Being recruited by college coaches – What do I need to know? - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)

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November 18, 2019

Being recruited by college coaches – What do I need to know?

by Van Zanic, Geneva College Athletic Director

From the time you first picked up a ball, a glove, a racquet or a club, it has been your dream to play sports at the college level. You have honed your skills, you have worked on your craft and you have done everything your coaches have told you to do. Now you are ready to showcase your talents in front of all those college coaches that seemingly hold your collegiate future in their hands. So when the time comes for the recruiting calls to begin and for the selection process to commence, what are some of the most important details you should be focusing on when trying to choose between schools and what exactly are those coaches looking for in a potential recruit?

The first thing to remember when performing in front of coaches is that they are used to seeing hundreds of athletes that all look the part of being a college athlete. So how do you get noticed? It is important to find areas where you are distinct. What will set you apart from the crowd and make coaches sit up and take notice? In my years of experience in recruiting collegiate athletes, more often times than not, those distinctions are found off the field or within a player’s character and not necessarily in their abilities.

Coaches are looking for athletes that are coachable and respectful. Obviously there needs to be an element of talent, but time after time you will hear coaches say they would rather have a less talented team of coachable players than a bunch of talented individuals. Coaches want players they can work with on a daily basis for four years and know that those players will respond in a positive way. They want players that will accept constructive criticism and be able to positively respond after failing on the field. Athletics is a perfect vehicle for young people to learn how to respond to adversity and coaches will be very observant during the recruiting process to see how young men and women respond after having made a mistake.

If you are fortunate enough to catch the eye of specific coach and are asked to visit their campus, that is when the real work begins. Preparing for your campus visit is as important as the visit itself. Be sure to do your homework prior to the visit. Learn as much as you can about the school, about the program and about the coach. When the time comes to meet the coach, be sure to answer questions directly and make solid eye contact. Bring a list of prepared questions with you so when you are asked if you have any questions, you are already well prepared. Coaches will be impressed with your preparedness and it will also show that you are truly interested in the program and are engaged in what is being presented.

You will receive much feedback from people on which college they think you should attend. Your parents will have an opinion, your friends will have an opinion and your coaches will have an opinion. Be sure to take that feedback, but ultimately the only opinion that matters will be yours. Which college makes you comfortable, which coach will truly care for you more than just an athlete and most importantly, which college will help you reach your academic goals and set you up for a career after graduation.

Choosing the right college fit will most likely be the most important decision you will have to make to this point in your life, so don’t take it lightly. Work hard in the classroom, work hard at your sport and look for ways to be distinctive so when that college coach comes calling, you are more than prepared to make an impression on them that could make the difference in which direction your college life will take.

To learn more about Geneva College Athletics and how we intregrate character-building into all of our athletic programs, contact our Admissions team at | 800-847-8255.