Describe the qualities that your program is looking for in a potential student-athlete?
Good students – We look for students who do well in the classroom, and becoming academically ineligible will not be an issue. There is nothing more frustrating than spending a year training a student-athlete, only to have him become ineligible his sophomore year.
Coachable – We want athletes that are coachable, willing to buy into our system of training, even if it is different than what they did in high school. Some athletes think their 4 years of high school experience trumps 20+ years of college coaching experience. They must believe in our system.
Team player – Even though track & field is an “individual” sport, team is still very important. We want athletes that understand this and will put team goals ahead of individual goals.
Motivated to train in the offseason – Athletes need to be motivated to continue to train during the off season.
Could you give us an example of a current or former player who exceeded your expectations, highlighting the reasons that player excelled?
We have a senior who ran 4 years of cross country and 3 years of track & field. He was faithful with summer workouts, and rarely questioned workouts or race strategies. He pretty much did whatever he was told. His freshman year, he was a slightly above average runner. This past weekend, he won the 5K and 10K at our conference meet. I said to our head coach, “It is amazing what happens when someone does what you’ve asked him to do for 4 years.”
Any athlete that we have had for 3 or 4 years, and has been willing to do what we have asked, has made great improvements.