Do you have what it takes to play a sport in college? Have you put in the time to develop your skills and keep your grades up so that college recruiters are now interested?

Well, you’ve done the hard work, but there is still more that you can do to hold the attention of the recruiters, and it might not be what you’re thinking.

Character Counts

If you are being recruited, your social media is being watched. So be yourself but also think twice, or three times, before you post. Think about how your post might impact your future.

Many colleges outsource monitoring of social media. These services can even find those Snapchat posts that you think no one will see. The services gather all of your social media information for the college to get a glimpse at your character.

Remember, what you post online can affect your recruiting process, and more importantly, it can affect you in many ways for the rest of your life. So it’s worth repeating: think before you post.

What do you want your social media to say about you?

What Coaches See

When a college coach comes to watch you in your sport, they already know what you can do in your sport. They want to know more about your character, if you are a team player, and if you’ll fit in with their program.

Before The Game

As a high school coach, I always reminded my recruited players that when a college coach came to watch them play, they would be watching them when they stepped into the gym. They would watch how they carried themselves and how they interacted with their coaches and teammates to feel their overall demeanor.

A college coach will often be there earlier so they can watch a recruit before game time. To watch them in the stands or sidelines where they show what they are really made of. Of course, every athlete has their own personality. Some players keep to themselves a bit before the game, while others are more chatty with their teammates. But whatever it is that you do, a coach will get a vibe by how you present yourself.

Think about what you do while you are waiting for your game to start. Are you nice to your teammates? Do you make sure you clean up anything you may have left in your area, like a Gatorade bottle or food wrappers? Think about the impression you will be making right from the moment you hit the gym, field, or ballpark.

Be the best possible version of yourself.

During The Game

Don’t overstress about your game just because a coach is watching. I know that’s easy to say, but the coach already knows that you can play, or they wouldn’t be there. So think about the team game plan and go the extra mile to work with your teammates to make it happen.

If you focus on the team and not yourself, you will shine as a team player. If you are playing basketball, I don’t mean that you shouldn’t shoot; I mean do what is expected of you and more. A college recruiter sees all aspects of the game. They will see the hustle and the team play, as well as the stats.

And if you make a mistake, that’s okay. College coaches understand that mistakes happen. They want to see what happens after you make a mistake. How you react. Do you throw a fit or move on? A recruiter won’t care if you miss a lay-in or strike-out, but they will mind if you hang your head and don’t hustle back on defense or stay positive as you head out to shortstop to start the next inning.

A college coach will also see how you treat your coach. They will notice if you roll your eyes at them or spend your time looking into the crowd during a timeout. A college coach wants to know that you will listen to what they have to say when you come to play for them.

They want to know that you are coachable.

A college coach will notice if you support your teammates. Suppose you thank them for passes and congratulate them on their successes. College coaches notice the little things, the highs 5’s, the points, and the back slaps. All the things that tell them, this athlete is a team player. They have what is needed athletically, but they also care about their teammates. If you work to raise the level of your teammate’s game, your team will be more successful.

A college coach wants a player who cares about the team.

After The Game

Again, be aware of how you represent yourself. If your team lost, don’t pout or be a bad sport. You can be disappointed, upset even, but a college coach will want to know how you handle failure because it is a part of sports and part of life. Losses and failures help you grow as a player and a person and, in the end, make the team stronger.


When a coach contacts you, be professional. Please get back to them promptly and use appropriate language. How you respond to them will give that coach a good idea of your interest level and how you might communicate with your teammates.

Meeting A Coach

NCAA rules vary depending on sport as to when you can talk with college coaches in person, but if you do have the opportunity, make eye contact with the coach, be gracious, be yourself, and always remember, character counts.

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