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What college coaches look for (part 3)

Potential & Upside

Many college players have limited roles as freshmen in the beginning of a season but will mature into bigger roles as they continue their college career. The ability to gauge a player’s potential/upside is critical for a coach’s immediate and long-term success. By developing player talent, college coaches produce complete players with maximized potential. Both the players and coaches will experience consistent success. Here are some thought questions/comments coaches use to evaluate your potential & upside:

How quickly can you contribute in their system?

  • Most college coaches are looking for players who can actively contribute within 1-2 years.

  • The amount of playing time is typically related to your talent, sports skill, opportunity and work ethic

  • How you participate in strength/conditioning and practice will affect your playing time

What role(s) can you play?

  • Strategic basketball planning looks to take advantage of opponent mis-matches. In this, coaches deploy their team with the best plays to expose weak match-ups of their opponents

  • Your ability to play a role(s) or consistently dominate a particular statistic enables the coach to include you in the game plan more often. The more roles you can play effectively, the more opportunities you will have to play.

How will your presence impact the team?

  • Team chemistry is a huge part of any team. Coaches pay special attention to how a player’s presence will affect the team.

  • Typically coaches are looking for a competitive yet cooperative environment amongst their players. This atmosphere continually drives players to improve while working together.

  • Players must be willing to compete hard against and with their teammates consistently.

What new things can you be taught?

  • Coaches are always looking to teach their players new things for their personal basketball development and to improve the team’s chances of winning.

  • Players that are teachable are more often desired than players who are unteachable

  • A few examples of being “teachable”:

  • Good listener

  • Honest and courageous enough to ask questions when you don’t understand

  • Makes a strong effort to implement what has been taught

  • Consistently practices what has been taught until it’s “second nature”

  • Able to execute a new skill in a game

  • Has “cumulative memory” – the ability to retain what has been taught and add to their learning with new things

  • Able to understand how a new skill/technique fits into the overall basketball plan/strategy

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