What College Athletic Coaches Are Looking For When Recruiting (Part 2)

Part 2 of a 3-part series.  

You’ve been playing your sport for 5-10 years and you want to be recruited or at best recruited and receive that four year athletic scholarship from your top choice college. Don’t sell yourself short.

My advice after over 20 years in the college admission business and constantly talking college coaches and Athletic Directors are these additional points college coaches are looking for:

  1. Mental Toughness and Sportmanship: Beyond your ability, your academic record and your desire to attend and play, coaches want to know how you carry yourself on the court.  Games between evenly matched players often come down to who is mentally the strongest.  Coaches want to know how you think during a match and how well you understand the game. They are looking for those with “true grit”. How you respond when you are down in a match or get a bad call is important.  Do you lose your temper and focus or are you able to remain calm and adjust your strategy?  And while it may be cliche to say so, being able to win and lose with respect for your opponent and the game is very important.
  2. Team Fit: When coaches recruit a player, they are choosing somebody they are going to spend a lot of time with over the next 4 years. They are looking for students who are nice to be with when traveling and eating together as a team.
  3. Reliability:  Coaches look for students who are reliable and who are going to do what they are supposed to and someone who is going to show up on time, everyday, where they need to be. Being punctual is essential in all aspects of life and for some coaches this is very important.