As actions speak louder than words we sometimes forget the small details that can make a big difference. Such things as how to make a great first impression, how to be liked more, how to socialize effectively and make those around you enjoy your presence. It very important how we say things rather than what we say. Coaches like to see how you warm-up and play when you don’t think that they are watching you. They want to see the REAL YOU acting and playing within your environment. They want to see how you deal with difficulties, losses, wins, how you treat your teammates and coaches before, during and after your games. They like to absorb the smallest details possible.
I had outlined ten clever tricks for you to keep in mind if you truly want to impress the coaches. First impressions are crucial and you want to make sure that you do your best to be remembered in a positive and pleasant way. Your character and attitude can often determine how far you will go in your sports. Great coaches see and recognize that most of the time and they have ways of bringing the best in you. Coaches know if you got what it takes to play at the next level (for the most part). The goal is to turn every situation into your favor. The more you know, the better you will do. And if you don’t know much, start educating yourself now. Here is a good start.
1. Make eye contact
When you meet your coach or anyone as a matter of fact, make sure you always make eye contact. And keep it that way. Now, just don’t stare at the coach the whole time. You know what I mean. Remember to look the coach into the eyes when you talk and when you listen to them. This will show that you are interested in the conversation and the fact that you want to learn more. Engagement is important at all levels and it all starts with eye contact. They say that the eyes are the windows to your soul.
2. Always smile
Your smile is worth more than you’ll ever know. It shows that you are open to the conversation and that you enjoy talking to your company. A smile is so simple, yet so affective and best of all is free. It breaks down barriers between people and it develops a healthy and trustable relationship. Be friendly, be open and honest while you smile and most coaches will love you. This will help you show a great attitude and good mood which is important, especially when under pressure.
3. Give a good handshake
When you meet the coach, make sure to give a good handshake. Soft handshakes are often associated with dishonesty and no interest. Show that you are excited and thankful for the opportunity through your handshake.
4. Impress them with your skills
If you want coaches to have an interest in you, you have to impress them with your on and off the field skills. You need to be organize, punctual, have respect and show responsibility by contacting the coaches yourself with a great resume. Once you have break the introduction phase, it’s time you invite the coaches to come see you play. And trust me, you will get your chance down the road if not on the first time. This is the time to really impress your coaches with your skills, technique, work ethic and everything else you think can help you make great impression. For example, if you play soccer your technique has to be really good. In soccer if you don’t know the basics and you can’t receive and pass the ball, it’s difficult to play. Soccer is a technical sport and many times the size doesn’t matter. A sport like hockey, baseball or basketball, the size and physicality of the player can play a bigger factor. Ask yourself:
If I invite the coaches to see me play, what can I do to impress them most.
Once you know your strengths, make the best of them to showcase your talent. Otherwise it will get lost in the shadows of empty hopes. No athlete wants that to happen.
5. Learn and call coaches by their names
It’s always important to do your research and learn the names of the head and assistant coaches. There is something about when people call you by the name. You simply seem more responsive, more interested and you actually are happy that people remember your name. It makes you feel more important or at least not ignored. So calling people by their name, it’s always a big plus. Don’t be afraid to use their name multiple times in a conversation. People always feel liked and respected when they are called by their names and it builds the trust needed to form a healthy relatinship. They will always enjoy your company regardless of where your relationships ends up in the future. One day you may work together. You never know what the future brings.
6. Always listen more than you talk
This can be challenging, especially for the star players who sometimes don’t take feedback too well. Never assume that you know everything. The minute you stop learning it’s the minute you stop growing. Don’t be afraid to ask questions even when no one does it. It’s important to listen, absorb the information, process it and then express your thoughts.
Remember, the more you listen the better your answers will be. Coaches love players who always listen, because it builds trust in the relationship and it shows how willing the players are to improve.
7. Your image matters
The way you dress and carry yourself matters a lot in the world of sports. College coaches tend to be very professional when it comes to image. All college teams have to look the same at training, when traveling, for games, etc. This shows a professional image of the university, program, and more importantly the athletes themselves. You always have to look good and trust me, you will feel better.
Your online image is even more important as many coaches use different social media outlets to recruit and monitor players. Anything that has to do with your image is crucial in today’s society. There is a lot of bad stuff out there and trust me, it’s not worth for you getting cut in doing any of that. You have been working too hard for too long and you don’t want to ruin your image doing none sense stuff. Don’t get cut drinking or in other unpleasant situations because the truth has its own way of always coming out.
8. Make them feel special
In the coaching world they say that no one cares how much you know until you show them how much you care. This is so true in everything we do. Who cares if you are the best player on your team if you seem like you don’t care about anyone around you. You will end up with no friends an eventually your confidence will go down. You want to show the coaches and your teammates that you care about them regardless of what kind of athlete you are.
When you talk to coaches show your emotions, excitement and the fact that it’s such a pleasure that you have the privilege to talk to them. Your emotions will help you express your words in a more deep way and you will establish a better connection with your audience. College coaches know when student-athletes are interested in their program. Coaches can tell a lot based on the player’s enthusiasm. So, show that you care and you will always get the attention you deserve.
9. Be kind and helpful
The power of positivity is always better than the power of negativity even though it’s a lot easier to be bad than good. Here is a little story: Just imagine there are two wolves inside you. One wolf is good and one is bad. So, who will win? Well, the one you feed. You decide if you choose to be kind and helpful or bad and careless. It’s your choice and no matter what you choose, you will have to deal with the consequences. You will have more happiness in your life if you choose to be kind and helpful to your teammates and everyone else around you. You will feel more fulfilled and happy knowing that you’ve done something great for someone. Help others without expecting anything in return. Everyone will appreciate you even more.
10. Be patient
Patience is a virtue many don’t have. It can be learned but through time, practice and experiences. At least in my case. I have two younger boys and watch them grow everyday. I have learned how to be patient, been surprised to see how quickly they learn and absorb information they hear and see. This has helped me build a higher level of patience which is also benefiting me through my coaching.
Now, if you talk to a college coach and you haven’t heard from them, have some patience. There are many reasons the coaches haven’t contacted you yet. Maybe they can’t make contact with you due to NCAA rules and regulations. Or they are busy with other stuff or maybe they really like you and would like to see you more. There are many different reasons that could take place. It all depends on the situation and timing of it. The key is to remain patience. Just like playing in a game under pressure. Be patience, show composure and your hard work will pay off. Being patience does pay off.
I hope you find this article helpful and please share it with your teams, players, coaches or parents. The goal is to send positive advise and feedback help educate our athletes so they can have a positive and enjoyable sports ride.