We had the very fortunate opportunity to speak with Coach Joe Alberici at Army to get his advice for recruits and more specifically, recruits out West who are looking to go East for college lacrosse. Coach Alberici has had an impressive career including coaching at Duke where he helped strengthen the Blue Devils as one of the nation’s premier lacrosse programs.
In 2006, he became the coach at Army and is now in his ninth season, where he continues to man a very impressive group of student-athletes. Here’s what Coach Alberici had to tell us about recruiting and his advice for player’s eager to get noticed: be a well-rounded athlete with multiple weapons and a strong work-ethic that mirrors those abilities.
1. What advice do you have for West Coast players interested in Division I schools, which are primarily located on the East Coast?
Be assertive, think of recruiting as managing your own franchise. You have to find ways to get in front of coaches eyes. It’s best to be seen live, but also keep an open line of communication with coaches. In your e-mails, be sure to include your video that highlights the skills you have which set you apart from the competition, especially your athleticism. Be specific about why you want to go to that school such as the academic curriculum. Keep in mind that coaches get hundreds of these emails, so personalization goes a long way.
2. What is the best way for West Coast players to get on your recruiting radar?
One of the best ways to get on coaches recruiting radar is to go to their prospecting days. It is best to identify 1-2 schools who have their prospecting days close to each other to cut down on travel expenses. Be sure to ask the right questions about the prospecting days such as how many players are expected to be in attendance and if all the coaches on staff going to be there. These are good questions to ask because you may be playing against 50 or 250 other players and that could make a difference of you getting noticed. Use the first few lines of your email to explain who you are and the remaining 1-2 paragraphs include your contact info and references such as coaches and private instructors.
3. What type of player’s do you primarily look for, a raw athlete or refined lacrosse player?
Athleticism is the first thing we take into account and some “thing” that stands out from the rest of the players, be it stick skills, hustle or tenacity. In your highlight videos, be sure accentuate those skills. A DI guy has a good mixture of drive, skill, and character along with people to reference all of that.
4. What areas of player development would you recommend West Coast players focus on to compete on the East Coast level?
My best advice is to get the stick in your hands as much as possible and compete with players a level or two above you. Play adult leagues. Playing against older and more experienced players will wear off on you and force you to get better through “osmosis.” Also, don’t just go through the motions while playing, be an active learner, ask questions and learn specifics from experienced players and try to emulate their skills. Seek out the guys who have done it and pick their brain. To play with this kind of competition you may need to travel a little, depending on your area, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to join a travel team, just do your homework.
5. How has the accelerated recruiting landscape impacted your approach to recruiting?
It’s difficult to see everyone when they’re young, it’s just part of the landscape. There are still a lot of great players and late-bloomers who may have been missed, so we keep spots open for that. We are going to recruit nationally regardless, we aren’t locked into any particular areas.
ConnectLAX.com helps players maximize their recruiting exposure with mobile recruiting profiles linked to their team roster. Recruits can create their recruiting profile and target list of colleges for free. ConnectLAX team recruiting helps coaches manage and promote their players. Learn more about registering your team at Connectlax.com/recruiting. ConnectLAX is a third party recruiting service and not affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. Military Academy.