Getting Recruited: What Matters to College Coaches
As the Recruiting Coordinator at Emmanuel, I have the privilege of working very closely with not just potential Emmanuel student-athletes but also our great coaches. While we all look for different skill sets on our particular playing surfaces, we share a different scouting technique that might not be known to the recruits we are watching or their families. Whether we are at a high school game, ID clinic, skills showcase, prospect day, club event, or an organized tournament, we are always watching.
We dutifully take notes on how you are performing on the field. Whether you can score a goal, hit the ball, or make the right pass, those are some of the obvious things we will notice. But we are also watching how you interact with your teammates on the sidelines and the playing surface. Little gestures such as helping a teammate up, offering positive reinforcement, or even your behavior after you make a mistake. All of these things matter to us.
We take into consideration things like how you interact with the officials, or your coaches during play. Did you throw your water cup in the garbage or just toss it onto the ground for someone else to worry about? What is your body language like after your team allows a goal? We’re still taking notes after the game too, looking at how you interact with your family and friends. Time and time again we as coaches see potential student-athletes talking back to their parents or behaving in a manner that wouldn’t fit in with our team and college culture. That stuff matters, too.
When recruits are at these events, it’s important to recognize that we as college coaches are trying to find people who would fit into our communities. Not all coaches take such an in-depth approach at observing these behaviors. Some coaches will tolerate poor behavior more than others. But often times, the interactions we see at these events are our best chance to see you in a light that we won’t realize until you’re a part of our program, and that matters the most.
Once we start the recruiting process, and you are on our campus or in our offices, we assume you are on your best behavior. Often times you are with your parents or a guardian, but we will always go back to what we saw on that field in the middle of the summer. Did you make a lasting impression not just with your play but with your actions? College coaches are not only looking for great players, we’re in search of great people.