As much as college coaches are researching you as a player and evaluating you physically, they are evaluating you just as much as a person and student. Trust me, most of them do a lot of homework outside of just your height, weight, speed and stats. They want to see the whole picture and understand what type of person you are.
Experienced coaches reach out to several sources in the area when they are interested in a player. The prep coaches, the parents, rival school coaches, AAU coaches, Principals, Guidance Counselors… they don’t just ask one person their opinion, they’re asking for recommendations from all types of people that players come across. You may be a certain way with your coach, but carry yourself differently in other areas. They want to see an accurate picture of who you are.
Be short and to the point, and tell the coaches that you may have been immature in the past or not handled a situation in the best way that you could, but you learned. If you carry yourself in a mature way in your dealings with them, they can judge for themselves. Walk a straight line, handle your responsibilities– do what you are supposed to do — and your reputation can improve.
If you know these rumors are being said about you, it’s okay to address them. If a college coach is legitimately interested in you, be upfront with them. The worst thing you can do at this point is lie about your past. A lot of players have faced adversities, may have acted out immaturely at times, had family problems going on or issues with other players. To be honest, college coaches want to see growth, and maturity, and see that you’ve moved on from tough situations of your past. If you do have a past, it’s okay to be up front with the coaches and prove to them that you have grown up and changed.
College coaches won’t want to spend endless time re-hashing injustices you feel you may have faced with playing time, starting jobs, favoritism and politics– it’s probably not in your best interest to replay your whole life story to them because in the end, it just makes you look dramatic. Coaches aren’t going to want to bring that type of drama to their college campuses and lockerrooms, where these problems will just be magnified. They just don’t have the time for it!
If you are looking for a fresh start, put everything in the past. Carry yourself as a college-bound, mature player who is just looking for their opportunity, and who is willing to work hard to get there!