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I thought it would be helpful to address a common question that I have been receiving from many parents and players; is it a good idea to go to a particular school’s camp or a true recruiting camp like the Top 205 or Peak 200?

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Both types of camps offer benefits for you son or daughter. You need to understand what each type of camp offers and how you can leverage your exposure.

School’s Camps

Typically, a school’s camp is a great way for your son or daughter to get exposure to/attention from that school’s coaching staff. The camper will have four days to exhibit their lacrosse abilities as well as their personal character. Coaches feel that this is an opportunity to learn more about a particular player’s leadership ability, how they interact with teammates, and their athletic performance over a period of a few days as opposed to a few games.

The downside of attending a school’s camp is that you narrow your scope of exposure. Typically, at the Duke lacrosse camp, there will be Duke coaches and at the Brown camp, there will be Brown coaches. If opportunities at these schools do not pan out, you will be forced to rely on video to give coaches the opportunity to see you play.

Recruiting Camps

Recruiting camps like Top 205, Peak 200 and New England 150 (among others) are the staples of the summer recruiting circuit. Each camp has facilitated the recruitment of hundreds if not thousands of lacrosse players. Coaches have an opportunity to watch players that they may not have a chance to see play during the season. Also, it is an opportunity for players who may play against weaker competition during the school season to compete against better players. As a camper, if you have a few great days at one of those camps, your stock can rise exponentially.

The downside of attending a recruiting camp is these camps are normally larger than school’s camps. To make a recruiting camp worthwhile, you should reach out to schools of interest and make sure that you will be attending a camp where the coaches on your schools of interest list will be able to watch you play. If you do not make these connections, the chances of a certain coach watching you make a great play is very random. You have to be proactive in contacting coaches and making sure they will be at certain camps on certain days.

Of course, LacrosseRecruits.com makes all of this very easy. You can quickly figure out if the program you are interested in will be at the camp you are going to and if so, you can easily send a coaching staff a message alerting them that you will also be at the camp in question and inviting them to view your profile and video with the click of a button.

YaleOn Monday, LacrosseRecruits.com decided to take a field trip to Yale University to sit in on an Admission’s Information Session and meet with a financial aid officer to discuss how a recent $24 million financial aid budget increase effects financial aid packages for students, and in particular, athletes.

Useful Information from Yale’s Admissions Information Session

An admission counselor discussed the different ways the school evaluates potential students…

1) Your Transcript! Your grade point average is important, but having a 98 average will not go too far if you are not challenging yourself with honors and AP courses. Along with each transcript is a copy of your high school’s academic profile. The admissions officers will see what classes are offered at your high school and how many challenging courses you enrolled in over your four years.

2) Standardized Tests! Tests results still weigh heavily in the admissions process. Yale requires the SAT and two SAT 2 tests or the ACT. Students are allowed to combine their highest individual scores in Math, Verbal and Writing on the SAT. Students are not allowed to do the same on the ACT. Next year, the College Board will add the option for students to choose which scores go to certain schools, Yale will not allow students to do this.

3) Extracurricular Activities - The college is looking for well-rounded or well-lopsided individuals. The student speaker discussed his heavy involvement in music and theater throughout high school, and how the college was looking for theater students like him. He also said, if you are a Math whiz or an Oboe player, you should accentuate your talents and passions. With extracurricular activities, he also mentioned the importance of the “personal statement.” He advised that students find their personal voice and make sure to differentiate themselves.

4) Recommendations - Make sure that you are getting recommendations from teachers or advisers that know you on an academic and personal level. You want to have someone who can attest to your character as well as your ability to get “A’s.”

General Gist From A Financial Aid Officer

The conversation with the admissions officer can best be summarized with the information from their financial aid website. The sentences below will give you the general gist of how the increased budget changes student packages.  Also, please click here to learn about need based financial aid.  (every parent considering financial aid should read this!)

“Families earning less than $60,000 annually will not make any contribution toward the cost of a child’s education, and families earning $60,000 to $120,000 will typically contribute from 1% to 10% of total family income. The contribution of aided families earning above $120,000 will average 10% of income.

Yale also is increasing the number of families who qualify for aid, eliminating the need for students to take loans, enhancing its grants to families with more than one child attending college, exempting the first $200,000 of family assets from the assessment of need, and increasing expense allowances for foreign students during school vacation periods. Yale calculates financial aid by taking into consideration a family’s total income and assets, family size and number of children in college, family medical bills, state of residence, and a number of other factors.”

The other gem that I picked up from the financial aid officer, “every package is different and it would be a waste of our time to try to figure out potential packages for freshman or sophomore students in high school, so we have a financial aid calculator on the website for them.”

