Often in the recruiting process, it can feel like you are lost in the shuffle of a recruiting event or team practice. You may not have had a great day, or you simply didn’t get the chance to showcase your skills.
However, an off day does not mean you don’t have the ability to stand out. College coaches are recruiting not just your skills (those are important, obviously) but are looking for intangible factors they can build a program around.
As such, it’s important to build up your resume as a complete student-athlete. Here are a few tips on how to become the best version of you so you can stand out from the crowd.
Develop Leadership Qualities
Coaches admire athletes who demonstrate a winning attitude, mental toughness, take charge of workouts and show composure under pressure. These traits will not only make you a better athlete, but they will help you elevate the ability of your teammates as well.
Often, being a leader is confused with being “vocal” or the loudest player. But you do not have to be a “vocal” type to lead, and often, the best leaders are those that do so by example. If you want to be a good leader, do the little things to the best of your ability. Encourage your teammates positively. Be the first in line for drills. Show up early and stay late. Work the hardest.
Remember, leadership does not stop in the hallways at school or in the classroom. Be a role model off the field, and work as hard as possible in all of your endeavors. You will be surprised at how far these things can go.
Seek Constructive Criticism
While it is always nice to be told how well you played, it’s likely you already know the areas you excel in.
Equally important as positive encouragement is constructive criticism from respected voices like your club and high school coaches. Get as many opinions as you can, and don’t take suggestions negatively.
Instead, be sure to focus in on these areas, as they will only assist you in becoming a better player. Watch film if it is available to you to recognize bad habits and work on eliminating them.
Every player at every level can always improve. Do not be satisfied with the status quo!
Keep An Open Mind
There are times when you will be asked to do things you do not want to do – like run an extra mile, play a position other than the one you are comfortable with or learn you have to change your technique.
Typically, these requests will come from a coach. Do yourself a big favor and acquiesce, because they are likely coming from a good place!
Always try your best to do the right thing in whatever situation you find yourself, and avoid engaging in negative actions both on and off the field.
College coaches prefer to recruit and coach players who have a great attitude, stay out of trouble and do what they can for the team.