Not all coaches are looking for the same type of athlete. But there are some characteristics that make athletes more attractive to most coaches.
All student athletes need, of course, to excel in two areas:
Coaches pay close attention to athletic performance, using high school results to predict a recruit’s ability to compete at the college level. Coaches are also looking to fill specific needs of their teams, first choosing athletes who can fill team weaknesses.
Student athletes are students are well as athletes. Coaches seek recruits who are motivated in the classroom as well as on the field. Recruits must meet the academic requirements to be admitted to a particular college or university, and they must remain academically eligible throughout their college careers.
Beyond academic and athletic success, coaches are looking for recruits who are strong in other areas:
Coaches want athletes who not only are good but are likely to get better. How do they assess a recruit’s potential? One key way is to look at how recruits have improved each year during high school. Coaches want athletes who will improve and remain dedicated during their years in college.
Athletes who can compete and contribute in several events or positions are more attractive to many coaches than those who are less versatile. Versatility is especially prized by smaller teams that struggle to fill all their needs. Larger teams are able to be more selective and tend to recruit more specialized athletes.
Coaches seek talented athletes and leaders. Leaders are not necessarily the best athletes; they are, however, important to a team’s success. Team captains, for example, are both dedicated to their sports and able to motivate other players. Coaches recruit prospective athletes who show leadership potential.
Dedicated athletes not only improve their own performance with their hard work, they motivate their teammates to train harder and compete more intensely. Coaches look for recruits with strong, consistent work ethics.