Coaches recruit student-athletes, not just athletes. The most attractive recruits are well-rounded individuals who are just as successful in the classroom and in the community as they are in their sports.
"Student" comes first for a reason. Getting it done in the classroom is a sure sign of a responsible and accountable athlete. Neglecting academic obligations in high school to focus strictly on sports will reduce your chances of locking up a scholarship. Duane Voigt, academic director for student athletes at Stanford University, says, "The sooner a student-athlete makes the decision that he or she wants to be in college and wants to perform at the level that they're capable of, and the sooner they make that decision to take on their academics and to change their philosophy or their attitude in terms of what they want out of life, the better."
If you're having trouble making the grade, check out this article for advice that can help you excel in school.
Another aspect of being a responsible student-athlete is meeting year-to-year academic requirements, including core courses. To qualify for admission to a Division I school, you must have satisfactorily completed 16 core courses over four years of high school. Follow this link to review the list of course requirements and make sure you're on the right track.
College coaches are interested in more than an athlete's skills in his chosen sport, because playing multiple sports develops overall athleticism, which is applicable in any sport. "Baseball helped me learn how to catch the ball at the highest point, which improved my ability at the wide receiver position," says Seattle Seahawks WR Golden Tate, who was a dual-sport athlete (in football and baseball) at the University of Notre Dame.
College coaches are hot on the trail of multi-sport athletes for a host of additional reasons. Learn about them by clicking here.
It's easy to get caught up in the fast lifestyle, especially for high-achieving athletes. Exercising sound judgment and staying out of trouble show that you are capable of handling yourself in a mature fashion on a college campus. Arriving on time for practice and being attentive at team meetings are additional signs of good character. "Off the field, good character puts good men in the right place at the right time," says Larry Kehres, head coach of Division III football powerhouse Mount Union College. "Bad character does the opposite." Learn more about the importance of character in recruiting from Coach Kehres.
Conduct During a Game
They say a measure of greatness is how an athlete acts when nobody is watching. Keep that in mind, because recruiters watch your every move, whether you're in the heat of the action or standing on the sidelines during a timeout. According to Sidney Lowe, North Carolina State's head basketball coach, "It's very important to understand that coaches are always watching, even when you're sitting on the bench." Click here for an inside look at how premier college hoops coaches evaluate athletes away from the action.
Photo: Courtesy of Notre Dame Media Relations
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock