The college recruiting process is a daunting task for most junior golfers, so it’s important to head into it knowing what coaches are looking for so you know your priorities when it comes to being a desirable recruit. Although every coach has their own wants and needs, here is a general list of what most coaches are looking for in a player.
A player who can help their team
Every coach wants to make their team better so they are not trying to recruit players who will fit into the fourth or fifth spot on their roster. They are looking at players who can make their top three, possibly not right away but in the near future. In our experience players and parents often look at the worst player on the team as an indicator as to whether they can make the line-up, which is not a good strategy.
A student who can pass admissions and help the team GPA
Academics. Academics. Academics! There is a misconception that coaches can push players through admissions because they want them to play for their team. Unfortunately, this is not the reality in most cases. It is important that a player passes admissions on their own merit by having the test scores and GPA required by the school.
A coach may look at a player who may not be in their top 3, but is a solid student who will help their team GPA and has a chance to play in the future.
Get ready to hit the books!
A good teammate
It’s not all about academics and golf scores. A coach wants a player of the upmost character who will fit in with the players on the team. Often coaches will have prospects meet or even stay with their team during visits as a way of seeing how they might interact in the future. Team chemistry and culture is extremely important!
An coachable athlete
When a coach commits to a player for four years they certainly want one who is coachable. It’s too long of a period to be with someone who isn’t open to feedback and who does not have a growth mindset.
Be persistent in reaching out to coaches. Don’t send one e-mail and then give up. Coaches are inundated with so many e-mails, it’s difficult to keep track of them all and often the coach is out of the office at a tournament (these guys work hard). Keep following up to land on the coach’s radar screen.