Written By Al Woods Of Woods Recruiting
The college recruiting process is many things and athletic talent is a huge part of the process along with strong academic skills.
Every student athlete who is good enough to play at the college level possesses those qualities. But an overlooked and often undervalued quality is character.
College programs want to win games, we all know that, and we all know that college coaches are out every single day looking for the best athletic talent to fill their rosters.
I would think the last thing that a college program would want to worry about is a student athlete that is constantly getting into trouble.
Unfortunately, at the high school level some athletes find ways to get into trouble and jeopardize their athletic futures to the point where it cannot be repaired.
Those athletes will never be successful in any endeavor for the rest of their lives. That may sound harsh but experience has told me that it is a fact.
Of course the most important factor for high school student athletes to be recruited into college is their superior athletic ability but many times it can come down to their character.
For example, let’s say there were two student athletes who are similar in athletic ability and academic strength but there is only one scholarship available.
The college coach has a challenging decision to make. Which student athlete will be offered that scholarship is the challenge the college coach and the coaching staff will face.
I truly believe without a doubt that the student athlete who has good character and qualities of an outstanding citizen will win that scholarship every single time.
There are too many bad stories of student athletes getting into trouble. It’s almost commonplace to pick up the newspaper or read a story online about a student athlete, in high school or college, being arrested for something.
Now a college coach is forced into making the only decision they can make and that is to remove that player from the team and pulling their scholarship. The college coach has no choice but to get rid of those players who have no sense of responsibility or moral character to maintain the privilege of a full athletic scholarship.
A full athletic scholarship is like the winning lottery ticket to the average man on the street. You would not take for granted that winning ticket.
You would not misplace that ticket or leave it unattended. If you were holding the winning lottery ticket to a huge cash prize I would think the average person would guard that ticket with all the strength in their body.
That is what receiving an athletic scholarship is like. A full athletic scholarship an all expenses paid college education. All you have to do is what you’ve been doing your entire life and that’s playing your sport and working very hard in the classroom.
What is so troubling is that we consistently hear about student athletes who sometimes destroy the privilege of being awarded a full athletic scholarship by doing something stupid.
The athlete who is always working hard, doing the right things like going to class and being a model citizen in the community will always, without a doubt, achieve long lasting and greater success.
In all my years of experience as a former high school, college, and professional basketball player I have seen many players who have outstanding character and I have scene others players that you would not want to invite into your home.
I’ve been around a lot of athletes who were extremely talented but had no other redeeming qualities whatsoever but for a short period of time, maintained an athletic career and when it was all said and done they ended up being nobodies in the end.
These were guys who cheated their way through college and who tried to cheat their way through life but ended up crashing and burning with anything to show for all their years of hard work.
There are some college coaches that were so desperate to win games and boost up their careers that they would recruit athletes that were borderline criminals just so they could win.
Those coaches had no character and integrity themselves and were not as successful as they had hoped. I know personally dozens of college coaches who have dropped as low as you can go in the game of college athletics.
In the pursuit of winning, some college coaches will break the rules and will recruit players that are borderline criminals in order to win, boost their salaries, and to get a bigger or better coaching position. Those coaches are found out for who they really are and are soon run out of their jobs.
Character is a quality that will last beyond your athletic career. Student athletes who work hard every single day, giving everything they’ve got to be better athletically and academically are the ones who will achieve long lasting and consistent success.
The student athletes who have bad judgment and horrible qualities or who consistently look for ways to cheat the system will end up, without a doubt, being losers.
The reason I know this to be true is because I have seen it with my own eyes.