What Coaches Look for in Athletes

Character comes highest on the “personality-trait” list for the majority of coaches.

Let’s go through the top five traits coaches look for in players before we jump into why an athletes character takes the first place. To no one’s surprise, athletic ability isn’t the only thing that coaches look for, mainly because players must be coachable to improve and listen to their coach.

Bend but don’t break

How many times have we not heard that an athlete has to be able to bend but not break? And how many coaches are trying to twist their players to make them fit into their philosophy and say that they created that player? Like we, players, look for specific characteristics in coaches, so do coaches with us.

Regardless, do not let coaches change you as an athlete. Remember that a coachable athlete gets their voice heard much sooner than a stubborn one. Where does the line go between being too stubborn and not coachable? It is up to the coach and athlete;

every relationship looks different and depending on how far each is willing to go to make their relationship work, situations can be interpreted right and wrong.

Unless you are the coach/athlete on that team and the matter regards you, you have absolutely no reason to put your nose into their relationship. Literally no right to speculate and make fast conclusions, but what you can do is take a look at the traits list down below.

After a few discussions with different coaches and some additional reading, I decided to make a list of the top characters coaches look for in athletes starting with the most important one first:

  1. Resilient character
  2. Adaptable and open mind
  3. Reliable leader and relentless follower
  4. Understand and work towards their own and the team WHY
  5. Curious to learn and hungry to win

So why is it that a character takes the first place, and what kind of character are we talking about? Every player tries to bring something attractive to the table, but how well-adaptable, open-minded, and coachable an athlete is, decides what personality that player brings to the team. Allowing yourself to bend but not break is what coaches want to see. They want to know how far you are willing to bend for your team and coach themselves to succeed.

Until next week, think about the list. What are the top traits that you bring to a team?

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