As a high school athlete, you probably want to know what it takes to be noticed by a scout. Scouts watch thousands of players in action every year and pick only a handful of those players to single out. If a scout takes notice of you, you might receive a scholarship to play for a major college or university and get the chance to join that team in the summer instead of trying out with other players later in the season. Most scouts look for a few key things that set the best players apart from the pack.
Size and Physique
To be noticed by a scout, you must have the size and physique needed. While high school sports are fairly competitive, those sports are nothing like those played at the college or professional levels. A 5’10” basketball player might do well in high school or even college but won’t perform nearly as well in the NBA. Scouts often look for athletes who fit the traditional sizes needed for specific positions on fields. They might look for shorter and skinnier soccer players or taller and larger football players.
Passion for the Game
Jim Thrift has nearly 30 years of experience in the baseball industry and is now a scout for a major baseball team. According to Thrift, scouts often look for players who have a true love and passion for the game. These are the players who do whatever it takes to get on the team and play, including spending long hours at practice, working on their skills off the court or field and playing in every game. Thrift claims that scouts look for players who can handle opposition and problems, including unhappy fans and screaming coaches, more than they look for athletes who play on multiple teams.
LeBron James became one of the only high school basketball players recruited to play for the NBA right out of high school. While his skills certainly helped him get there, the scouts also liked that he was a team player. If you really want to be noticed by a scout, you must show that you care about the team as a whole as much as you care about yourself. Hogging the ball, constantly making yourself the center of attention and always trying to make yourself look better may actually lead to scouts paying more attention to other players on the team.
You might hear stories about professional athletes who have bad attitudes, but most of those players recognized by scouts are those who have a positive and upbeat attitude. Scouts know that it only takes one bad player for a team to fail. Someone who hogs the ball, talks down to other players and acts like he or she is better than everyone else will carry that attitude with them to away games and exhibition games. Scouts generally want players with a winning and positive attitude who will inspire everyone else on the team.
Related Resource: 20 Best Deals: Small Colleges for Athletic Types
For every high school athlete who gets recognized by a college or pro scout, there are 10 or more who never receive any type of recognition. If you want to be noticed by a scout and get a scholarship or start your professional career, you need to have a good attitude, be a team player, be the right size and have a passion for the sport.