What College Coaches are Looking For
As you read forward, keep in mind that a college coach is hired and paid based on how many games he wins and loses. The search for college prospects is a year round process - coaches are looking for elite basketball players 12 months per year. In other words, there is no off season. Here are three areas a coach will evaluate: the Player, the Student, the Person.
Be a great PLAYER:
In order for a coach to win games he needs to get the best players possible with the most talent that fit his system of coaching. Each year, college coaches are trying to fill the needs of his program. He will only need certain positions/ roles filled.
To break that down: the best players are elite at shooting, scoring, defending, rebounding, blocking shots, passing, etc and may have a combination of these skills. Players can also separate themselves by their size, wingspan, athleticism, toughness and/or other factors. Every coach and every program has a system that they feel gives them the best chance to win basketball games. For example: a team may play uptempo, another may slow it down and defend, some play with one true center and a stretch power forward, etc. There are only so many players that a school needs at each position so coaches typically are only looking to fill certain roles. Coaches are also looking at whether they think a player has hit their peak or can get dramatically better as they grow and mature in college. There are a lot of factors that go into whether a coach is going to legitimately recruit a player or not.
The basis of all recruiting is how well a player does their job or role in comparison to other players in their area, state, region or country. A player must figure out what separates them from the players around them and be elite at it.
Obviously, some things cannot be controlled (such as height) but if a player can maximize their skills, athleticism, and mental toughness it will give them the best opportunity to be recruited.
Be a great STUDENT:
Scholarship money can come from many different places. It can come from academics, athletics, merit scholarships and/or other areas. Every college at every level can give scholarships based on academics (both your GPA and ACT/ SAT scores). Therefore, not only is it critical for players to have qualified grades to be eligible to play athletics in college, but it can be a determining factor for a coach to recruit one player over another. At some colleges it is equally important to being a great player.
High grade point average and high test scores can separate a player from the rest. It can be the difference maker when a player qualifies for more academic money so that less money is required to come from the athletic department. Even players with full ride scholarships can get additional scholarship money from academics.
Be a great PERSON:
College coaches want great teammates. They want highly self motivated players with great attitudes. They want leadership qualities on and off the court. Coaches don’t want to worry about players making bad decisions in the classroom, out in society, and especially on the court.
A player can separate themselves by being a socially genuine and a great person. It may not get you a scholarship but it may set you up so you won’t lose a scholarship.