Have you ever wondered what a college coach is looking for when they recruit at showcases? What they like and don’t like?
We put together a list of our Top 5 tips and advice from some of our college coaches for what they look for in players at top showcase events.
1. Technical Ability
Without a proper technical foundation, a player can only go so far. The player must possess good technique and a solid first touch. When watching games, coaches will consider things like the strength of the teams and the score of the game, but one of the most notable things that sticks out is an individual player’s technique.
A player constantly engaged and communicating during the game will stand out over a player that isn't. Giving directions and organizing, particularly for defenders, is crucial. A player that communicates effectively on the field shows confidence and leadership qualities that coaches always look for.
Intelligent runs off the ball are important. Players are not only judged by what they do on the ball, but also how hard that player works off the ball and what kind of runs they make into space. Good movement off the ball can be a strong indicator that a player understands the game at a high level tactically.
4. Body Language
Body language tells coaches a lot about a player. How does a player react when a bad pass is played to them? Do they yell at teammates or appear overly frustrated? How does the player react when they play a bad pass? Does the player’s head drop? Are they confident in their abilities? Do they want the ball in the build up? Are they checking in, or hiding?
Players who duck their heads when they make a mistake tend to turn away coaches. Channeling frustration into bookable aggression, negative energy or selfish play are unattractive attributes to a coach. Those negative behaviors can ultimately tell them a lot about the type of person the player is off the field.
5. Position-Specific Skill Sets
How much does the keeper organize their back line? How good is the center back at one-on-one defending and making tackles? How often is the midfielder giving the ball away? How good are the striker’s diagonal runs in between defenders? These position-specific skill sets are scouted heavily when coaches are trying to find players to fill specific positions in college.