by Gray Dorsett, ARI Recruiting
In Part One of our series, we talked about the important ways coaches are learning to measure and accurately rate the recruits that they scout. That’s the first step in a more measured, logical approach to understanding who you should prioritize in the recruiting process to ensure the best possible incoming class that matches your priorities as a leader of your program.
Today, it’s time to define a way of measuring within that system we’ve laid out. And it starts with Characteristic Scoring.
What is Characteristic Scoring?
Characteristic scoring is a technique to help rate and compare athletes based on their ability and traits. The system creates a rubric to judge recruit qualities along with a scoring system. Once done coaches will have actual number ratings for each athletes to create detailed comparisons between them, both based on a whole and each individual quality.
Whether you are creating your own Excel spreadsheet, or using the ARI software, the first step in creating a characteristic scoring system is to decide what characteristics are important to you. No two programs are alike, and no two scoring systems will be the same. Depending on the sport, school and team, each coach looks for something a little different in their athletes. There are typically 2 kinds of traits that are evaluated, Athletic and Personal Qualities
Athletic qualities are the traits that show how skilled and healthy an athlete is. Sought after athletic skills vary widely from sport to sport and can include accuracy, ball handling, footwork, defensive ability and more. These are traits improved on the field or court. The other group of athlete qualities are based on the health of the player. Strength, speed and agility are examples of this and are improved in the gym and weight room.
These are qualities that are not necessarily honed on the gym or court. They judge who the recruit is not just as an athlete, but as a person. Teamwork, grit and level-headedness are examples of these. Just because a recruit has amazing athletic ability, that doesn’t necessarily mean they will be a positive addition to a team. These qualities must be judged to ensure they will work well with their team and coach, while handling the rigors of university life.
The next step is deciding the importance of each quality. What characteristics are must-haves and which are nice, but not completely necessary. Choosing the importance of each weight increases the detail of the scores. The more detailed the score, the more accurately it will estimate their success as a member of your team.
For each characteristic decide its importance on a scale from 1 -5 (5 being most important). Is a characteristic: Least Important, Somewhat Important, Important, Very Important or Most Important?
Step 3: Creating the First Evaluation
Now we will make our first athlete evaluation. The first one is best done early on, but only once enough information is gathered to make a solid judgement. Look up the athlete on Hudl and YouTube for their game footage, check their Instagram to see what their character is and take look at their Twitter is to see how they speak. For each characteristic, give a score of 1 – 5.
Next factor in the importance of each characteristic. The importance will act as a factor, multiplying the evaluation score. If you said Footwork has an importance of 4, and the athlete is evaluated as a 3, then their total for that quality is 12. Add up all their scores and that is the athlete’s Characteristic Score.
Multiple evaluations will be made throughout the recruiting process. An athlete’s Character Score is taken from the average of all their evaluations. Making evaluations and judging characteristics can be difficult so best practice is to conduct these as a group. Getting multiple sets of eyes on a footage and discussing opinions as a group ensures the consistency of scoring. If each coach only judges certain athletes, that creates inherit bias and makes comparing athlete inaccurate. Bringing in current athletes who know the recruit or met them on a recruiting visit is the best way to judge the recruit’s personal character.
Follow along for the final article in this series, which is going to deal with Interest Evaluations. What factors are the signals of an interested recruit, and how can we create a system to accurately estimate the probability of a recruit committing.
Advanced Recruiting Intelligence (ARI) is the most comprehensive way for college coaches to track, evaluate and measure their student-athlete prospects during the recruiting process. It transforms the technology they use from “a place to put all my prospects’ names” to a robust, customized real-time assistant that helps coaches make better, more accurate recruiting decisions. Coaches say their system is easier to use than other options they’ve used in the past, performs faster, and costs less money. Want the tech experts at ARI to walk you through a free demo of how their system is changing the way college coaches recruit? Click here!