Need some insight on what intangible attributes coaches look for in athletes? Our coaches share valuable attributes they look for, but most importantly, be yourself! Every college is different, and there is one out there that is the perfect fit for you. Express yourself out on the field or court, and coaches will notice it. Be bold. Be brave. Be courageous!


Nicholas Petrucelli: Director of Operations for the Women’s Soccer team at University of Miami.

Maryn Beutler: Director of Operations for the Women’s Soccer team at University of Oregon.

Van Taylor: Former Head Men’s Soccer Coach & Current Director of Development at Lander University.

Kevin Doyle: Assistant Men’s Soccer Coach at the United States Air Force Academy.

Tim Verschuren: Girls Academy Director at STA Soccer.

Andy Riesenburg: Assistant Director at Mintonette Sports.

Mark Thomas: Executive Director at Penn Fusion Soccer Academy.

Jess Nash: Director of Coaching and Program Outreach at Rush Wisconsin.

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Nicholas Petrucelli

Nick believes mental toughness is extremely important for players. He doesn't like to see players who put their heads down when they are losing a game. Negativity isn't what wins you games, play until the game is over! He also looks at how players react after their team scores a goal, it says a lot about the player as an athlete.

Maryn Beutler

Maryn says that all coaches are looking for different attributes in players. This is why it is important for players to visit the schools they are interested in, so they can tell if they would be a good fit there. Every college is different, and an athlete won't know if it's a good fit till they visit. She also reminds athletes to monitor colleges' social media during the recruiting process, staying up to date with what they are doing is an important thing to do. 

Van Taylor

Van says before an athlete gets to the soccer aspect of recruiting, the coach has to first make sure the player will be a good fit academically for the school. Following that, Van says they are looking for players with character, commitment to their education, coachable, and players that have a passion for the game of soccer. 

Kevin Doyle

Kevin says one thing he always picks out during a game, is the captain of the team. He often gravitates towards recruiting the captain of the team. He also looks at a player's athleticism and talent. He often notices how a player talks to their other teammates, opponents, and parents after and/or during a game. He does this because it can give him more of an idea of who the player is before reaching out.

Tim Verschuren

Coach Tim says the love for the game and the ball is a very important intangible quality in a player. He also looks for a competitor, or someone who simply loves to compete. He believes that possessing qualities like this can help propel a player to reach the next level. According to Coach Tim, a brave player that is willing to take initiative and communicate will go further than one who does not. 

Andy Riesenburg

Coach Andy believes that work ethic is the 'difference maker' in teams going further into the post-season than other teams. Additionally, on an individual level, Coach Andy believes that the way you treat others (parents, teammates, coaches) is an intangible that is often overlooked.

Mark Thomas

Coach Thomas tells us he believes that players who consistently focus, go above and beyond everybody, are important attributes in an athlete. Regardless if they have the best 1v1 ability or any other skill, it says a lot about their character which is the important part. He believes it’s all about the mindset. 

Jess Nash

Coach Nash says she likes to challenge players, to see how certain players respond to different information, and challenges. She does this because she wants to see if the athlete is coachable. 'Coachability' is huge at every level according to Coach Nash. 

Intangible attributes can be what differentiates you from another player. Don't be afraid to be yourself on the gaming field! There is a college that is a 'perfect fit' for everyone; after all, it would be pretty boring if all colleges were the same with no uniqueness that catered to different players. 

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