Tag Archives: College Recruits

“The Changing Climate Of College Recruiting” By Tom Kovic Of Victory Collegiate Consulting


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.

Rewind
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.

Fast Forward
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.

Tactical Approach
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.

New England Lacrosse Journal Sept-Oct 2014 Online Edition Released Featuring College Recruiting Commitments And Club Team Guide


New England Lacrosse Journal Sept 2014-page-001

Click on “Journal” to view online

College Lacrosse Recruiting: “5 Essential Steps For College Recruits” By Tom Kovic


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.

RELATED: Increase Your Value as a College Recruit

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.

Advertisement

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.

RELATED: 8 Ways NCAA Recruiting Rules Have Changed

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.

5. Communicate

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.

http://www.stack.com/2014/08/22/college-recruit-steps/?icn=homepage&ici=Latest_1%20newsletter

College Lacrosse: “Recruiting Advice For West Coast Players” From RIT Men’s Lacrosse Head Coach Jake Coon And ConnectLAX


ConnectLAX Logo

This week we chat with RIT Head Men’s Lacrosse Coach, Jake Coon. His Tigers currently boast a 15-0 record and are no. 1 in the USILA DIII poll. Coach Coon has amassed a 68-13 record in only four years at the helm of the RIT men’s lacrosse program. In that time the Tigers appeared in four straight NCAA Tournaments, including a trip to the National Championship in 2013.
.
RIT Men's Lacrosse Head Coach Jake Coon
.
When it comes to the recruiting process, Coach Coon believes players need to demonstrate initiative and be proactive in order to find the best fit school. If a player works hard and is willing to be coached, then Coach Coon can find a role for that player on his team. Finally, there’s a lot of competition throughout college lacrosse. Young players need to become dynamic players that always look to refine their skill set.
.
What advice do you have for players interested in playing Division III lacrosse?
.
When considering Division III schools young players have a lot of options both academically and athletically. They need to do their homework. Find out what majors a school offers and see if the academics match their needs.
Aside from a Division III label, you are still going to play high level lacrosse. It’s very competitive and demanding. RIT often scrimmages and beats Division I programs in the off season.
.
What is the best way for players to get on your recruiting radar?
.

Be proactive with emails and phone calls. We typically want to see a recruit play over their fall and summer seasons. Again, be proactive. We like young men who reach out to us and express their interest. 

Yes, the coach has some responsibility to recruit the player, but in the end players should initiate and maintain contact throughout their recruiting process. 

What type of player do you look for–raw athlete or refined lacrosse player?

.
It really depends on our current team. If we’re losing 4 midfielders, then we’ll look for 2 offensive and 2 defensive midfielders. We generally try to match our needs.
Our players tend to be grinders. They’re very skilled as well. Being physical off-ball and having a scrappy mindset is important for us. If a player is willing to be coached, then we can find a role for them.
.
What areas of development would you recommend players focus on to compete at the Division III level?
.
Players should get out of their comfort zone. Become dynamic players. Many kids come into college with only one hand. An attackman that masters the question mark dodge, for example, should look to develop another move. Defensive players who are really good at ground balls should look to improve their footwork or other areas of their game. Always be thinking, “What’s next?”
.
How has the accelerated recruiting landscape affected your approach to recruiting? 
.
We try not to let it affect us. We do get early commitments and we also pick up kids late in the process who are very talented. During the season I don’t do much recruiting at all.
.
Some final thoughts from Coach Coon:
.
There’s a lot of parity in college lacrosse. We see a lot of great teams and a lot of great, developing programs each year. The competition remains very high among all college teams, even those that aren’t ranked. Our cross town rival, Nazareth, isn’t ranked but they still play us close each time we meet.

Bottom line, if you have talent you can find a home in the lacrosse world.

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 Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)

Weekly LAXPost Recruiting Newsletter From ConnectLAX: “What College Coaches Look For”


Learn What College Coaches Are Looking For With The Weekly LAXPost

Get recruiting advice from college coaches and stay up-to-date on recruiting trends with the LAXPost, a free weekly recruiting newsletter. Discover news and events in a clean and clear newsletter that’s all content, no ads. Sign up here:

http://www.connectlax.com/newsletter

Learn what college coaches are looking for in a player and the best ways to get on their recruiting radar. Get practical tips on how to stand out in today’s accelerated recruiting landscape and how this trend impacts the recruiting approach of college coaches.

When Fairfield Coach Andy Copelan was a Maryland assistant, he remembers Coach Cottle saying, “If you stay the same, you get worse”. Learn how to grow your game and recruiting knowledge with the LAXPost weekly newsletter from ConnectLAX.

View past LAXPost newsletters at ConnectLAX.com and find featured recruiting events to elevate or showcase your game this summer.

Are you a college lacrosse player looking to learn about Digital Marketing in New York City this summer? Check out the jobs link at the bottom of ConnectLAX and spend your summer covering and playing lacrosse.

