On the field it us pretty easy to judge which soccer players are fast, tall as well which players are technically solid. Judging any of the physical characteristics of a soccer player is usually easily discernible; the harder part of recruiting is the mental or psychological side of the player and what characteristics each player possesses.
What are the important personality traits that college coaches look for in a player? In today’s post, we will discuss a few of the important ones for the D3 level.
Resiliency – How do you respond to adversity? When things don’t go the way you want them to go, do you roll up your sleeves and work harder or do you go sit in the corner and accept that life is not fair? All players face some form of adversity and it is how individual players react to this that makes them better or stronger players than others.
Leadership – All coaches want players that are willing to take leadership roles within the structure of the team. Some roles are larger than others, but when you as a player are expected to lead, you need to be able to do so with confidence. Being decisive and willing to take a risk are traits that good leaders need to possess.
Confidence – A D3 college player needs to be confident in his/her abilities as a player. They need to know that they are a good player and be willing to show it on the field. This confidence bolsters the confidence of your teammates around you and boosts the team in general. Confidence needs to be taken with a grain of salt however. A player must learn to balance confidence with humility and not become so over-confident that they become blind to their own weaknesses and don’t feel the need to work hard to improve.
General personality – Whenever new players come to a D3 college team, the team chemistry changes. It is important that new players are able to “fit in” with the team personality-wise. As they say one rotten apple can spoil the bunch. This is particularly true on the women’s side. On the men’s side, guys tend to be more tolerant if you are a very good player, but we all still like to be one big happy group.
The bottom line is this — there is more to D3 college soccer than just being a good soccer player. You are only ONE player on the team roster and your personality traits can influence the team positively or negatively depending on how you interact with your teammates. You want to be sure to be a positive influence.
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