College coaches recruit good students and good athletes; in that order. Coaches know the GPA and SAT/ACT scores prospective student athletes need to get through the admissions process at their school. This is not a secret. The average GPA and SAT/ACT scores are posted on the university’s website. Also, the coach knows what kind of athlete he/she needs to recruit in order to put together a competitive team.
Unfortunately, most athletes and their families look at college recruiting through their eyes rather than through the coaches eyes and are usually way off base. Some parents think their son/daughter should be playing on a national championship team when the athlete did not even play varsity until they were a senior. Others don’t think they have the ability to play college level ball even though they play one sport year-round. Others think that grades are not important in the recruiting process and a coach can recruit any athlete they like.
If your goal is to leverage your athletic ability to play college level sports, earn a freshman roster spot, get a scholarship and enroll in a better school you need to offer the coach certain basics.
Good grades create more playing opportunities than good stats!
The NCAA rates schools and their sports programs on APR (Academic Progress Rate). If a sports program has a high number of student athletes become ‘academically ineligible’, the NCAA may impose sanctions on the program and school. Coaches recruit athletes who will not be an academic liability to the team and school.
As a high school student athlete your responsibility is to show the coaches that you have what it takes to be competitive in the classroom by getting the best grades possible. Higher grades translates into more academic opportunities, more playing opportunities, more academic scholarship opportunities, and less borrowing of student loans to pay for college. Everybody wins!
Coaches need good athletes who show a good skill set, commitment, work ethic, strong family support and who are coachable.
It’s not necessary to be All State or All Conference to earn a freshman roster spot, but it requires all of the attributes listed above. It helps if you play one sport year-round. Playing one sport helps to improve your overall understanding and skills required to be successful in your sport. It is okay if you play multiple sports; cross training is a good thing too. College coaches want athletes who are bigger, faster, stronger and more flexible. You should always be working towards that goal. Stats are important, but not as important as commitment, work ethic and coachability. A coach can make you a better athlete but they cannot improve the attitude and gusto you bring to the game.
If you are serious about playing ball in college you must bring your academic and athletic abilities to the table. Show the coach what you have accomplished and will continue to accomplish once they recruit you. You will be recruited based on what you have done, not on what you say you can do.
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