College Lacrosse: “Recruiting Advice For West Coast Players” From Denison Men’s Lacrosse Head Coach Michael Caravana And ConnectLAX


ConnectLAX Logo

With an accelerated recruiting process young players feel more pressure to commit early rather than assess all their possible college options. The question on recruits’ minds is often where can I commit to play lacrosse? Instead young players should consider asking themselves where can I find the best balance between academics and lacrosse. The best ‘fit’ for a young player will be a school that allows them to develop into a well-rounded person who reaches their potential academically and athletically.

This week we caught up with Michael Caravana, the head coach of Denison University. Currently, the Big Red are 7-0 and are ranked 5th in the Division III USILA Top 20 Poll.

Denison Men's Lacrosse

Coach Caravana has been at the helm of the program for over 20 years and is one of the winningest coaches in college lacrosse. He draws his knowledge of the game from his playing experience at the University of Virginia, where he was a 4x All American, and from his coaching days as an assistant at Brown and an assistant for the U.S. Men’s National team.

Coach Caravana believes that good players become great players when they can compete at their best on a consistent basis.

This starts with preparation off the field and a strong desire to get better every day. What advice do you have for players interested in Division III schools?

It’s important for young players to realize that the level of competition at the top Division III programs is similar to the competition at mid-tier Division I schools.

Division III athletes may also find a greater life balance. In the offseason, there are less practices and players have time to do other things like study abroad. Ultimately, a player controls their commitment level and how much they will improve as a player in the offseason.

What is the best way for players to get on your radar?

Contacting a coach directly is always effective. Give the coach a highlight film so that the coaching staff can assess your game. Being a good student is important also. Coaches look at indicators like GPA and sometimes standardized test scores.

What type of players do you look for, raw athlete or refined lacrosse players?

It’s important to have a combination of athleticism and lacrosse skills. Being highly competitive and having the ability to play hard is great too. Most freshmen do not contribute to their teams as freshmen. But being able to compete and get better as a lacrosse player and an athlete ensures that a young player will develop into a contributing member.

What areas of development would you recommend players focus on to compete at the Division III level?

The ability to constantly get better is important. This starts with practice habits and preparation. Do not give your coaches mediocre effort. At the college level, lacrosse becomes AP lacrosse, not Honors lacrosse. Good students cannot expect to do well when they turn in B or B- work. Students need to turn in A or A+ work in order to truly succeed. The same goes for lacrosse.

How has the accelerated recruiting landscape impacted your approach to recruiting?

With top Division 1 programs picking their players earlier on we’re given another pool of lacrosse players. We have the ability to identify good recruits, but also find players who fit academically. It becomes less about lacrosse and more about where a student fits as a person and as a student-athlete.

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 Denison University.

 

College Lacrosse: New NCAA Div I Eligibility Website “2.3 Or Take A KNEE” Shows High School Student-Athletes Minimum Academic Requirements


 

 CORE COURSES  NCAA member schools require incoming student-athletes to build a foundation of high school courses that will best prepare them for the academic expectations in college.  ◾To play Division I sports, you must earn 16 core courses.  ◾Ten of them must be completed prior to the seventh semester. Those ten courses are “locked in” and can’t be retaken to improve the grade-point average.  ◾Seven of those 10 must be a combination of English, math or natural or physical science that fulfills the overall distribution requirements listed below.  ◾If you don’t earn 10 courses before your seventh semester, you are still eligible to practice and receive a scholarship, but you can’t compete.  ◾For a complete list of your high school’s NCAA core courses, visit www.eligibilitycenter.org. Division I Core Course Requirements: ◾4 years of English. ◾3 years of mathematics (Algebra I or higher). ◾2 years of natural/physical science (1 year of lab if offered by high school). ◾1 year of additional English, mathematics or natural/physical science. ◾2 years of social science. ◾4 years of additional courses (from any area above, foreign language or comparative religion/philosophy).

CORE COURSES NCAA member schools require incoming student-athletes to build a foundation of high school courses that will best prepare them for the academic expectations in college. ◾To play Division I sports, you must earn 16 core courses. ◾Ten of them must be completed prior to the seventh semester. Those ten courses are “locked in” and can’t be retaken to improve the grade-point average. ◾Seven of those 10 must be a combination of English, math or natural or physical science that fulfills the overall distribution requirements listed below. ◾If you don’t earn 10 courses before your seventh semester, you are still eligible to practice and receive a scholarship, but you can’t compete. ◾For a complete list of your high school’s NCAA core courses, visit http://www.eligibilitycenter.org. Division I Core Course Requirements: ◾4 years of English. ◾3 years of mathematics (Algebra I or higher). ◾2 years of natural/physical science (1 year of lab if offered by high school). ◾1 year of additional English, mathematics or natural/physical science. ◾2 years of social science. ◾4 years of additional courses (from any area above, foreign language or comparative religion/philosophy).