A common misconception among athletes is that talent alone will get you recruited. Talent is only one of the many factors coaches look at when recruiting athletes. Coaches have high expectations of you because you will be representing their school and athletic program. With the increasing number of talented athletes across the country, your goal should be to focus on what you can control within yourself. These attributes include:
- Work Ethic: A strong work ethic shows perseverance, self-motivation, and the determination to work hard and continually improve. The last thing a coach wants is an athlete who gives up or breaks down when things get tough. Having a strong work ethic shows a coach you are capable of playing to your strengths AND through your weaknesses.
- Be Coachable: How do you react to criticism? Your “coach-ability” tells a coach everything they need to know about you as a player. It’s simple; either you ARE or ARE NOT coachable. This has nothing to do with knowledge and everything to do your willingness to learn. You can either take constructive feedback and reach your potential or you can argue, get defensive, and take yourself out of the recruiting game. This is a LIFE lesson that will benefit you personally, and professionally, for years to come.
- Character and Integrity: Character is determined by moral and ethical traits that uniquely define who you are as a person. Examples of good character traits are attitude, truthfulness, reliability, consistency, respectfulness, and self-awareness. Coaches can easily find out what kind a person you are and what you value by searching your social media. Keep them clean! This is the fastest way to lose your scholarship.
- Sense of Responsibility: This is easy to explain – take responsibility for your actions. It’s that simple. Stop making excuses as to why, when or how things happened, or justifying why you felt it was okay. You are the only one responsible for the way you respond and react in situations. Own it.
- Leadership and Teamwork: Be a team player on-and-off the field. Strong leaders motivate by example and encourage others to be great. Success is making everyone around you better, not just yourself.