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Top 5 Things Coaches Look for When Recruiting

Top 5 Things Coaches Look for When Recruiting

Article By: Rip-It Sporting Goods

Are you the total package?
You were serious in the classroom, and on the field, a self-motivated, goal-driven athlete.

Be careful what you share on Facebook!
Coaches use it too...In order to see who you are!

What are you doing when you think no one is watching!?

Coaches want to know that the work ethic and sportsmanship you showed in the game is truly how you are and not just an act.

How do you handle failure on the field!?

Handling failure on the field is just as important to coaches as your performance. They want to know that you can shake it off and not let it affect your future performances.

Network, email, call, and sell yourself-do not rely on parents or services!

Take your future into your own hands. A coach will be much more impressed if they hear from you instead of your parents.


Coaches want to know that they are getting the “total package,” meaning you are focused on academics as much as athletics. Coaches don’t want to recruit players who may become
ineligible because they can’t maintain their grades. If you are a strong student, make sure they know it!


Do your homework and know academically what is required of you. Do not limit yourself. No matter who comes recruiting, you want to be eligible.


There are many rules and course requirements for high school students planning to participate in college-level NCAA athletics based on what Division they want to play in and the year that they plan to enroll. The NCAA and NCAA Eligibility Center have put
together a useful guide for high school students. It is also a really helpful tool for parents, counselors, and administrators to provide proper guidance.

The NCAA’s goal when writing the guide was to make it a little easier for you to achieve your goal of playing a college sport. For you, this means one less headache when worrying about your academics because all of it is now laid out in easy to understand terms. The
NCAA form (formerly 48-H) lists the titles and numbers of all courses that meet NCAA core course requirements. The NCAA guide should be your best friend while planning your course load and choosing your top colleges.

For additional information, refer to the NCAA Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete ( and the college directories for information on Division I, II and III colleges/universities.

To access the NCAA and NCAA eligibility guide, simply click on the web address below or go to:





Facebook may be a great way to connect and socialize with your friends, but it can also be a major reason why a coach decides you are not right for their program. What a coach sees on your Facebook page will tell that coach what he can expect from you over the next four years. Do not let one bad photo leave an everlasting bad impression.

Quotes from college coaches about Facebook:

"I have literally this year dropped two of my blue chip athletes from my list after seeing the pictures they had posted on Facebook. It tells me a lot about them as people, and what I
will be dealing with while they are on my campus for four years."

"My athletes started patrolling recruits’ Facebook pages and I didn't even know, until they shared with me some of the comments and foul language one of the recruits had put up
there about other schools and athletes."

"I highly encourage my athletes to not use this, as it can only do them damage on our campus, but more importantly from a hiring standpoint. Once it is out there, it is there forever. I hate it for them as, being a young person, all your mistakes are being documented forever and it can and most likely will be used against you at some point."



Coaches give special attention to how a recruit acts when they don’t think anyone is watching. They want to know if the work ethic you showed during the game was the real deal, or just showmanship. They also want to see how you interact with and speak to people, particularly your parents.


”Most athletes do not realize after I have an interest in them as an athlete, I spend 80% of my time watching them handle a strike-out, how they warm up, what they are talking about
with their peers in the stands, how they speak to their parents or coaches, the way they carry themselves around the ballpark between games."

"I have dropped several athletes when listening to them talk to their peers in the stands about boyfriends, fights, drinking, etc. If they are a wild hair now, how am I and the team going to get them focused to do their share of work to win a national championship?"


"I really like to see if the athlete is working or not when they think no one is watching. That is why I always wear my sunglasses when watching them. Do they always sprint on and off the field, are they picking up their teammates, are they a leader, if they are struggling at the plate do they go out on their own between innings and swing off a tee. These are the little things that separate the average from the elite."



How you handle failure is just as important as how well you perform. In a game where getting a hit 30% of the time is considered successful, coaches know that players who handle their failures well are the right fit for their organization. What happened last inning, or last at bat, should never effect what is happening NOW!


"Our sport is full of failure, especially in hitting. I love the intensity of watching an athlete who has struggled the first two at bats then comes to the plate for his third as if he is
two for two. This is the guy I will follow and do whatever it takes to get him to my school.”

"Mental toughness is the single most important quality that will get an athlete to the next level."

"I love the recruit/athlete that I can never tell from offense to defense; if they are succeeding or failing. They have learned the art of separation-with this in hand I can assist them as an
athlete in getting them to a championship-they get it."

"Failure is like art. It is all in the eyes of the beholder/athlete from a recruiting point of view. After 15 years of college coaching it is very easy for me to tell apart the athlete who plays with passion and for the love of the game compared to the athlete who is looking at the stands to see who is watching and just wanting to sign that scholarship."



Get organized and make a genuine effort to contact coaches. Do not rely on your parents to make contact with the coach at your dream school! Coaches are far more impressed when they are contacted by you instead of your parents. Make sure that the coaches at your top schools know who you are because you have taken the time to reach out to them yourself.

1. List your top 15 schools as a freshman and do your research. Try to attend practices, visit campuses, etc. Your goal should be to add and subtract schools until you can narrow your list to five choices by the beginning of your junior year.

2. Go to camps on college campuses and surround yourself with the coaching staff and athletes of that school. It is good exposure and will give you a feel of that school and if the school’s culture is a good fit for you.

3. Remember to network through your existing contacts. Your travel team and high school coaches can help introduce you to coaches you may not know or are unable to contact. Do all you can to make sure that they understand what you are working towards. The coaching world is much smaller than you think and you never know who will give you your best lead on the school of your dreams.

4. Email your information to the coaches. Send them games, times, locations, references, experiences, and clearinghouse information. Make sure all of your information is conveniently right at their finger tips. This refers back to the total package- you are organized, hungry, and want to contribute. Sell yourself.

5. Make phone calls. Coaches are limited by NCAA rules, but you are not. You want them to know you and know that you are the type of player who takes initiative and wants to be a part of their team.

6. DO NOT rely on your parents to make contact with the coach. The coach wants to communicate with you more than they want to communicate with your parents.



A special thanks to all of the helpful coaches who provided their knowledge, wisdom, and quotes for this article.

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