Category Archives: Coaches
Denver Men’s Lacrosse Releases 2015 Online Media Guide; Pioneers Have Reached NCAA Championship Weekend 3 Of The Past 4 Seasons
“Lacrosse Magazine” December 2014 Issue Released Featuring “Person Of The Year” Lyle Thompson & Lives Of Women’s Lacrosse Coaches
by Matt DaSilva
As the husband of a woman who coaches both the University of Notre Dame of Maryland soccer and lacrosse teams after writing her name all over the school’s record books, I’m intimately aware of the sacrifices and rewards that living the dual coach/mother life brings.
by Bill Tanton
Another western outpost for the game springs up in an unlikely place – Walla Walla, Washington, where Whitman College begins play under Maryland transplant Kate Robinson. The game has come a long way since I first picked up a stick in 1947.
by Kate Hickman
Some of the top coaches in women’s lacrosse – women like North Carolina’s Jenny Levy, Penn State’s Missy Doherty and Denver’s Liza Kelly – balance team duties with the raising of their own families. It’s a dual feat that deserves a ton of respect and an example for us all.
The changing climate of college recruiting
By Tom Kovic
College athletics has changed dramatically over the past 20 years and coaches are under tremendous pressure to achieve two important goals: 1) Win and 2) Drive program revenue upward. The one directly affects the other. Alumni will enthusiastically support a winning team, but the opposite is also true. The changing climate of college athletics has had direct impact on the recruitment of prospective student-athletes and with that, a dramatic shift in organizing and managing student-athlete strategies in registering early and effectively on the radar of college coaches.
Recruitment is essential for college coaches to maximize future team advancement. This is achieved through active cultivation of strong relationships with high school and club coaches, prospects and their families. College coaches use many recruiting tools at their disposal, while abiding by strict NCAA rules and regulations.
Twenty years ago, the majority of prospective student-athletes were simply “found” and the volume of identifiable athletes was very manageable. Nowadays and with the surge of private sport clubs, the college recruiting arena has grown to gothic proportions and with increased competitiveness.
Decades ago, college prospects could comfortably launch their recruiting effort during the junior year in high school. Now, and especially with the increased popularity of verbal offers of athletic scholarships and admission to select, non-scholarship college options, prospects need to kick start the recruiting process as early as the ninth grade.
A good college coach will offer truthful and honest information regarding the university and the chances the prospect has as a potential team member and a scholarship athlete. He will work diligently to avoid gray areas, especially where it involves athletic scholarship and, in the case of non-scholarship schools, the prospects chances in Admissions. Through the use of skillful contacts, the college coach will attempt to cultivate a relationship that will hopefully result in matching a prospect with his or her institution in a mutually benefiting experience.
Likewise, a productive family effort will be well-planned and impeccably executed. It will involve a team approach that should consist of the following players: parents, prospect, high school/club coach, college advisor, guidance counselor and personal mentor. Each team player will have a specific role to play in order to ensure the prospect’s best chance in navigating the college search with success.
Advance goals should be set with clarity, purpose, and assist in the organizational structure of the recruiting process. The well-prepared approach will, in the end, have the best chance of achieving success.
The Verbal Offer
The verbal commitment is one where a Coach and a prospect agree there is a proper and mutual fit scholastically and athletically with the prospect and the institution. In many cases, there is an offer of athletic aid (scholarship), or in some cases, support by the Coach in admissions. The verbal commitment is a “gentleman’s agreement.” An old fashion handshake where both party’s offer their word to remain committed through either the signing of The National Letter of Intent or offer of admissions.
The verbal offer is “open ended” and a common question that prospects and parents have is “Can we back out of the agreement?” And the answer is yes. That said it is important to realize the flip side of the coin and although it is less likely, college coaches can back out of a verbal commitment, especially if the prospect shows a lack of progress on the field or in the classroom.
A knowledgeable consumer will have a clear edge over the general population in the pursuit of the attainment of any worthy product. I believe that the same holds true in the college search and that it is the obligation of the family to make every effort to make a commitment to accumulate pertinent information regarding this process and to execute well-designed plans.
Information is critical to the successful organization of any worthy project. Building a college recruiting information base can begin as early as the middle school years as a family hobby and increasingly grow into a highly organized, disciplined project by the beginning of the sophomore year in high school.
