Wednesday, February 3, 2016

What College Coaches Look For At Games

Hello Everyone!

Recently, I attended a great local girl's high school basketball game where I was able to see many of my former athletes compete. At the game were two area Division III Head Coaches watching girls that they thought could be potential good fits for their programs. I had a chance to chat with both of them and learned what they were looking for from the girls. To my surprise, there were two main things that the Head Coaches were looking at.

One of the head coaches, sitting on the edge of her seat, said,
     "You know Amanda, a lot of times these girls think I am here to see how many points they score and how many rebounds they pull in, but if I wanted to know those things I would just stay home and read the stat sheet. I'm looking for the things that the stat sheet can't tell me. I'm looking for the things that greatly impact my team's culture and my program's overall success. I want to see their mistake-response."

I asked if she could elaborate on what a mistake-response is.

She sat up a little straighter and said,
     "Let's face it Amanda, no one plays a perfect game, even the pros make multiple mistakes throughout the course of a game. I'm here to see if she hangs her head and pouts when she makes a mistake, or does she act like nothing happened and stays in the game both mentally and physically. The game of basketball is so fast paced I can't have girls pouting for even a moment about something they can't change. I need them to stay focused on what they can change and that's the next play."

Let me mention that this Head Coach has won multiple championships, both conference and tournament. Hearing her share this reminded me that champions stay "in the game" no matter how well or how badly they are playing.
How is your mistake-response?

I didn't get to talk to the other coach until after the exciting game ended. She was standing in the stands with a big smile on her face.
     "Did you see her hustle?! I loved seeing her defense create turnovers and her diving on the floor for loose balls! She's exactly the type of player my program is made of. Her passion matches my current girls' passion. She'd be great."

The athlete that this head coach was referring too was also the game's leading scorer, but she didn't mention that once. She saw what she wanted, what she needed, and that's hustle.
Hustle is a skill, and therefore, can be improved.

How often do athletes get nervous and worried when they realize College Coaches are there to watch them? Sure it is natural to get nervous, but isn't it a relief to know that the coaches are there in person to see the things that the stat sheet can't show them? Mistake-responses and hustle?

Good mistake-responses are:
  • staying calm
  • no sign of sadness or disappointment
  • extra hustle to try to help correct the mistake
  • no signs of dwelling on the mistake 
  • staying focused on the next play
  • lifting up their teammates with positive energy

Hustle is a skill. Hustle is a choice. Hustle takes no talent. Hustle can happen every night no matter how much you score or don't score. Hustle is something that makes you stand out. 

Regardless of anything else, make sure every game you focus on your mistake-responses and your hustle.

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart  


Unknown said...

Perfect timing... Thank you!
I am a high school basketball coach and we tell our player's this all the time. Hopefully hearing it from someone else opens their eyes. I know what they will be reading on our bus ride to the game today. :)

Unknown said...

Great article! Thanks for taking the time to interview the coaches and posting. I coach middle school athletes, same principals apply.