Beyond Athletics

Why Character Matters In Recruiting

Most coaches will tell you that they recruit athletes based on three major factors.

1. Athletic Ability.

2. Academic Success.

3. Character.

For this particular article I want to focus on number 3, character, and why it matters in your recruiting. I have heard countless athletes say “if I’m good enough, none of the other stuff will matter”. In today’s recruiting world that is just not true anymore. Character is more important than ever, and easier for coaches to gauge and research. In the world of social profiles and digital communications coaches can find out who you are as a person in a matter of seconds. However it doesn’t just take a digital profile to turn coaches off, be aware of how you act at all times. I will never forget when I was going through the recruiting process a coach from one of the all time greatest volleyball schools told me about a girl he was recruiting and why it took him 1 second to decide to stop, we will refer to him as Coach X for this story. Coach X was at a tournament watching a particular player who happened to be a ranked recruit, and on the top of his recruiting list. As he was watching the team warm up, he noticed that she walked towards the back of the court and yelled up to the stands at her mother and said “MOM.WATER.NOW”. Coach X told me that in that moment he crossed her name off his list and walked to another court to watch someone else. Coach X said that the way she spoke to her mother, and the fact that a 17 year old wasn’t responsible enough to get her own water before the match started, made him realize that her .550 hitting percentage wasn’t worth a player with poor character. As NCSA’s Coach Bob Chmiel always says “College coaches want character, not characters”.

Two important things to think about when deciding who you want to present yourself as.

Friends and Character

And remember that you can tell a lot about someone’s character by the company they are around. Even if you aren’t the one who is making bad decisions, by being around people who are making bad decisions it reflects on you and the choices you make.

Social Media and Character

Social media is a great place to build your character but if used irresponsibly, it could ultimately hurt your character. College coaches are using social media to get to know recruits as these platforms allow student-athletes to let their guard down. This could make you or break you so maintain a professional profile. Make good decisions and be accountable for the actions you take. In the past two years we have seen several recruits lose their scholarship opportunities because of something they posted on social media.

And always remember

“Character is doing what’s right when no one else is looking”  -JC Watts

Call a collegiate scout at 866-495-7727 to discuss how NCSA Athletic Recruiting can help you get started connecting with college coaches and click here now to get started on your free athletic profile!

About the author
Aaron Sorenson


  • Shoulnt it really be switched . They importance should be on academics. This is probably why America keeps dropping in national rankings in world as far as the work force with quality abilities. I have three children whom are exceptional athletes,but first has always been their grades. A students every semester and they are in advance programs at their schools. Many people,even other coaches are impressed by how well my children know the game,and I always thank them. But I want them to take a path that is productive in life and if it so happens that sprots is a part in their college life ,than great. This may be one of the reasons why America puts such a value on some athletes, but god forbid when they get interviewed for anything because they have the I.q. of a child and the verbal skills of one. While an athlete from most parts of the world speak multiple languages and are very well spoken,not a tug from the hood that can run fast.

  • Absolutely on target! As we all know, all three areas are major factors of not only recruiting, but life. As the leader of a 1400+ person organization, I have had the unfortunate opportunity of having to tell professionally gifted employees that they were no longer part of the team, all because of their misunderstanding that their poor display of character was a direct reflection of what the organization represented and that was not what we represented. They had difficulty understanding that their exceptional work performance did not over ride their character and that hey could not separated.

  • Carolos, you are right it’s Academics/Character/Ability

    I am in an on-going debate with local AAU types in my area when I publish this type of information and try to educate parents on the real process outside of paying an organizer to have a talent showcase that leads to no-where.

  • The article is excellent. Nowhere in this article does it say that character is more important than academics. All it says is that this particular article is focusing on the topic of character. I have spoken with the NCSA and in all my conversations they always focus on academics. I work in the employment field and we staff hundreds of jobs nationwide every day. I can tell you without a doubt that people lose more jobs for character or poor behavior issues than for skills. It is a fact. If they didn’t have the skills they wouldn’t have the job. Similarly here if they didn’t have the academics or the athleticism, they wouldn’t be looked at in the first place. Then character comes in to play. Good article.

  • Ha – great to hear this. My daughter has a High School & Club teammate who always yells at the players for her failed performance in soccer. If she over kicks the ball by 20 yards, she yells if they don’t run fast enough to get it before it goes out. Also if she kicks it & the other team gets it, she yells at her players that they weren’t open, but they were. She tells everbody that she is gonna get a full ride somewhere, as I always thought, well your good, tall & aggressive, but I would NEVER want you as a player because of the way you treat your team.

  • I see so many great athlets left behind because some coaches bench them as soon as they find out scouts are present because they get pay to train this worthless athlets especially in high schools sorry scouts please do a better job