In the first 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.
There are lots of things that make it possible for a high school player to connect with the right coach, and embark on what will be one of the most memorable experiences of his life. In order for that to happen, a high school recruit needs to understand some things about the recruiting process with college coaches. The topic of this week’s post? Staying Right-Sized.
A Division I football coach (and his staff) might answer thousands of emails, text messages and phone calls every week. In some cases, a staff member may spend 3-4 hours a day doing this. It’s safe to say that collegiate lacrosse is not quite where college football is, but college lacrosse coaches still have a daunting task of sifting through tons of information on potential players.
Some high school players will disqualify themselves entirely if they feel like they are not getting the right kind of treatment. A lot of kids now want to be told their Nike deal is waiting on the table. They want to be in the next Paul Rabil “I shoot a billion miles an hour” commercial. They want to be promised a starting role, and are almost disgusted if the head coach himself doesn’t make a personal house call.
If a coach is not getting back to you in a timely manner, or he has an assistant do it, or he didn’t call you to congratulate you on getting an A on your math test, don’t freak out! He’s not telling you he doesn’t value you are a potential player on his team. It simply means he is very busy.
The first rule to making the recruiting process easier is this: stay right sized. We broke this down into a few easy to digest points.
- You make the opportunity. Start an email list and send it to all the schools who have contacted you, and who you have contacted. Keep them in the loop: how was your last game, did you get a 3.8 GPA, or did you participate in Relay for Life? These are all things that will separate you from the other 2014 Middie from MO.
- Get an early start! Spring may be the only time you play lacrosse, but for a college coaching staff it’s the time of year when they consider career changes. Scouting, game film, evaluations, player development, and alumni events; these are the types of things a college staff has to worry about in the Spring. For most programs, recruiting starts as soon as they play their last Spring game. Start the summer before your sophomore, junior or even senior year to get noticed.
- You are not special. To every college coach and assistant you are a number who can easily be erased on the dry erase board. Be polite, put work in it, and understand you are simply the next bottom rung on the lacrosse totem pole.
- There is a right fit for you. All over the country, young men watch college games on TV and say to themselves, “I was better than that kid in high school.” Think about that. Some who are good enough don’t play in college, while others didn’t let their lack of skill keep them from finding a fit. Whether it’s DI, II, III, JuCo, or MCLA, there is a fit for you.
We asked MICDS Coach Andy Kay for his opinion. Here’s some of what he had to say:
“So, now you have earned All American, have a 4.0 GPA, and you are an all star volunteer… This still doesn’t mean someone will take you. If you aren’t interested in a local school, you have to be seen by other schools out east, up north, or in the west. NCAA coaches do not attend high school games in Missouri because they are in their own seasons, and they do not have the resources to get out here to watch one player. Why go here to look at one kid in Missouri when you can drive down the road in DC and see 12 NCAA caliber players at the [Georgetown] Prep vs. Landon game?”
Just remember, you are going to make some college coach and program very happy to have you on their team, however it’s not going to fall in your lap, it’s going to require work, and most importantly a little humility.