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5 Ways You Can Be A More Coachable Student-Athlete

by Coach Chris Goodman

How can you be the coachable player that a college/university coach needs? What will make you more approachable and give you opportunities to earn more scholarships? What about earning more playing time if you're already on a team? Being coachable is often essential to growth. Here are 5 ways you can be more coachable.

Be Humble

Modesty can go a long way in your entire approach to practices, games and life. The best players in different sports in the world learn by watching and listening to others. You don't need to be that "guy " or "girl" who isn't approachable. Nobody should feel like they are walking on "eggshells" when they are around you in terms of providing you with useful tips. It's important to be able to listen-those tips combined with hard work could absolutely propel your game into the upper echelon.

"I promise you NO ONE cares what schools you were recruited by, that you had 100 offers from other schools, how many stars you were from recruiting websites, that you were all-conference, all-area, all-state, etc., that you won a state championship, and that you were allegedly the coaches' favorite recruit," says Liam B. Joseph Crotty. "You are not, and I repeat, you are not entitled to anything based on High School achievements. You're starting all over and are at the bottom of the food chain."

Taking a back seat might sound a bit out of the ordinary. It's normal with an incoming recruit.

"Humility requires a change of heart rather than a change of mind," says August Turak in Forbes magazine. "Humility teaches that there are things we need to do that we cannot do on our own," he continues. " Only humility can teach us that the most important things we need to learn require fundamental changes in our behavior and outlook." What does this mean for a student-athlete. It's imperative you listen. It's imperative you are open to advice. That leads us to our next example.

Listen To Constructive Criticism

You should always be willing to listen to what others have to say about your game. This is especially true of the coaching staff who has recruited you. They'll provide little tips that can help you be more successful along the way. They've seen players succeed and fail on the collegiate level. They often know what it takes in every aspect. They'll provide constructive criticism about your individual game. They may provide constructive criticism about your ability to be a good teammate. You need to soak in all the information you possibly can so you can get better and improve. It's the only true way to rise and compete at a higher level. A coach has an opportunity to really help a student-athlete. "Don't point out faults, but opportunities for growth," says the Forbes Coaches Council.

Have Ability To Adapt

Whether you are on the bench or starting, you need to have the ability to adapt to any situation and be a good teammate. Your ability to switch gears will ultimately define who you are within your own team culture. Can you adapt to a new game plan? Can you listen to adjustments at halftime? Maybe you will be needed as a team captain or leader? You need to always be coachable so you can provide your team with the best opportunity to win. “If we fail to adapt, we fail to move forward, ” said former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden.

Learn To Talk, Listen And Ask Questions

Your ability to communicate with others is always imperative. This doesn't just mean listening and speaking with the coaching staff. It also means getting advice from more experienced members of the team. It involves learning from others who can relay experiences to you. You'll have an opportunity to give back to younger student-athletes as you move towards your own graduation. During the early part of your career, it's crucial that you listen and learn.

"In order for me to continue my success, I have to listen," says NBA player Donovan Mitchell. "I have to be someone who listens. It may not always be what I want to hear, but it's the right thing that I need to hear. I think that developed from my childhood; my Mom telling me 1,000 times that "you have to listen."

Do The Little Things Nobody Sees

Doing work when nobody is around is often the difference between being a good and great athlete. “The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching, " said former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden.

This is your opportunity to work on things the coach or older players have emphasized to you. It's your chance to improve and move your game up a notch. The little things you work on could help push you toward a starting position. If you're already starting, it could push you toward being one of the best players in the league or nation. Your ability to be coachable-to watch, listen and learn is what can elevate your game to the next level.





Topics:Recruiting Tips And Process