2. BE A DIVA – Basically this boils down to not being a me first person. Coaches are looking for players who put the team first. We have all seen a diva. It is the teammate who is always complaining or talking to the officials. It is the player who is always complaining because they aren’t getting the ball enough. It is the player who is always talking back to the coach thinking they know more than the coach. It is the player who is always pointing fingers at his teammates and not focusing on what he can do better. A coach doesn’t care how good you are if you are going to be a cancer in the locker room or a distraction on the field or court.
5. POOR RELATIONSHIP WITH COACH – The very first person a college coach is going to talk to when starting his evaluation of you is your high school head coach and they are going to talk about more than just your performance on the field. Are you coachable and do you apply what you have been coached up to do? Do you have a good relationship with the coaches or are you regularly causing problems, talking back to the coaches or not doing what is asked of you? He is going to want to know what kind of person you are. Are you a leader and a good teammate? What kind of practice player are you? Do you give a 100% effort in practice or are you the type of athlete that only feels it is important to give your all when it is game time? You need to maintain a positive relationship with coaches or can expect a negative report to the college coach conducting his evaluation. If you can’t get along with your high school or club coach, there is no reason for the college coach to believe you can get along at the next level either.
6. DISRESPECT YOUR PARENTS – Another piece to the evaluation puzzle includes your relationship with your parents. A coach can discover this a number of ways, but you need to be aware that anytime you are in contact with college coaches and your parents are also present, they are paying attention to how you treat your parents. This can be during an official visit, during an unofficial visit, during an in-home visit or even on the sidelines after a game. If you treat your parents with disrespect, talk back to them, or ignore them it may be an indication that you do not deal with authority figures well.
7. DISRESPECT YOUR TEAMMATES – (See above) Are you getting the message yet? Being respectful and maintaining a good relationship with all those who are around you is incredibly important when it comes to athletic recruiting. Your relationship with your teammates is no less important than the relationship you have with your coaches and parents. Coaches are looking to answer a number of questions here. For example, are you a good teammate and a good leader? Are you a good teammate when things are going wrong or is it just when things are going well? Do you support your team whether you are on the field or on the sideline? What about off the field? Do you have a good relationship with your teammates in school and out? Do you point fingers or talk poorly about your teammates when they are not around? Treating your teammates poorly shows a lack of character, leadership and accountability. You don’t necessarily have to like every player on your team, but you do need to show that you respect them. A college coach is building a team and there is no room for an athlete that cannot get along with the rest of his teammates.
9. BE LATE – A coach’s time is valuable and there are not always enough hours in a day for them to get to everything they need done. So, if a coach schedules a recruiting meeting, a visit, or a call with you, you had better be there and available at the scheduled time. Better yet, be ready to go a few minutes before the scheduled time. Not being ready or available at the scheduled time can give the coach the impression that you do not respect their time, that you are not reliable, that you do not take the process seriously, and that you do not have real interest in their program. They might just cross you off and move on to the next name on their board. So, if something comes up and you won’t be able to make, make sure you notify the coach ahead of time.
11. I’M BETTER THAN YOU – It is an honor to be considered a prospect to play at the next level. It doesn’t matter if you are receiving interest from Power 5 programs or NAIA programs, you are still part of a very small percentage of high school athletes who will receive the opportunity to play in college. You need to show respect to every school that shows you interest or makes an offer. Just because you are receiving interest from D1 schools it doesn’t mean that you will receive an offer or that they will be the best fit for you. You might find that you like the idea of being a big fish in a small pond better than being a little fish in a big pond. What if something happens and you don’t receive the offer to the Power 5 school? You may need that D2 offer if you want to continue to play in college. The point is, you need to listen to every school because you have no way of knowing what the future holds.
12. DREAM SCHOOL – Never tell a coach that is recruiting you that you have always dreamed of playing somewhere else. You might as well just come out and tell them that you are only interested in them if you do not have an opportunity to play for your dream school. That may not stop them from continuing to recruit you, but they are more likely to spend their effort and time on athletes they know are interested in playing for their program and attending their school. You will be on the outside looking in when they have filled all their available scholarships and you still don’t have that offer from your dream school.
13. DEAR COACH – Potentially the most important communication you are going to have with a coach is your introductory email. Don’t blow it by generically opening the email with “Dear Coach” or “To whom it may concern”. The purpose of the email is to grab a coach’s attention right away. It is not to have your email deleted before they have even read the first sentence. When you address the email generically you are telling the coach that you don’t really have any interest in their program because you couldn’t take the time to research their school or program. Essentially, you are sending them nothing more than junk mail and it will be treated with the same respect all spam email deserves. We will have more on writing a great intro letter soon. Until then, please check out our Simple Six Step Recruiting Plan.
14. GO TO THE PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE – We are joking a little with the headline for this item, but it really isn’t funny. Does your school record reflect that you are consistently getting in trouble at school? Do you have a history of fighting or behavior problems in class? Have you been suspended? College coaches will find out if you have a history of disciplinary problems at school and it will not be favorable to your chances for an offer. Stay out of the Principal’s office.
Do you have any further tips or advice on what prospective student athletes should avoid doing during the recruiting process? We would love to hear about them in our comments section. Maybe we will even add them to the list. And as always, if you found this article helpful and think it is worthy of a share, please click on the Facebook or Twitter icons below.