Being a member of a school sports team doesn’t mean that you need to be good at sports only. Coaches all over the country seek for players who also possess strong character, receive good grades, and, more importantly, are able to become a team with others both on the sports field and on campus. All of these qualities are assessed during the recruitment, and as the years go, coaches learn and adapt their filters to see every person as they are, down to the core of their personality. Recruiting staff develops a vague pattern to match with every potential student-athlete, and along with positive qualities they seek in candidates, there are certain red flags that may influence their decision. It doesn’t mean that if you match one of those criteria you definitely won’t get the place, however, you may be sure that your case will be investigated thoroughly.
While reasons to red flag a student vary between schools and coaches, there are some that are similar for all of them. We’ve made up a list to help you pass with flying colors!
1 – Students who come with someone who wants to make decisions with or instead of the kid.
The issue that is growing more and more popular, lately, will immediately make coaches look some other way. While it may seem there is nothing wrong with having a middle-man to vouch for child’s interests, in fact, it does more harm than good as coaches can’t properly get to know the prospect who is hiding behind an adult. What’s more, that kind of situation will keep up for another 4-5 years, and that’s not something coaches are willing to deal with.
2 – Students who fail to treat their parents, family, or women right.
Similarly, a popular issue stated by multiple coaches. Respect to others is very crucial in a sports team as you need to listen both to your coach, who is trying to make you a better version of yourself, and your teammates, in order to play well as a team. A candidate who wasn’t raised to treat their parents with respect will not respect the word of the coach and if they can’t follow the rules of their own family why should they be any good at following the rules of the team.
3 – Students who didn’t sort out their priorities
Not everyone wants to become a member of a football team because of their love to the game. Some of the coaches said there are prospects who are more interested in the brand of their uniform or looks of the facilities than majors the school carries. Another common mistake is asking your coach to send you a National Letter of Intent on the morning of Division III signing day just to post it on social media. This shows poor judgment and mixed priorities.
It is also worth mentioning that coaches often look at your social media, so before applying to a football team, check twice if your subscriptions show your intent of becoming a football pro.
4 – Students who don’t love football.
Kids who are trying to get on the team just to play are in for a big surprise as there is a lot more to it than simply playing. If students showed lack of interest in sports during high school, college level of education most likely will be too much for them. They have to cope with film study, classes, homework, and a lot more that comes with the next level of the game. Besides all the playing it is really important for an athlete student to hit the gym on a usual basis. If the potential candidate for a college doesn’t respect the weight room, he probably doesn’t deserve coaches’ attention.
5 – Students who have over-involved parents.
This concern seems to be growing every year. Sometimes, coaches will even fully refuse to recruit a prospect because of the behavior of their parents, or, at least, it will be a big concern. Anyway, even if you think that you have excellent chances of getting in, over-involved parents can make any program look another way.
6 – Students who are too worried about how many people are ahead of them being recruited.
If you are looking into it too much, chances are that coach will see it as if you are trying to get into without any competition or any hard work at all.
7 – Students whose high school coach can’t be reached for a recommendation.
While this one is beyond prospect’s control, this can be a real deal breaker for some coaches. It is really important to get an impression from a person who watched you develop both as an athlete and a team player.
8 – Students who don’t fit with others on campus.
It is a good idea for potential players to go to different campuses and look if they can merge with people there. If you feel like you don’t belong, it’s a big commitment to do this for next 4-5 years and frankly, our advice is you shouldn’t do it. Anyway, coaches will ask around other people on campus if they felt like you belong, and if the answer is negative there goes your red flag.
9 – Students who are not prepared.
A lot of people on recruiting committees state that if a student is failing to complete simple tasks like filling in an application, registering for the ACT, SAT, etc., that’s just a starter for problems to come.
10 – Students who ask about scholarship right away.
Spreading from Division III up to Power Five, this is another frustrating problem when potential players seem to care only about money. If they wonder about scholarship during the first few interviews, there is a high chance they are here not because of the love of the football.
11 – Students who treat campus residents badly.
It is important to treat your family and teammates good, but often coaches will observe your interactions with other people, like the staff, secretaries, lunch ladies, etc. One of the coaches shared a story about a student he was interested in. However, when he came to visit he made a big mess in the cafeteria and was rude to the staff there. Needless to say, he went home without being recruited.
12 – Students who lack in decision making.
There are a lot of kids who are “interested” but it seems that not enough. If you can’t settle on a date or make up excuses why you can’t visit this time, it will certainly put up a red flag.
These are some of the most widespread red flags coaches around the country can name. However, there are some things that are not so popular, but definitely worth mentioning:
- Students who never had to fight for their first job.
- Students who call coaches by their first name.
- Students who smell like pot.
- Students who transferred one too many times.
This list is rather valuable information that high school coaches and parents should show to their kids. Once they analyze themselves and eliminate all the problems they have, it will be much easier for them to successfully make it to a college team.
To summarize, if you want to be successful football player at the next level, you must remember that you are being observed and assessed everywhere you go. When college coach picks you, it means he is going to invest their time, energy, and attention to you, instead of their own family and life. What’s more, different programs offer scholarships, so it is perfectly understandable that they seek for students who truly deserve all of this.