What does a College coach look for in an athlete?

February 17, 2011
by Justin

As a college applicant, it is key to understand the recruiting process from a coach’s perspective for aspiring recruits to be able to make themselves more desirable candidates. Coaches have different requirements but they all share common needs.

The following are the top most sought-after traits that NCAA coaches are looking for in an athlete:


Regardless of what sport an athlete plays, the number one thing that a college coach looks for is his ability in that sport. College coaches get paid a huge amount of dollars for what they do and it is a must that they recruit only the best to stay in their profession.


“Batting average”
Past game outcomes and an athlete’s contribution in previous games are indicative of his talent. It determines his competitive edge and gives the coach a vital outlook of what that athlete might be able to contribute once he is recruited

Many coaches are also attracted to a prospect’s potential. They track the athlete’s progress to assess development and his ability to improve on the skills required in his chosen field of sport.

Athletes who are able to compete and contribute in different events or positions are more desirable than those who are not as flexible.

Coaches seek leaders. They are not necessarily the best but they play a significant role in a team’s success. Team captains are chosen for their leadership skills, dedication, and their ability to motivate.

Work Ethic/Dedication
Athletes with strong, consistent work ethics are a coach’s dream. A dedicated athlete commits not just to improving his skills but also commits to motivating the rest of the team to compete more intensely.

Coaches want recruits who are also good performers in the classroom. They are required to meet the academic requirements of a particular college or university. Coaches naturally want to be certain that their recruits will remain academically qualified all throughout the college years.

Being Coachable

Coaches sign athletes that they can teach and coach. They don’t go for athletes whom they feel will not listen to them or may cause trouble and disruption in and for the team.



An athlete’s character is very important. It could even make or break his chances in receiving a college scholarship. While in the process of searching for an athlete, College coaches are almost like private investigators. They find out as much as they can and talk to every single person that have any kind of involvement with the recruit – teachers, parents, friends – in order to get a feel of the kind of person he is bringing into his team.



A college coach may also want the family of his recruits to be truly supportive of the program that the athlete is going to be involved in. It is going to be rigorous and will demand much of the athlete’s time. Since the coach inadvertently acts as second father or guardian to the kids in school, it is important for the coach to establish a trusting relationship and connection with his team’s families.

Hopefully you find this helpful either as you begin the recruiting process or during. Any questions please let us know. Best of luck!

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