3 Areas to Consider Regarding Being A College Student-Athlete

My feet had just crossed on to the blacktop of the parking lot from the fields when I heard a large amount of confidence exuding from a student-athlete. This high school student was boldly stating to their (seemingly unconvinced) parents of being 100% sure there would be a full athletic scholarship offer to play their sport in college. In continuing to state their case, “All of those coaches were there today and I helped with all of the scoring today. I either assisted or scored every chance I had. Plus, I’m All-Conference. Trust me, they want me!”

Looking for a Full Ride? by: Coach Renee LopezWas the athlete talented? Yes. However, I’m not so sure the athlete knows what being a college athlete really entails and why we call it the “recruiting process”. Having been a college coach for 14 years and the author of the book, “Looking For A FULL RIDE?: An Insider’s Recruiting Guide,” the comments did not surprise me at all as I heard so many similar words from potential recruits. But as I started my car’s ignition, it made me start to think about this blog and how I wanted to help provide some perspective.

Having interviewed 65 college coaches and athletic directors across all divisions and all sports for this upcoming book, I saw some very common themes coaches want in their prospective student-athletes. Are they looking for talented athletes to help them win championships? YES!

However, the vast majority of college coaches evaluate a high school athlete over time to see what they do constantly. Recruiters are not only assessing your strengths and weaknesses in the sport, but also your maturity to perform consistently at the next level. They are also looking to see how quickly you could adapt to your new surroundings at a new school, athletic program, and under a new coach.

Most coaches are searching to see how you act in regards to these 3 areas:

1. Coachability

How do you respond to your coach’s criticism? Are you a team player? How do you speak towards a teammate who tries to help redirect you in the middle of a competition? How humble are you when someone gives you praise? How much credit do you give to your teammates and coaches? How coachable are you?

2. Being Uncomfortable

How well do you adapt to ‘curveball’ situations? (i.e. playing out of position, lightning delays, tactical changes in a game, etc) How does adversity impact you, such as your team being way behind in a game or a bad official’s call? When you respond, would it make that future college coach proud or run away? How are you regularly using setbacks to propel you forward? Overall, are you comfortable with being uncomfortable?

3. Time Management

How well do you rank your responsibilities? Are you barely getting by with C’s in your classes because you can’t find time to study, between hanging out with friends, a job, and playing your sport? How do you prioritize caring for minor injuries and fueling your body? How much of a priority is getting the proper amount of sleep on the night before the game? Overall, how do you manage and prioritize your time?

College coaches need the whole package in their recruits: drive, intelligence, character, but most of all, maturity. They want young adults who know how to balance their priorities. They need student-athletes who can perform well in their athletic arenas, respond positively to challenging situations, and make adjustments from the coach’s instructions.

Mature athletes make a college coach’s job much easier. Coaches evaluate over time because before they make this huge investment in you, they want to be sure you have everything it takes beyond being “All-Conference”. Throughout the entire recruiting process, make sure you find ways to demonstrate each of these areas to the coaches you want to play for in college. Because if you take a wrong step, they aren’t afraid to cross you off the list and walk over to the next field for a prospective athlete who is making the right choices!

Want some more help with learning the recruiting process? How about the best ways to demonstrate maturity in your initial emails to a college coach?

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4. Did you know Coach Renee Lopez can come to your school or sports organization?

Email info@lookingforafullride.com for more details.

 

Coach Renee Lopez

Looking for a Full Ride? by: Coach Renee Lopez

As a 17 year coaching veteran, Renee Lopez is a recruiting expert for high school student athletes. She uses her NCAA Division I, II, and NAIA Head Coaching experience to help families navigate the recruiting process to be identified by college coaches and help them find the right “fit” for playing at the next level.

She presents recruiting seminars across the country, has recently been featured on ESPN Radio, and is the author of the upcoming book, “Looking For A FULL RIDE?: An Insider’s Recruiting Guide” where she has interviewed 35 college recruiters across all sports and college levels.

She also does private consulting for student-athletes and their families to help in understanding the often daunting process of recruiting. (See one family’s testimonial.) If you are looking for help in the college recruiting process, please email Coach Renee Lopez at info@lookingforafullride.com.

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