Coach’s Looking For Same Mentality In The Classroom As On The Court

See what head men’s basketball coach Mike Lightfoot from Bethel College in Indiana has to say about recruiting:

What do you look for when evaluating potential recruits? The first thing I look for in a potential recruit is his grades. I can go watch as many games of him, but it doesn’t matter how good a recruit may be if they don’t have the grades and are ineligible in college. To me, if you don’t have the same mentality in the classroom as you do on the court then I’m not particularly interested in bringing him to our institution. I also see how the recruit reacts to his teammates, his coaches and his parents. I ask myself, “Is he coachable? Is he willing to get better? Is he a leader? Will he represent our school with integrity?” These are keys in bringing in the right recruit into our program.

How do you initially reach out to a recruit? We like to go out and watch them play. Normally it’s a very informal greeting between summer basketball games or open gyms. I introduce myself, tell them what our program is about and then let them make the decision on what is the best fit.

Discuss your 1st call strategy for a recruit: It’s about relationships. First calls are always tough so I make them very light-hearted. I want to build that relationship with the recruit and get to know him better.

How often do you communicate with your recruits? I’m not one for hounding recruits. They’re just kids and I try to let them experience their high school careers before it’s gone. I normally check in with them every now and then, but I do feel there is such a thing as “over-recruiting.”

How do you close a recruit when you want them to commit? I don’t force it. I let the recruit take the time he needs with his family to make the right choice that’s best for him. This is a huge decision in anyone’s life. Getting the opportunity to work with young men at a place like Bethel is a real privilege. To see a recruit choose Bethel and then watch him mature and develop gives me great satisfaction and when you realize that these kids are finding their mission and ministry in life– that’s what makes coaching and recruiting special!”

What tips would you give coaches just getting started with recruiting? Be patient. Do what you do best and don’t sell something that you’re not. Be straight forward and willing to answer all their questions honestly

For more information on recruiting guidelines or recruiting in general visit the NCSA website here.



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