Similar to a mortgage calculator you find on the internet, Yale has a financial aid calculator (you will find these on most school’s financial aid websites). As Yale’s Financial Aid Departments states, “this calculator will enable you to make a preliminary determination regarding whether you may, or may not, qualify for need-based financial aid.” To see what type of package your family would qualify for, please click here!

I hope you find this post helpful.   Also, if you are going to New Haven and plan on having lunch at Prime 16, they are closed for lunch on Mondays.   If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly at chris@lacrosserecruits.com.

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Lacrosse Recruiting Camp Guide

We field daily calls from parents and players asking about the following camps, so we thought it would be beneficial to provide write ups for the top summer recruiting camps. Each camp write up consists of a “summary” from the camp’s website, an “overheard” section quoting players and coaches and an “our take” section which gives the LacrosseRecruits.com’s perspective on what players should attend each camp.Blue Chip 225
Bryant College, RI

Summary:

It is the premier recruiting camp for high school lacrosse players in the Northeast. You can expect to be coached during the week in both practice and game situations by college coaches, and to be observed by other college coaches who attend camp as observers and evaluators. You can expect to learn about the college recruiting process from the people who do it. What are the recruiting rules; who to talk to; what to expect on visits, how to communicate with coaches and a whole lot more.

Overheard:

“This camp is the best of its kind in the Northeast. If you aren’t going to Jake Reed’s Blue Chip and you want to play up North, you better be going to this Blue Chip.”

Our Take:

It is on point to say that this is the best recruiting camp in the Northeast. Coach Spencer does a great job drawing top talent to the camp along with loads of D1, D2 and D3 coaches. This year, he joined forces with Coach Pressler to host the camp at Bryant. The new location secures its spot as a Northeast destination. Blue Chip 225 is one of the best options for players who do not attend Jake Reed’s camps and want to attend college in the north.


Elite 180 Lacrosse Camp

Keene State, NH

Summary:

As the Head Coach of the Amherst College Lacrosse team, Coach Tom Carmean found it to be ineffective to travel to each and every recruiting venue looking for that small faction of student/athlete who could meet the academic and athletic demands of the Northeast’s most prestigious colleges. In turn, Elite 180 seeks to bring together the nation’s best student/athletes with the some of the nation’s best colleges.

Overheard:

“We found that your camp allowed our players to get that early look from these highly competitive schools that they might not gotten elsewhere. This exposure no doubt, allowed our players to get a better handle on the recruiting process as it relates to these schools.” Ken Miller, Owner Long Island Sting

Our Take:

Elite 180 focuses on exactly what Coach Carmean set out in his camp’s mission statement. Giving players the opportunity to be seen by coaches from high level academic schools (Ivy, NESCAC, Patriot) in a competitive atmosphere. Unlike some of the larger camps, like 205 or Peak 200, Elite 180 keeps their limit of campers low. If you visit their website, they provide a unique list of camp alumni, schools where players move on include, Kenyon, Dartmouth, Haverford, Bucknell, Providence, etc.

Jake Reed’s Blue Chip
UMBC, MD

Summary:

It is the premier recruiting camp for high school lacrosse players. 2009 will be the first year of Jake Reed’s Nike Blue Chip camp for rising Sophomores. Just like the Junior and Senior camps, the rising Sophomore camp will be held at UMBC. Invites are sent by the camp in the fall to players that pass a strict referral process. Acceptances are due by November 22nd, 2008. There is a 120-player limit for each session of the camp. If the invites are not accepted, additional invitations will be sent to alternates. All current invitees accept by November 22nd.

Overheard:

“If you think your son or player is good enough to play at the highest level, do everything you can to get them at this camp. Be proactive, try to get as many respected coaches as possible to lobby for your son’s spot at this camp.”

Our Take:

If you get an invitation to this camp… go. It is that simple, if you want to play at the highest level of college lacrosse, this camp is your best opportunity to impress top tier coaches by showcasing your skills against the highest level of competition. The number of total players is kept to a manageable level, so coaches are able to get a good look at each player.

New England Top 150 Lacrosse
Portsmouth Abbey, NH

Summary:

The New England Lacrosse Camp Top 150 provides the experienced high school player with excellent competition and advanced coaching techniques. Each player will have the opportunity to improve their individual techniques and tactical knowledge and to compete against strong competition. Over 50 Colleges are in attendance providing student/athletes an opportunity to meet college coaches.

Overheard:

“The camp has the best corral of Ivy and NESCAC coaches out there. They aren’t just scouting, they are getting players better. And you will see lots of high level, intelligent lacrosse players.”

Our Take:

Coach Brown puts together one of the best camps in the country for players who want to improve their game and compete at a high level. This is one of the rare recruiting camps that teach players how to become better. It also boasts a full roster of coaches from the top programs in the Northeast. Every level, D1 to D3. From UMASS, Yale, Tufts, Providence, Bryant, Vermont, Middlebury, Bates, to name a few. The coaching staff is excellent, and they care about the players and helping their game. The experience is more personal than most camps out there.

