What Recruiters are REALLY Looking For
While recruiters are always looking for players who demonstrate superior athletic ability, that is not the only quality they desire in future college athletes. Here are a few thoughts from Notre Dame Women’s head basketball coach Muffet McGraw regarding players who really catch her eye:
“I observe their overall communication patterns with teammates. I watch during timeouts. I watch what happens when the team is losing. Who’s positive? I watch their demeanor during the game. When they come out of a game, do they cheer for their teammates, or are they just waiting to get back in the game? I want leaders. These are really character issues more than skills. Then of course, there are the God-given abilities - speed and size.
A lot of times I’ll see reports that I’m “recruiting someone.” Well, it depends on your definition of “recruiting someone.” I’m sending out hundreds of letters, but I’m certainly not “recruiting” hundreds of players. And players are getting letters from everyone. It doesn’t mean they’re getting scholarship offers. A player should also know that a school’s interest is serious and genuine when she begins to receive personal, hand-written notes from the head coach. If the head coach comes to see you play in your junior year, you’re in pretty good shape, though this is not always true. Sometimes I’ll see a prospect’s name on a lot of lists, so I’ll put her on my list, too. Then I see her play, and she’s just not what I’m looking for. But, generally, if the coach is there, it’s a good sign.
Young athletes need to ask better questions during the recruiting process. The one question players don’t ask is the most obvious one: Are you offering me a scholarship? It amazes me that they never ask that!”
Editor’s Note: A special thank you to the National Collegiate Scouting Association for this article.