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Why Coachable Kids Make Great Athletic Recruits

by Coach Chris Goodman

College coaches will often taken "coachable" over top talent. They'll also take kids who are no worries in the classroom before they hand out scholarships to athletes who don't try hard on the academic side. These intangibles can certainly separate a very similar athlete from the rest of the pack. That's why coachable kids make great athletic recruits.

Many coaches opt to recruit on potential in lieu of current talent level. "As a coach you are not really recruiting the student athlete for today," says Stanford University soccer coach Jeremy Gunn. "You are recruiting who they are going to become and who you think they can be."

A college coach needs to know an incoming player can adapt to their team culture. He/she also wants a kid who can accept a little tough love. "A coachable kid who can handle constructive criticism — that goes a long way, " says Columbia University soccer coach Tracey Bartholomew.

So what is coachable? How can you define it?

Coaching expert Mike Kennedy defines coachable here. “Coachable: Someone who is committed to his or her own development; who is hungry for feedback from others and open to anything that may improve his or her self.”

Sports performance consultant Allistair McCaw talked about the difference in being coachable and non-coachable on Twitter.
Uncoachable players:

-Take it personally.

-Feel they’re being picked on.

-Become defensive.

Coachable players:

-Open to it.

-Want to be coached.

-See it as opportunity to get better.

The important thing to remember is coaches notice this during the recruiting process. They see your moves away from the ball and on the bench, too. These kinds of moments when you listen and adapt to coaching can certainly go a long way towards helping you earn a scholarship.

Arizona basketball coach Sean Miller summed it up when recently described one of his incoming freshman players as coachable. "Sometimes, talent takes you so far, but what is going to catapult you into having a great freshman year is if you're receptive toward learning a new system and understanding that you're like a ninth-grader all over again."

Topics:Recruiting Tips And Process