A: Here are seven keys to impressing coaches…
1. FUNDAMENTALS, FUNDAMENTALS, FUNDAMENTALS! Execute your responsibility! Be focused! Play to the whistle! Coaches are looking for players who can make every play thrown their way—not just that one ESPN-type highlight. MASTER the simple skills of your position. Get drills from your coaches. Watch the best pro players, what are the simple things that they are really great at?
2. HUSTLE: Be the one who wants it the most, don’t take plays off. Dive for loose balls. HUSTLE, HUSTLE, HUSTLE—it will show up on film! They will hear it from your prep coaches. It will show up in scouting reports. Coaches LOVE players who hustle! Some skill can be taught, heart can’t!
3. Be serious at practice. Don’t be a clown on the sideline. Yes, even if you aren’t involved in the play, are you paying attention? Don’t distract your teammates. Coaches are LOOKING at how you behave on the sideline.
4. Be on track academically. Once a coach is sold on you as a player, the first question they will ask is, “Can they qualify academically? Will they get into our university?” If they hear “no” or “it’ll be close,” they may move on.
5. Have a great attitude. Be relentless and tough. Be a leader. Do what is asked of you. Be someone that others want to be around! Never bring a bad attitude to practice!
6. Come early and stay late to get extra reps or conditioning. It may not pay off this week or month, but it WILL pay off down the road.
7. Develop strong leadership skills. Even if you aren’t a starter or senior, you can still be one of the best leaders on the team.