Tag Archives: Lacrosse Recruiting

“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.

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.

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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


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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.
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RIT Men's Lacrosse Head Coach Jake Coon
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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.
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What advice do you have for players interested in playing Division III lacrosse?
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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.
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What is the best way for players to get on your recruiting radar?
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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?

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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.
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What areas of development would you recommend players focus on to compete at the Division III level?
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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?”
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How has the accelerated recruiting landscape affected your approach to recruiting? 
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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.
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Some final thoughts from Coach Coon:
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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


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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: “Recruiting Advice For West Coast Players” From Army Men’s Lacrosse Head Coach Joe Alberici And ConnectLAX


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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.

Army.ConnectLAXIn 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.

College Lacrosse: “Recruiting Advice For West Coast Players” From Stevenson Men’s Lacrosse Head Coach Paul Cantabene And ConnectLAX


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Recruiting Advice For West Coast Players

     College recruiting is a challenge for even the best player’s; finding the right fit on campus and on the field is no easy task. Doing so from outside the traditional lacrosse hubs is even harder given there are not as many footsteps to follow. However, with passion and a plan, you can identify and get your game in front of the right coaches.

     ConnectLAX helps you create a target list of schools that match you on and off the field and use your mobile recruiting profile to put your game at the fingertips of college coaches who are always on the go.

      Every recruiting plan is different, but yours should include the following: invest in your game and in the classroom, create a realistic list of target schools and initiate contact with coaches you are interested in, both online and by attending their camps.

      Recruiting is supply and demand and the number of roster spots is growing much slower than the number of top players. Recruits should maximize the number of available schools by getting the grades and test scores needed for eligibility. Practice with your team, practice alone, race your dog… just keep training. Coaches want to see you have the speed to play at the next level, so work with a training ladder.

      Lacrosse should be one of many factors in your college decision. Save time in the process by finding teams you can contribute to and colleges you’d attend exclusive of lacrosse. Keep an open mind. Get on campus as much as possible and try to meet the coaches and players.

      No one likes rejection, but guess what, the coaches do not simply come to you so you need to proactively reach out to them. Coaches get a lot of inbound traffic so make sure your information is well organized and in one place so they can make a decision.     Paul Cantabene We spoke with Paul Cantabene, head coach of Stevenson University, the 2013 DIII champion, about his recruiting advice for West Coast players.

 1.      What advice do you have for West Coast players interested in Division III schools, which are primarily located on the East Coast?

 Initiate contact with the schools you are interested in. It’s important to include Youtube clips and let them know where you’ll be so they can see you in person.

If a coach gets in touch with you, get back to them in a timely manner. College coaches are still surprised that players don’t always understand a response is necessary whether you are interested or not.

2.      What is the best way for West Coast players to get on your recruiting radar?

Our graduate assistant makes at least four West Coast trips a year. They hit the major recruiting tournaments. However, do not be discouraged if you are unable to participate in those.

If you are heading East and in the Baltimore area, let us know ahead of time, include your video and if we see something we like, we’ll always invite your on campus.

3.       What type of player’s do you primarily look for, a raw athlete or refined lacrosse player?

We look for speed and athletic ability. If we have a feel for a player, even if it’s based off of a single play we saw in a highlight video. We’ll reach out to that player. Even if they are not from a traditional lacrosse hub, we’ll coach him up. Sometimes we’ll move an attackman to middie. We’re looking for complete athletes.

4.       What areas of player development would you recommend West Coast players focus on to help get on par with their East Coast competition?

We feel West Coast players have really caught up a lot. Young players should focus on their stick skills and not bank on just being a good athlete. Players need to watch the game, become a student of the game, and listen to announcers point out what they’re seeing. Rewind the game to watch where the defense slides from and really try to break the game down.

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

We are getting better athletes as more late bloomers are looking for a college home. We are recruiting younger as well. The key is for players to know what they want and realize with only 61 or so Division 1 teams, they need to also be looking at Division 2 and 3, where there are hundreds of teams.

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 Stevenson University.

Hyperlink Stevenson University to:

http://www.connectlax.com/collegeteam/male-d3-at-stevenson_university