends you hang around, or the way you were raised could have a profound effect on your ability to be recruited as an athlete? If your answer to this question is no then you need to pay special attention to the rest of this article.
The Character Qualities
The fact is that all of the above mentioned items–“character qualities” as I call them–have a HUGE impact on your ability to become a successful recruit. Why? We don’t live in a perfect world and you will be judged on a variety of factors.
Every day recruits are judged on their ability to not only be a good student and athlete but also on what happens outside the classroom or on the field. Coaches are huge proponents of recruiting athletes with good character and moral fiber, athletes they hope will turn out to be a positive influence at their university and their community.
Coaches Will Do Their Homework
Coaches have enough on their plate without having to deal with athletes who have questionable judgment. To avoid this, considerable time is spent getting to know a recruit and his family before a scholarship is offered.
You Are a Walking, Talking Reflection of Your Parents
So what does it mean to have good character? There isn’t exactly a perfect answer for this and I cannot take each individual athlete, evaluate them, and tell them if they represent what coaches are looking for in a recruit. The thing with character is that it’s instilled upon you your entire life. Your parents have been working hard at raising you to make sound decisions, decisions that ultimately reflect back on your character.
Your Decisions Are a Part of Your Permanent Record
Every decision you make in life–whether to work out that day or not, to skip class, to party, to hang out with that group of friends, to use profanity–all these decisions impact your lives and others take notice. Every time someone takes notice, good or bad, it’s an avenue of reference for a coach to later use for either a positive or negative evaluation of your character.
What Coaches Look For
What exactly are coaches looking for? College coaches are all looking for something different, but it is easy to pick out large patterns that most seem to adhere to. Understand that the first impression you make on a coach leaves a lasting impact! First impressions are very important to most coaches; it can tell them a lot about who you are in just a few minutes. Coaches are looking for character and leadership qualities.
If you make a positive first impression then you benefit over the long haul and if you don’t you start off on the wrong foot and it’s hard to climb back from there. What this means is that first impressions are memorable either way and as a recruit you want your first impression to be remembered as a good one. Don’t have a coach walking away saying, “Who does that kid think he is?” or “What was that kid wearing?”
It’s All in the Presentation
Think about how you present yourself when you are meeting with a person who has something you really, really want and have worked hard to get. What are you going to wear? Are you going to be wearing appropriate clothing or clothing you would not wear to a proper job interview?
Pull your pants up and wear shirts that fit. Revealing shirts and short skirts should be left at home.
What are you going to say and how will you say it? Are you going to use terms like sir, ma’am, or coach, or revert to “Hey girl”, “Hey buddy”, “Dawg”, “Cuz”, “Dude”, or any other number of inappropriate slang greetings?
Make the Right Choices
Coaches understand that all recruits are not the same, but they do expect a certain level of respect and responsibility coming from each athlete they’re interested in. Understand that every aspect of the person you are will be scrutinized if you expect to compete against your peers for scholarship opportunities; athletes who pose the least risk will becomes some of the first to be chosen by coaches and schools.
As responsible adults we all have to make choices and ultimately those choices have a large impact on shaping us as human beings. Are you making the right choices so that college coaches are impressed and interested in you as a potential student-athlete?