In the second installment of our series The Recruited, Coach Rich talks about some of the things that are important for high school players to remember as they are looking for the right college fit.
In our last installment, we talked about approaching the recruiting process with the right mentality; staying “right-sized.” In this installment, we are going to discuss some helpful and effective ways to get noticed by the right program.
One of the most important things for high school players to remember is this: you are responsible for making opportunity happen. Below we discuss a few ways to do this.
“Recruit Me” Questionnaires
With the exception of a few top flight NCAA DI programs, almost every lacrosse team in existence has an easy to find questionnaire on their website for new recruits to fill out. This is a great way for college coaches to do one of the hardest things in recruiting; finding interested players. By spending a few minutes per team, you can tell the coaching staff of that program that you are interested in learning more about their team.
Summer / Travel Teams
Another great way to get exposure is to go where the college coaches are. Since there are few college programs that travel to Missouri to watch high school games and recruit, it’s not a bad idea to go to camps and tournaments. This can be quite the investment for Ma and Pa, but the rewards are worth it. Not all the travel teams cost $5,000 and play internationally either. More and more there are teams in the mid-west competing in mid-west regional lacrosse tournaments, which are getting more and more attention from top college programs as the game continues to grow.
Some recruitment advisers will tell you tournaments and camps aren’t a good way to get noticed. Their argument is that most (top) coaches have their boards filled up by the time tournaments and camps come their way. That tournaments are only where they go to evaluate players they already know about, not to find new ones. Anyone who wants to see traditional recruiting methods disproved can look no further than Terry Ellis (Clayton, MO) who is now a full scholarship player at Denver.
Recruitment Websites / Videos
Websites like beRecruited and NCSA offer invaluable services for high school athletes. Most players don’t understand the amount of time programs spend sifting through those databases, sometimes even cold calling future prospects. Create a profile, put up a smiling picture, and wait. If you build it, they will come.
These sites also offer a place to upload videos. Videos can be a great way to give someone who has never seen you play before an idea of the type of player you are. A couple things to remember when making a recruitment video:
- Put the best highlights first. It’s not supposed to be suspenseful. Most coaches move on after 45 seconds to a minute.
- Include them all. Coaches look for things like shooting form, footwork, and form. They really don’t care how many times you hit top cheddar against PS 118.
- High light YOU on each play. Most videos aren’t good enough to discern numbers anyway.
If you receive an email, phone call, or twitter mention – respond to it! Even if a coach sends out mass emails every Monday morning at 9:07 am, take that as an invitation to tell him about your week (remember we are staying right-sized). Spend a couple extra minutes writing another few sentences in that email next week. It will be worth it.
To sum up our tips on getting exposed, make sure you put in the work. You are responsible for landing the right college program. You can’t expect that coach to find you, and you can’t expect your high school coach to put in all the work needed to be done. Write emails, attend camps, and never quit. There are huge numbers of college teams that don’t have 40 man rosters. Put in the work, and you will find a fit!