Lauren Johnson | Head Coach | Women’s Basketball | Ripon College

Describe the qualities that your program is looking for in a potential student-athlete?

We recruit based on the Shape method: Strengths, Heart, Attitude, Personality, and Experiences. This is a method I can easily talk to families and prospects about as well as my assistants and current players. Strengths involve a prospect’s skill set: their speed for the game, ability to finish, absorb contact, change speeds, leadership, defensive awareness, etc. We measure heart by learning what a prospect is passionate about: their goals, what they like to do, what gets them to work hard and what they want to accomplish. Attitude is reflective in the competitive setting, we evaluate how a prospect responds to mistakes, hard coaching, tough times as well as success on the court. Personality is judged by how they interact with their teammates, coaches, parents, etc. We always have time to stand at the side after a game and watch our recruits come out of the locker room and talk with fans and other parents. Gives good insight into their maturity and ability to communicate-all a part of personality. Lastly, we look at a prospect’s experiences. What have they been involved with-clubs, other teams, are they a one sport/two/or three sport type of kid?

 

Could you give us an example of a current or former player who exceeded your expectations, highlighting the reasons that player excelled?

All of these things go into our evaluation process. This past season, we voted on a practice player of the year award. This player didn’t start the year off on a great note. She was upset with playing time and the role I asked her to play on the team. Once she started to buy in and control what she was in control over, she played more present for the moment. She ended up starting the last month and a half of the season because of her efforts and approach. To be coachable is a tough skill to learn, and this player learned a great lesson this year and I am really proud of her. It’s awesome to see a young adult learn that valuable lesson.