College coaches can’t stress enough the importance of being coachable for recruiting. They exist at every level of every sport. Some coaches may try to talk around it by calling an athlete “selfish,” “not a team player,” inflexible,” or “unreliable.” Finally, if too many coaches see the same behavior too often, the label no player wants will be bestowed upon them; uncoachable. 

It can be the athlete who’s always been the best player on the team or it can be the prodigy who has always been told they’re the best. While the average fan may not be able to spot an uncoachable athlete, a coach can always tell the difference between five-star recruits and uncoachable stars. So, if you’re looking to play your sport at the next level, ask yourself, “Am I coachable?”

Some say that the most coachable athletes are those with the least talent. But, regardless of talent level, most coaches also say that a “coachable” athlete has these four qualities:

Ability To Accept Change Or Failure

For athletes at the high school level, eliminating bad habits and stretching out of their comfort zone can be difficult. It can also be mentally tough to accept mistakes and failures and move on. 

The coachable athlete is one who can continue to develop and evolve and will put in the effort to correct bad habits. The other part of development is the ability to accept a failure, learn from your mistakes, and move forward. It’s not an overnight fix, but athletes who want to develop for the long haul are the ones who have the ability and drive to work at it in the long term.

Ability To Ask For Help

Coaches want to win. And, to help them do that, they want their players to improve. Coachable athletes are the ones who aren’t shy about asking coaches how they can get better. That ability is something all coaches look for and appreciate, and, in the long run, it can pay off for you with more growth and better performance as a player. And, as an added bonus, the ability to ask for help can help in the classroom too, so it’s a win-win!

The Ability To Listen

Asking for help is one thing. The coachable athlete also has the ability to listen with an open mind, accept another point of view, and then put those ideas into practice. On top of listening, coachable athletes also aren’t afraid to ask questions if they need further understanding of what they’re being taught. Most importantly, rather than seeing it as a weakness or getting defensive about it, the coachable athlete accepts that he or she needs to listen to improve their play or their understanding.

The Ability To Accept Change With Humility And Gratitude

A coachable athlete is confident. And a confident athlete is one who not only has confidence in their game but also has the humility and confidence in themselves to accept that he or she can improve. But the key to that confidence is the ability to accept assistance and advice from others and be grateful for it. 

Swagger is an “attitude.” Confidence is the ability to happily change your attitude to not only improve yourself but to also put the good of the team above your own. And that’s the kind of confidence and attitude recruiters look for in coachable players.

All It Takes Is Effort

As you can see, being a coachable athlete isn’t difficult. In fact, like your athletic ability, you likely already possess the abilities needed to be coachable. Just remember to accept changes as they come, ask for help in improving, listen when that help is given, and be humble and thankful enough to not only appreciate the help but to apply what you learn. Do all that, and you’ll not only be coachable, but you’ll also be successful!

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