Describe the qualities that your program is looking for in a potential student-athlete?
I think all coaches are looking for student-athletes that are exceptional academically (surpass the minimum admissions standards at their institutions) and athletically (technical/tactical abilities, as well as physical abilities). The list of important qualities I look for are primarily psychological/mentally, and tend to separate the prospects that are comparable in the academic and athletic aspects. Those would be-
· Humility – acting with appreciation and respect (sharing), and especially upon accomplishment (shares achievement rather than keep to one’s self)
· Selflessness – celebrate team over individual (acting with less concern for yourself than for the success of the group)
· Service – before you can lead, you need to learn how to serve (helping others)
· Commitment – to be a part of something bigger than yourselves (group before self)
· Toughness – develop a level of mental toughness and character (bend but don’t break)
· Resiliency – the ability to respond to adversity (it’s not about falling – it’s about getting up after you fall)
Could you give us an example of a current or former player who exceeded your expectations, highlighting the reasons that player excelled?
I’ve had three different players during my last 8 seasons that in their end of season meetings during their freshmen seasons, revealed that they were not hung up on how large their playing role was, and that their primary focus was helping their teammates and friends to be successful. In each of those cases, all three of them evolved into major contributors by the time they were seniors. I refer to these stories with my current players in my group, and always reference that ‘it’s amazing what you can accomplish when no one cares who gets the credit.’