The following is a guideline to aid you as you into the college recruiting process along with the steps you need to take:
1. The recruiting timeline will start in the fall with those tournaments for your class. The college coaches come to observe the athlete and you will be partially responsible for communicating with the coach within the guidelines.
You will need to have a sports resume so please email me and I will send you a template to follow if you do not. Once you complete it, send it back to me and I will tweak it for what we have going forward and for what the college coaches are looking for. I’ll then return it to you and we’ll have a follow up conference call to discuss what schools may match your objectives based on your financial goals, location, the desired college experience and most importantly what you would like to study. This class needs to be networking and now! 20 to 25 schools and the schools should be emailed individually with research behind them on why the school may be the right fit. You are not throwing darts girls. The girls need to be copying me on these emails. DO NOT EMAIL EVERY SCHOOL THAT HAS LACROSSE.
All inbound sophomores should schedule to take the official ACT or SAT for the second time for fall. Do not worry how the athlete does on it as we will be used as a marker for where they are at this time and it will help with packaging of funds as each school funds differently and packages differently. These scores along with their GPA as they move forward will help us develop the plan to maximize the available scholarship dollars. I would also advise getting either a private tutor or prep class at this point in the HS YOG.
Once the resume is done along with developing a target list of schools completed then the athlete will reach out to the coach for each school with a brief introduction and attach the resume. This email needs to be short and written by the athlete not the parents. Make each email individual and specific to that coach and program with careful attention to errors etc. Do your research as the college professional are looking at potential athletes who have done their homework in researching the school, program etc.
Prior to playing in events you will need to send a short email to each coach inviting them to come see you play by providing them your team name, uniform number, game times and field location. Make sure you always copy me on the emails you send out so I along with my coaching staff can follow up and provide the necessary support. Our staff of college coaches play an important role in the recruiting process through their network and relationships with their colleagues who may be interested in recruiting your daughter. They are their fellow colleagues so they are the network. Between the hundreds of girl I have sent on to the college level along with my coaching staff we offer a solid platform for you to be recruited but you must keep me in the loop so I know what is going on. The lacrosse community is a very small place so doing everything right and honest is important. We have a strong presence throughout the country and have girls playing in many programs whether D1, D2 or D3. In addition, we have many former players who are now college coaches so our network of contacts is vast and extremely important as part of your recruiting process. Some of our coaches are even board members for the IWLCA which is the governing body for women’s lacrosse so we stay current on the new rules etc. that will impact recruiting and the game overall. We are also extremely proud that two of our coaches were recognized as “Coach of the Year” for their conferences for 2016.
This brings me to a couple of very important points. First, the desire to play lacrosse in college should be the player’s decision and her journey, so they need to take the lead role in the recruiting process including communication with coaches etc. Remember…the coaches are recruiting the player not the parents! Secondly, as parents your role is to support your daughter in this journey. I have seen some great opportunities rescinded due to the behavior of the parents so it is extremely important to understand the “Do’s and Don’ts” when it comes to the parents role in this process. Some of the things you never want to do is have negative sideline chatter about our coaches, other coaches, the kids, other teams, our opponent, the officials etc. Never approach or talk directly to any coach unless I tell you it is OK as it could be a NCAA violation and your daughter will lose her eligibility. Never believe anything about what other parents and people tell you as half the time they are not giving you accurate information or are misrepresenting what is really the case. If you are a “helicopter parent” this will also have a negative impact on your daughter being recruited. The girls need to take ownership of this process and learn to be independent of you. Once a player is identified as a recruit then the communication etc. will be between the player and coach. The parent should only get involved to review financials and have any questions answered before an athlete commits. Once the player is committed the parents role should be that of a spectator enjoying watching their daughter along with the entire team compete. Coaches will not recruit a player if they feel the parents will cause issues so please keep that in mind. I get asked routinely, how is the family and is the kid taking the leadership role in her recruiting.
The next thing the college coaches will often ask for is film. We travel our own video person and she tapes all the recruits on the sideline with a high quality video camera that are viable athletes based on the timeline and you can get at least three -six games per season of fall or summer for a little over $100. Katie also used to be a college coach and college player. She has her masters in film. She will place these on a high density platform and send you the links once posted. I will send a link to register for this service shortly before November. The college coach will prefer competitive club over recreational regional play or High school film. In addition she can do private high light tapes if requested for a low cost and she knows what they are looking for. I encourage you to film with her this November so that the coaches will have full access of your games they need it.