Begin by gathering information on potential college choices, including team and coach profiles, statistics, ranking, and academic standards. Continue to update and maintain selected e-files on your favorite college programs.
The college search for athletes has radically transformed during the past 20 years to a level where prospects need to maintain an accelerated pace with college coaches. It is a process that begins much earlier than most families realize and therefore a proactive approach to organizing early for the college search becomes essential in reaching your college goals.
College recruiting is both exciting and daunting. It requires a disciplined and yet flexible approach, especially when timelines get tight and situations become challenging. Active and regular communication is vital and the successful prospect will build mutually strong and respectful relationships with college coaches in an effort to identify and secure the ideal college match.
Tom Kovic is a former Division I college coach and the current director of Victory Collegiate Consulting, where he provides individual advisement for families in navigating the college recruiting process. For further information visit: www.victoryrecruiting.com.
Lacrosse Magazine October 2014 Issue Released Featuring Denver Outlaws MLL Championship, Big Ten Conference And Fall Ball Preview
New England Lacrosse Journal Sept-Oct 2014 Online Edition Released Featuring College Recruiting Commitments And Club Team Guide
NCAA Releases “2013-14 Women’s Lacrosse Sponsorship, Participation, Scholarship, Tournament, Graduation Rate And Budget Report”
5 Essential Steps for College Recruits
By Tom Kovic
If you’re an athlete being recruited by colleges, the process can be stressful and choosing the right school can be difficult. Not only do you have to like the school, but the school has to like you. It may sound simple, but finding the perfect situation can be elusive. Luckily, there are ways to reduce the stress and increase the ease of the recruiting process. Here are 5 essential recruiting steps to help you with your college search.
1. Determine Potential Fits
Everyone has an idea of his or her perfect college experience. Identifying what you’re looking for in a school should be one of your first steps. Self-awareness is a powerful tool, and determining what most appeals to you about the college experience is critically important. Meet with your family to list your criteria—e.g., academic strength, level of athleticism, geographic location, size of undergraduate population. This will help you create your initial college list.
Research a small but equal number of D-I, II and III colleges and their sports programs. Read about each team’s level of success and dig into a few player profiles to evaluate their level of skill and athleticism. Take into account the school’s conference and the strength of their schedule. Finding the right class of competition for your skill level will lead to a more fulfilling college experience.
2. Identify Your Position of Strength
Do you want to use your strength as an athlete to gain an athletic scholarship, or do you want to leverage your athletic ability to get accepted to an academically select institution?
Just over 25 percent of college athletes qualify for athletic scholarships, and the competition is fierce. College coaches use simple strategies when recruiting prospects, and scholarship athletes are typically immediate impact, blue-chip players.
Coaches from certain conferences or divisions (such as the Ivy League) use slightly different formulas for rating potential prospects. The evaluation begins in the classroom, not on the field. Those schools seek academic information (such as transcripts, high school profiles and standardized test scores) to help them compute a rough “admissions index.” Once prospects pass this hurdle, coaches aggressively begin their athletic evaluation.
3. Know the NCAA Rules and Procedures
Understand and embrace the NCAA’s recruiting rules. Visit the NCAA Resources page to preview the recruiting manuals for each division and devote time to the chapters on recruiting, eligibility and financial aid.
Your high school athletic director can provide you with an easy-to-understand, scaled-down version of the NCAA rules. He or she should also have experience working with former high school athletes who went on to play in college, so feel free to lean on your AD as a resource for information and insight.
4. See the Big Picture
Your athletic career is only one part of a broader collegiate experience. It’s important to look beyond athletics when assessing schools that can prepare you for your professional field of interest.
Some “non-athletic-scholarship schools” can, in many cases, still offer significant financial assistance. It’s important for you, your family and your high school advisors to clearly understand the role of the college coach in this process and make every effort to develop a sincere and strong working relationship with him or her.
Once you identify the colleges you are interested in, make an effort to communicate with the right people as early as possible. College coaches have clear restrictions to when and where they may contact recruits and their families, but you and your family may call or email a coach early in the recruiting process, with very few exceptions.
Sending a letter of introduction accompanied by a profile is a great way to begin, but it’s important to follow up regularly with significant updates that have “grip,” such as competition results, statistics and academic updates. If you practice “proactive persistence” with respect, you can a grab a college coach’s attention.
Learn more about how to maximize your communication with college coaches.