Describe the qualities that your program is looking for in a potential student-athlete?
1. There are a few categories I cover when I am recruiting potential student athletes. For our women’s soccer program I evaluate the following in a prospective student athlete:
a. Technical – How does the player deal with the ball under pressure
b. Can the player play out of pressure with purpose
c. Is the player’s 1st touch under pressure smart
d. Is the player’s technique strong in position functions
2. Tactical – Reading the Game
a. Does the player understand the role of the position
a. Does the player have good size
b. Does the player have good speed
c. Does the player possess athleticism
d. Does the player have a strong work ethic
a. Is the player coach-able (take instruction well during play from coach)
b. How does the player handle mistakes (self and teammates)
c. What are the player’s interactions at half-time (focused & engaged)
d. How are the player’s interactions with teammates (receptive or not in regards to criticisms)
Could you give us an example of a current or former player who exceeded your expectations, highlighting the reasons that player excelled?
This past season I had the pleasure of meeting and coaching a young lady that did not come from an intensive developmental club or high school soccer system. This young lady was polite, interested in soccer, had the desire to get better EVERY day, possessed tremendous amount of focus, had good speed, average athleticism, and was very open to constructive criticism. A major piece to the puzzle was that she was not scared to ask questions and specifically “WHY” something worked the way it did. This helped this player understand the expectations the staff had of her and helped her understand what we were teaching. These attributes allowed a player that had very little soccer background going into collegiate soccer to go from possibly being sent home from pre-season to the team’s Most Improved Player of the Season. During pre-season this player was given a try-out since our staff did not have the chance to see her play prior to the start of our season. The first few days of pre-season highlighted the lack of development this player had. Things were not looking good for this player in regards to making our roster. One afternoon after a training session this player came into my office and asked tons of questions and wanted to go over film with me for a short period of time to better understand what it was we wanted her to do. After a great conversation and watching film this player’s development really took off. There was no stopping her from that point on. This player finished the season as a reserve, coming in off the bench and giving us quality minutes as a wing mid-fielder. Although she never broke into the starting line-up this player made great leaps and bounds and became our Most Improved Player just by watching film and asking WHY. The coach-ability level of this player was great and helped to transform a weak player into somebody who understood the game better, accepted the demands placed on her, and saw playing time in a collegiate soccer game where initially she was going to be sent home from pre-season due to her lack of experience and ability! I am happy we decided to take a chance on her and give this young lady an opportunity to show what she could do. Our team and staff became better just by meeting and taking a chance on this young lady!