THE END RESULT AND WHEN
Recruiting of an athlete is not a horse race. Some of you will make contact early as this Sophomore year and some will be later. It will depend on the program, what they are looking for, what their need is, and where they see you are and where you can be seen under my coaching staff. I always tell everyone that the number one thing is the ability to “believe” in me, my coaches and more importantly yourself. Those who quit, let the recruiting process get in their head or jump boat will end the process because of those steps. Remember I have years and years of experience, my coaches are college coaches so therefore their colleagues. Together we will support you.
BLACK OR RED, WIN OR LOSE
Team placement and the success of the team does not matter. What matters is you! Every time you are out there, they are recruiting the player who works hard, is a team player and takes ownership for their own path for success. That means you are in charge of being a solid communicator on the field, on the sideline and with your coach. Parents should always show good sportsmanship, support all of the girls on the team and step back from everything else. I will not be afraid to call you out as a parent out if you are crossing lines. Your behavior will ultimately affect the outcome for your athlete. If you see a finger wagging that is a pretty good indicator that something is up! We have tons of parents who coach and I realize that sometimes it is very difficult to not step in and sideline coach. Remember my coaches are professionals so therefore I am pretty sure they understand the game just a tad bit more than you do. We will move kids around sometimes for many reasons and worrying about these things. This should not be something that you should be concerned about. If your daughter has frustrations she needs to go to her coach, not you….If the problem is not resolved then she needs to come to me or one of my coordinators and then she, myself and you as parent will meet with her coach. This is leadership folks. Also be committed to each other girls, practices are important and tournament participation is mandatory if elite. If you are playing a varsity sport and advance to States, then keep us posted……that will be a way different story. Once identified as a potential player things can get really crazy. If I call you then it important you call me back. NO D1 or D2 coach can connect directly with the athlete so they come thru me or one or my coaches. Either one of my coordinators will be also networking on the sidelines of the games for your athletes with the college coaches. If you have a chance to watch the 2019’s play you will see many coaches watching with your class it will be more discreet. Remember girls you are there to have fun. Showboating is not a good thing either ladies. Remember that one person can’t move a mountain so move the ball.
PROSPECT DAYS,CAMPS,ON CAMPUS CLINICS
You will get overloaded with requests to attend so much stuff that you could be doing something every day of the year. These generate money for the programs and do not necessarily mean you are being a recruit. You can be but there is steps you should take and reach out to me directly and I will help direct you on what you need to do and help you better understand somethings you can do to better your chance of being on their list.
One other import fact: There is new legislation on the docket for September first affecting the recruiting of an athlete and I expect it will pass. Your class is the Year of Graduation on the cusp of how it will be played out. This will slow the recruiting process by about 1 year if you are not identified in the earlier group. This falls events are important so doing what you need to do and following thru will be instrumental to be one of the possible early recruits identified so do not be afraid to utilize me over the upcoming weeks before November. That is what I am here for. But if you are not identified in this early group it is not a big deal as I can still be in contact and keep you updated but not as it is being done now. So that means after next August a college professional will not be able to have contact on campus, on the phone initiated by a third party and cannot be extending offers until the first month after your current Sophomore year. The gray period will be that between now and then and that will be this fall until next August. The class of 2018 is very brisk and we have several commits already and expect many more before next summer so that they will be able to identify and connect with you as an athlete before this new rule comes into play. So following our lead between now and then is going to be important.
Key words: Resume, Networking to multiple programs and of all levels of D1, D2, and D3 based on your research, Visiting top 5 schools and attending prospect days when applicable, film, focus on academics now and for the future, and lastly utilize our benefits to help you when needed…..keep us in the loop! Remember if you are standing still in your networking process there are many more moving on around you.
Athletics are like fish in a river, the average fish swims in a school with other fish. They follow the stream of water. Then there is the fish that is willing to swim against the current and is willing to take on that upstream path and against the current. Those fish will succeed because they are willing to go against what every other fish is not doing. YOU WANT TO BE THAT FISH.