Character Counts in the Recruiting Process

Character Counts in the Recruiting Process

A prospective student-athlete's character may be the most important attribute to a college coach.    A college coach only has a limited amount of opportunities to evaluate a prospective student-athlete's character.   In order to help prospective student-athletes understand that it could be the difference between receiving a scholarship or not,  we want to show them how to portray they are a high character individual. It is difficult to gauge what type of person you are just from your student-athlete profile or introduction letter.  However,  showing you are involved in a lot of extracurricular activities and clubs, community service, and that you have a job will show a coach that you are responsible and know how to manage your time to balance all of those activities. After interviewing a number of college coaches about what they look for in their recruits, there were certain qualities that continued to stand out.  So I created the GFS 6 Pillars of Character.     It these qualities among many others that college coaches seek.


Are you accountable for your actions?   Are you accountable for your time?


Are you honest,  do you have strong moral principles?


 Do you possess leadership qualities?


Do you show respect toward others, especially parents , coaches, teachers, etc


Are you responsible?  Are you able to complete the tasks you set out for yourself?


Can you be trusted on your word?  Do your actions back up words?

Most college coaches have a very keen sense and can pick up on some of these things as they watch you play or on a campus visit.  While you are on the field or court ,  are you a leader. Are you positive and encouraging,  or are you negative and critical?   If you are on a campus visit how do you act around your parents.    Do you treat them with respect or do you cut them off when you think they might say something stupid, or do you give an eye roll or shoulder shrug when they say or do something.  College coaches are always watching you ,  and not just what happens in between the lines.   College coaches receive lots of interest from prospective student-athletes and the need to gauge what type of person you are in a very short period of time.

In an interview with Jamion Christian, the Head Men's Basketball Coach at Mount St. Mary's University we asked him about is recruiting philosophy and the importance of character in a prospective student-athlete.

 "Character is also important in identifying prospects.  Character means everything when you are projecting on how good someone will be down the road as a college senior.  Those with strong character have tendency to help improve a program in some way before they graduate. "

"The sooner that a coach can understand the mental make-up of a player the sooner they will be able to coach them into becoming the best version of themselves as a person."

- Jamion Christian

Another big factor that coaches are using to begin to evaluate prospective student-athletes are their social media profiles.  Ho do you portray yourself in the twittersphere.   What kind of posts do you make?   Who do you follow?  What kind of pictures are on your page?   Social media is beginning to have a huge impact on college recruiting.   There have been many stories where a social media post has caused students to lose scholarships, be suspended , or even kicked off team.  Use social media to enhance your personal brand not to destroy it.  A coach can begin to get a sense of what kind of person you are just from browsing through your social media profiles.  And now the NCAA has even allowed college coaches to begin interacting with prospective student-athletes on social media.

College Coaches are looking for the complete student-athlete?   Do you check all of the required boxes
  • Academically
    • Are you a good student?
    • Are academics a priority to you?
    • Do you take pride in your school work?
  • Athletically
    • Do you have the skill / ability to compete at the next level?
    • Do you have tactical awareness/  Are you a student of your sport?
    • Do you have other physical characteristics that will separate you from the crowd?
  • Attitude
    • How do you carry your self on the field?  Are you positive? Good Body language?
    • How do you act off of the field?
  • Character
    • Do you possess the GFS 6 Pillars of Character?  What other qualities do you possess that would make a coach want to recruit you?
The more of these attributes you possess the better chances you will have of being recruited.


The Guiding Future Stars College Recruiting Academy is an online tool that will assist prospective student-athletes, parents, and coaches navigate through the 6 phases of the college recruiting process.  This will be the most comprehensive college recruiting tool that you have ever seen.    The College Recruiting Academy allows you to be fully engaged in the college search process.  It is a work at your own pace program, no need to fly through it and always be able to go back and review different features.  We have tailored a number of tools and resources to help you go from unidentified to highly recruitable.
  • College Recruiting Courses - (18 Courses;  10 - 15 minute videos)
  • College Recruiting Playbook Activities
  • Inside Recruiting with College Coaches
  • Student-Athlete Spotlight with Former Student-Athletes
  • Overtime Features (Blogs, Videos, How to's)
  • Downloads




In 2015, the College Recruiting Playbook was published to help educate prospective student-athletes about the college recruiting process. The College Recruiting Playbook is a student-athletes workbook to finding the right college to fit their academic, athletic, and personal needs. Finding the right college for your student-athlete doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, with College Recruiting Playbook, you can navigate the five phases of the recruiting process with surprising ease. 1. Planncollege-recruiting-playbook-covering and Preparation 2. Communication 3. Gaining Exposure 4. Decision Making 5. Beyond the Decision This step-by-step guide walks parents and students through everything they need to know and do in order to find the best college athletically, academically, and personally. Written especially for high school athletes, this guide is also an essential read for parents, teachers, and coaches. By utilizing the included organizer and looking at the process from more than an athlete’s point of view, you can form the best strategy for your young athlete’s near and distant future.

Christopher Stack is the Founder and CEO of Guiding Future Stars and author of the College Recruiting Playbook. GFS is a student- development company that transforms the next generation into excellent students, great athletes, and extraordinary people. A former Division I soccer player for Mount St. Mary’s University, he holds a degree in sports management and an MBA in marketing. Stack has worked in intercollegiate athletics for over twelve years. Starting his career in college administration at his alma mater as the Coordinator of Intramurals, he also served as the assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the university’s women’s soccer team. He eventually transitioned to the academic side of college sports as the coordinator of student-athlete academic support.  In 2014, he created Guiding Future Stars.  In 2015, he published his first book The College Recruiting Playbook. Stack now enjoys using his higher education experience to help educate  high school students achieve their dreams of playing sports in college while also gaining first-rate educations.

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