Recruiting athletes who can and desire to be successful off the court, in the classroom, and on the court is the key to the success of any program. The key words in that sentence are “can” and “desire”. Most student athletes coming out of high school are not “finished products”. Some of them may be ready to succeed in one or two of the three areas immediately, but it is rare to find an 18 year old who is in their prime socially, academically, and athletically. When student-athletes are required to focus on an area of their life that they are not comfortable with, it will likely decrease their performance in other areas. However, it is my responsibility to coach the whole person not just the athlete.
As a coach, I must find players who desire to admit that they have unlimited potential and are willing to work hard to transform that potential into reality. Most young people have potential, but many are scared to admit it. Admitting the ownership of potential is followed by admission that not working hard equates to letting themselves down. Therefore, it is easier to deny that they are as smart or as talented as someone else. Identifying potential is easy. Identifying people who want to realize their potential and are not afraid of success or failure is tougher. Finding people who will admit their fears and find the courage to face them is the real challenge. Turning that potential into reality makes coaching such a great career.