WHAT ARE COLLEGE COACHES LOOKING FOR?
While some college coaches are looking for the prototypical athlete, big, strong, & fast, most coaches are simply looking for student-athletes that are 1) - Good athletes, 2) - Good athletes at their particular sport, 3) - Good academic students, 4) - Interested in their college, and last but not least, 5) - A good person.
Coaches seek out players that want to compete at the college level, can compete at the college level and that can succeed academically and socially at the college level. While some coaches sacrifice academic achievement when recruiting athletes, its important for coaches to know that you can gain admission to their university on your academic merits and you have the discipline to do the academic work that is required and that you will enjoy the university you have chosen.
There are many student-athletes who concentrate too much on athletics and think their athletic skill is enough to gain admission to college and get them through college. While all schools have different criteria for admittance, if your academic achievements is insufficient to gain acceptance to the school, it will not matter how good an athlete you are.
As far as athletic ability is concerned, coaches simply want student-athletes that want to compete at the next level and have displayed a passion and desire to play their chosen sport. You don't have to be the strongest, or the biggest, or the tallest athlete to succeed in college depending on the level you choose, but you have to be better than the majority of the high school athletes you compete against. Only a small percentage of high school athletes move on to play in college.
Since the college recruiting process is now a global process, meaning, coaches now look further away for student- athletes and student-athletes look further away for schools they can play at, its important for you to be able to distinguish yourself as a quality student-athlete. While this is often difficult to do, its important for you to market yourself through phone calls, letters, videos, & recommendations from instructors and coaches.
It is also important for you to gain as much exposure as you can through, athletic camps, showcases, AAU events, & tournaments. The more you play, and the better the competition, the better you will become and the more exposure you will gain.
One of the other factors that many parents and students overlook is the fact that coaches want to recruit players that have shown an interest in not only learning about their college and program but an interest in being part of their program. While athletic and academic talent are important, a coach needs to know that you are truly interested in his/her team and school, otherwise they will be apprehensive about recruiting you because they may fear you may not be happy there in the long run, might quit the team, or possibly transfer.
WHAT I WISH SOMEONE WOULD HAVE TOLD ME ABOUT
BEING A COLLEGE ATHLETE
• The importance of grades starting as a freshman.
• The importance of preparing for the ACT’s and SAT’s.
• Be aware of your privacy settings, your posts, or being tagged in, on social media (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram).
• Applying for regular admission as well as athletic admission.
• Setting long-range goals for ten years after high school.
• Look at schools that meet my academic needs as well as athletic needs.