If asked to name the most important quality colleges seek in recruits, what would you say? Strength, speed, batting average, pitching speed?
None of the above. In a recent conversation with a recruiting consultant, she said there is a heavy emphasis on character. All things being equal, this is the difference maker.
In other words, does the athlete have a great work ethic, perseverance, avoid shortcuts, and take challenges head-on? Will she make good grades, resist negative peer pressure, be early for practice, and put the responsibility for her own success on her own shoulders?
If you are running all over the country looking for the magic pill, that special camp, that private coach, or just the right team to fuel your success, you may be getting ahead of yourself. If you do not bring that one essential quality to those situations, it can do you little good.
Recently we were on vacation, near the home of a former student. She asked us to join her family for dinner. This kid was one of my most talented athletes ever, but a rare health condition took the game from her. Long story short, this kid has since accomplished things academically that are beyond belief. She has character, work ethic, perseverance, and she has my total respect. At this point, I am convinced that she will make a tremendous impact on the medical field.
Get back to basics. Develop the one thing you can control…character. Take responsibility. It stands out to recruiters, makes you a far better investment for them, but also seamlessly transitions into just about any part of life once you leave the field. As you watch the College World Series this week, listen closely. This theme will be repeated far more than any other.