Good coaches look beyond simple x’s and o’s for student-athletes in college recruiting process.

I apologize for not posting over the past few days as finding power has been difficult as the eye of Hurricane Irma went right through my town here in Lakeland, Florida! It has been a challenging 48 hours, but my community has been amazing in helping each other, whether it was cutting a neighbor’s split tree or offering a hand moving sandbags. As I reflect this morning on these events, I wanted to offer some ideas of what coaches look for in recruiting a student-athlete beyond the X’s and O’s regarding leadership and resiliency.

A few years ago, I received an email and video from a very talented student-athlete documenting the number of goals she scored for both her high school and club travel teams. She had a 3.5 GPA, high ACT scores, was very driven towards a medical career and had expressed serious interest in both our academic and athletic programs just as we suggest in our Special Report: Strategies to Emailing A College Coach. We were very interested in her as we knew she would create the offensive threat our team needed for the next season.

She was playing at an upcoming College Showcase, so we made sure both my assistant and I could both attend her entire game. We watched warm-ups and about 30 minutes of the first half. She definitely demonstrated even more skill than what was on her film as an offensive threat and scoring a very pretty goal from about 30 yards out. However, when the opposing team tied up the game, she kept screaming at the referee saying the goal was off-sides. (It wasn’t.) When the other team then went up 2-1, she yelled at her teammate from across the field about a mistake that led to the goal. As the opposing team stretched the lead to 3-1 (after her own mark scored), she asked the coach to take her out of the game saying “no one is trying to help us win”. We picked up our recruiting chairs and walked away to go get lunch, knowing we saw all of what we needed to see.

Teamwork | Coaches Look Beyond X's and O's | Coach Renee Lopez

When college coaches are on the sidelines evaluating a potential recruit, they are observing every aspect of the athlete.

Sure, every coach wants a talented athlete that will help their teams win games. But coaches want to see how a student-athlete handles the roller coaster of emotions of a game. They want to know how they respond to adversity. After their team gets scored on, what is their response? Is it to step up to the challenge by taking ownership of solving problems or are they blaming their teammates, the referees, or coaches for the team’s not-so- stellar performance? What are they saying on social media after these difficult times? Are they encouraging others? What happens when the bus breaks down? Injuries? Are they looking to throw in the towel or trying to help lead their team by increasing their work ethic to help them compete? What inspiration are they bringing to the team? If you want to learn more about what coaches look for in terms of leadership, get our FREE Special Report: Leadership Characteristics College Coaches Look For In Recruits.

As we picked up our chairs that day, my assistant and I reflected saying we wanted nothing to do with someone coming into our team culture that would be an “Energy Vampire” as Jon Gordon refers to in his book called The Energy Bus. We were looking to enhance our team cohesion, not create more problems by blaming everyone else. It’s rather funny how the story panned out as she ended up attending a conference rival and started as a freshman! Early in the season we went to scout that opponent, and she made a huge impact in scoring goals for that team, but behaved exactly in the same manner we saw at that College Showcase.

By the end of the year, she was not in the starting line-up. I saw her warm-up against us, but did not ever enter the game. I later asked the coach why she did not play against us, guessing she was injured or sick. The conference coach just shook their head,

I should have watched her live. I only watched her film. She has caused nothing but disruptions in our team chemistry this entire year and really hurt us in trying to win games. Most of the team doesn’t want her here even though they know she helps us score goals.

As you research various athletic programs on your college recruiting journey, remember this story when a coach states they have to see you play live, even after you sent them a great video showcasing your abilities. (I would also be cautious of any program that only uses videotape to assess a potential recruit.) Most coaches have learned this lesson the hard way so they don’t want to make a mistake that could cost them their team’s culture.

Be mindful coaches aren’t just looking for your abilities on the field or court.

They want to make sure you can be a leader when adversity hits and promote a positive team culture, just like my community has come together in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. Will you be putting in the work to help others around you be better, even if it seems like moving sandbags (or giving a teammate an encouraging word or high five) doesn’t seem to mean much? Serving others when others are struggling shows maturity, leadership, and commitment to any mission. Serve others even when you are struggling. Trust me, your community will be better for it.

In the research for my upcoming book (due out Summer 2019), “Looking For A FULL RIDE?: An Insider’s Recruiting Guide,” we interviewed 65 college coaches and athletic directors. The majority of these coaches said the top 2 skills they desire in recruits beyond high academics and athletics ability are:

  1. A positive response to adversity
  2. Leading others by adding value to them.

Coaches Look Beyond | Looking For a Full Ride | Coach Renee Lopez Every day you want to positively market yourself on the field or court, in your school, and in the community. Remember, your attitude can make or break a coach’s desire to have you in their 4 year plan! Make sure you are representing yourself in a way that makes a college coach want to stay for the whole game and not just go grab lunch early!

 

 

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.)

Would you like help with the college recruiting process?

1. Go to www.lookingforafullride.com to get your FREE Report: Strategies to Emailing A College Coach. 

 

2. Want some help with the recruiting process? Join some of our 8 Facebook Groups:

3. Would you like her to do individual consulting with your family to get an insider’s perspective?
Email info@lookingforafullride.com for more details.

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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