That you should Know 100%!

US college coaches…….. they care about a lot of things when it comes to recruiting athletes, but in this blog, let’s concentrate on what they don’t care about!

The first thing I want to bring up is that college coaches don’t care about the opinions that other people have of your athletic abilities – that includes your parents, coaches, as well as your own opinion of yourself and your athletic abilities.

They simply do not care. Now look, coaches will certainly look through your profiles, they’ll read your coaches’ references, they’ll learn about you and some of the characteristics that you have as a coachable athlete, or some of the things that the people closest to you, like your coach, will have to say about you. They are looking for someone who has the right characteristics.

“Coaches don’t really care what other people think about your abilities”

But, that coaches’ opinion of how talented you are as a player doesn’t actually mean anything, because the coach who’s recruiting you, has the only opinion that actually matters.

Coaches don’t really care what other people think about your abilities. They’re going to formulate their own opinions, and how they feel that you’re going to fit into their program.

We try and encourage athletes that are on our program to steer their current coaches away from explaining how awesome of an athlete they are! rather focus on how coachable of a kid you are and how well you take on feedback. They obviously want to see any areas of improvement, so areas that obviously you may need improving on – as well as your strengths and weaknesses.

A coaching reference that’s “oh, little Johnny is the best player on the team, he’s going to go to your program and he’s going to do this and he’s going to do that” well, sorry, but you don’t know that! And College Coaches can see right through it.

A Coach doesn’t know what little Johnny or Sally is going to do once they get to that program. It’s up to the college coach, who’s evaluating that athlete to determine where they can best help him, and if they can help him.

“It’s about getting a coaching reference that’s drafted appropriately”

That coaches’ reference will help them to better understand, if it’s done correctly, to understand their character. To understand things that they’re good at, things that they can improve on. It’s about getting a coaching reference that’s drafted appropriately. Not just bragging about you and how good you are as an athlete or the opinion of your current coach about what you’re going to go once you get to college.

They don’t care about how awesome you think you are as a player. I think I’m awesome but that doesn’t really matter to anyone. That’s my opinion and how I see myself. We all tend to think we’re better than we really are, I obviously think I’m better than Ronaldo and LeBron James in both sports, and I probably am!

There is so many times where kids will tell us, “I’m a high-performance athlete.” Well, okay, That’s your opinion of your abilities athletically, but will the collegiate program believe that you’re a high-performing athlete in comparison to the already high performing athletes that are within those athletic programs? They are the ones who will determine your ability.

“Parents do not have a say!”

One thing that I promise you that I would never, ever care about is a parent’s opinion of their child. I have two boys ages 6 and 8, I can already tell you I’m going to have the most awesome opinion of them always, right?

Parents are always over opinionated, and in club sport where they pay their registration fees, parents feel that they have much more of a say and can have an influence on a coach. And, you know, the director of coaching for a club will speak to the coach about little so-and-so, whose parents may sponsor the club! There’s way more politics involved in club sport, whereas in college sport the only opinion that matters is the College Coach.

“The opinions of everyone else, really doesn’t matter!”

That’s the difference in collegiate sport, it’s the next level. Parents do not have a say! I would not listen to a parent’s opinion about their own kid’s ability, because it’s always going to be that their kid’s the best. Coaches will form their own opinion of you obviously, which is what we’re trying to get at. The opinions of everyone else, really doesn’t matter!

It’s all very subjective, especially with team sports because there’s not a number or a quantifiable value that determines how good you are. Whereas if you’re a swimmer, or you’re a rower, or track and field, or golfer- with quantifiable results that say, hey, you ran the 100 meters in 9.6 seconds, you are really fast. It’s completely different when it comes to team sports. Team sports are always subjective, it’s the harsh reality, especially of elite sports.

There are going to be coaches that think that you’re great for their program, but then there’s a lot of people that probably won’t think that you’re great for their program. So it’s just taking it with a grain of salt, focus on the ones that do think you’re a good addition, that’s where you put your energy.

“It’s about what you’re doing now”

Do you think college coaches care about what you did as a junior athlete? And when I say junior athlete, really anything two years prior to going to the states?

The answer is no. It’s about what you’re doing now. if I’m evaluating an athlete and let’s say it’s a basketball player that at age 14, they were playing on the state team. And now, as an 18 year old, they’re only a domestic player. Okay, well the fact that you played state reps when you were 14 means absolutely nothing now.

What are you doing now? Are you on the level that I need now? are you currently doing something that is going to transition well to the level that I expect of my incoming athletes?

Now, obviously this information is certainly important to have on your profile because it can give a coach an idea of where you’re at a few years ago and obviously video footage is really important as well, but is that the vital piece of information that encourages a coach to say, “yep, I’m going to put in my offer for this particular athlete?” It’s not. The key sort of decision-maker is what you are doing currently now before heading over to the states.

“But I want to go to a D1 program.”

I think one of the sports that I probably deal with this more often than not is golf. Golf is a funny one in the sense that, “oh, well two years ago I was playing off scratch, or at a plus handicap. Look, that’s really the golfer that I am. But as of late, you know, I’ve had some school commitments and I haven’t played as much golf, so I’m playing off a four handicap or a five handicap. But I want to go to a D1 program.”

Okay, well, the fact that two years ago you were a scratch golfer, it doesn’t matter. It’s the fact that, as of right now, you’re playing off a five handicap. And is a five handicap going to get you to a Division 1 program? No. It’s not.

It wouldn’t make sense for a coach to sign an athlete that has a fantastic athletic history, but in the last year or two haven’t really done anything within their sport. It doesn’t make sense and it doesn’t happen.

It doesn’t matter what you think that you can be!

And just like that, for a golfer to think that, “yeah, I can play better golf and I could be a scratch golfer in six months, I just need the opportunity.” Well look, no coach is going to look at you on what you can become, it’s about, okay. Where do you fit now?

“you go in a direction that caters to who you are now”

We’re recruiting now, this is where you’re at now. Are you on a level that we can look at now and say, yep, we want to pull the trigger on this kid and bring him in to our program. If the answer is no, okay. That doesn’t mean that you can’t get there one day. But you go in a direction that caters to who you are now. Not what you used to be, not what you could become, but what you currently are.

Providing an athlete an offer based on what they’ve done in the past, or even what the athlete believes they could do in the future, it just doesn’t happen.

Do coaches care about the players you’ve played with in the past? whether they be ex-professionals or the coaches that you’ve had in the past, whether they be ex-professionals. So, for example, did an ex-pro coach you? Did an ex-national team player coach you? Have you played with an ex-professional? Do coaches care about that?

“look at me because I’m playing with an ex-pro.”

No, because that doesn’t actually say anything about your ability. It says more about the other person and their ability. Who you currently play with, if you’re playing with an ex-professional, great. That says more about that ex professional than it does about your ability. So really, that doesn’t mean anything.

It’s like saying “my team won the championship.” Awesome, how much did you play? “Oh, five minutes.” So everybody else won the championship and you had five minutes to do with that. So, it doesn’t matter what anybody else does, or who anybody else is, or what anyone around you has done in the past or what you have done in the past, it’s about you, right now, and what you’re doing.

“what you think you can do in the future – means nothing”

For example, If I was playing in one of the lowest divisions in Melbourne, but I was a former professional athlete. One of the lowest divisions of soccer in Melbourne, because i wanted to have some fun obviously. That’s like someone from that league, or on my team saying, “I played with an ex-professional”, like I’m at a good level, I should be going over to this particular school, or a coach should look at me because I’m playing with an ex-pro.

Who you play with, who you play against, what you did in the past, what you did as a junior, what you think you can do in the future – means nothing.


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