Is your athlete coach-able? If not her name may get crossed off the college recruting list faster than you may think!
Softball Smarts Tips #135:

The Intangible That College Scouts Love!

<<First Name>>

Have you ever heard of the term "intangibles" when an athlete's assessment is discussed?  Normally a coach or scout will refer to "intangibles" as something extra, over and above raw athletic talent.  Sometimes intangibles can include:
  • Knowledge of the game
  • A strong practice work ethic
  • Being a good teammate
  • Great hustle on game day
  • An intensity and passion for the game
However there is one "intangible" that college coaches and scouts love.  In fact it is the single most important intangible and, perhaps, the most overlooked element of an athlete's game: coach-ability.

In other your athlete coach-able?

Unfortunately,  today I witness a lot of younger athletes who are not very coach-able. Perhaps it's the ever-present poor examples set by so many professional athletes our kids watch on television.  Perhaps it's a generational evolution (I call it a weakness) of kids maturing faster.

But I'm an old school guy.  I was raised to respect my elders, particularly those who were trying to help me reach my goals as coaches do.

So what, specifically, defines being coach-able?

  1. Being a good and "active" listener (pay attention).
  2. Having a positive attitude on the field and in the dugout.
  3. A willingness to accept constructive criticism (a biggie!).
  4. A willingness to put team first (so be excited about that sacrifice bunt).
  5. A desire to get better; "all in" (always asking questions).
  6. A willingness to try new ways of doing things (physical or mental).
Now, what would define being un-coach-able?
  1. A poor listener; talking to teammates when her coach is talking (not paying attention).
  2. A "me first" mentality; caring little about the team.
  3. Extreme resistance to any kind of criticism or suggestion for improvement.
  4. Having a negative attitude.
  5. Poor body language on the field; particularly after a mistake.
  6. Someone who is not "all in;" an ambivilence to getting better.
Why is coach-ability so important? Because as a coach one player who is not cooach-able can destroy the chemistry of an entire team. The culture of any team requires that ALL players buy into the coach and his or her way of doing things.

A player who won't listen, has an attitude, or just doesn't seem to care can drag the entire team down.

College coaches who attend showcase tournaments, as many have told me, look very carefully at a player's "intangibles," not the least of which is coach-ability.
The last thing any college coach wants is a "liability" player that could cost his or her program money and victories. 

In fact, it is very commone for a college coach to ask a travel or high school coach, specifically, how coach-able a particular athlete is.

So be sure your athlete is as coach-able as she can be to insure her the best opportunities for her softball future.

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Thanks for reading,

John Kelly
Softball Smarts
Winner's Edge Softball

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