Peak 200

Springfield, MA

Summary:

The Peak 200 Lacrosse Camp is a focused, competitive program designed to provide the best possible advanced coaching and playing experience for the nation’s most exceptional secondary school players. Each player will be on a team with its own complete coaching staff and will be exposed to individual, position and team training. Emphasis will be placed on advanced techniques, tactics and strategies from some of the top coaches in the country.

Overheard:

“It is a fun camp that has good competition, good numbers and a number of scouts.”

Our Take:

Having a college coach as the coach of your team at Peak 200 gives you an opportunity to be exposed to great coaching for the entire week. Not only are you getting better, but as you play all the other teams at the camp, it also gives you the opportunity to play in front of a lot of coaches. Peak 200 also has a great “College Fair” night where each school in attendance sets up a booth and you are given time to speak with all the coaches.

Showtime Recruiting: National Recruiting Showcase

WCSU, CT

Summary:

160 of the top rising sophomores (Class 2012) and juniors (Class of 2011) with college lacrosse aspirations will compete from July 13th - July 16th, 2009 at Western Connecticut State University, in Danbury (Fairfield County), CT. Participants will have the opportunity to showcase their skills while being individually assessed during position specific instruction and game sessions. CT. Many top DI, DII, and DIII coaching staffs will be in attendance. In 2008, some of the nation’s top coaching staffs were in attendance, headlined by Johns Hopkins and Syracuse.

Overheard:

“The camp is still in its second year, so if you can go to Blue Chip, Top 205 or Blue Chip 225, you may be better off there. But Paul, Joe and Mike have lots of coaching connections and will be able to build their camp into a first choice camp for upcoming players.”

Our Take:

This camp is run by former Syracuse standouts, Paul Carcaterra, Joe Ceglia and Mike Springer. They offer invite only spots to rising Sophomores and Juniors. The camp is in its 2nd year at Western Connecticut State University. Last year’s camp drew a wide range of top-notch players from throughout the country. The lowdown on this camp is that it is a great place to be seen by some big time programs. Word is that Syracuse found 4 or 5 players who are high on their recruiting lists for the upcoming season. As mentioned above, Hopkins was also patrolling the sidelines. The camp also drew a number of D1 and top D3 programs in the tri-state area. Since the camp is only open to rising sophomores and juniors, this camp is for top players that want to play at the highest level.

Texas 99

Summary:

The camp covers the Top 99 players in the state selected by the HS coaches. Over 50 colleges were represented. Top 20 D1 schools like Harvard, Notre Dame, Yale, Towson, Ohio State, Navy, Army, Air Force, Maryland, Dartmouth and Penn State as well as developing programs like Hartford, Bellarmine and Manhattan College. Additionally, top D2 and D3 programs like Washington and Lee, Salisbury State, Merrimack College, Bates College, Bowdoin, Limestone, etc attended.

Our Take:

Coach Byrne from ND runs a very well attended camp. You can see by the schools that they list above on their website. The camp is a lifeline for strong high school players from Texas who might not have the opportunity to attend camps on the East Coast.

Top 205

College Park, MD/Towson, MD

Summary:

The original recruiting camp. It is still regarded as one of the best opportunities to be seen by the top-level coaches. They offer three sessions for players, rising juniors and two open Top 205 camp sessions. The 4 days provide players with the opportunity to go from unknown to on the tip of the coaching communities tongues with an impressive couple of days of play.

Overheard:

“Do not expect to get much individual instruction, this camp is almost all playing, but coaches are camped out on the sidelines.”

Our Take:

The camp is known as a stronghold for colleges from the South. The opportunities are there to be seen. It is the best alternative to Jake Reed’s Blue Chip camp. If you make the All Star team you are guaranteed looks from top 10 Division 1 programs.

If you have any suggestions for additions, please feel free to email me directly at chris@lacrosserecruits.com.

What would you rater have on your team someone that shoots the ball really hard but can’t control it or some that doesn’t have the shot speed and can put the ball where ever he wants every time he shoots?  

I would take accuracy every time at the high school level.  Why?  Because the easy answer is that goalies make mistakes.  I would much rather have the ball be somewhere on the net then and have a chance to score.  Listen I’m all for shot speed but, not at the expense of accuracy.  

Last year we had extra time to warm up before a game.  I was shooting with a player that was new to the team that year.  I didn’t know if I wanted to play him at attack or middie.  He had been playing middie.  As we were shooting I tried to call my shot by picking a corner.  Then we started to play P-I-G.  After a while I won, I told him you can’t score unless it is on the net.  He agreed.  Then during the game, I played him at attack and he scored.  Let me tell you it was a bad shot and the goalie just missed it.  I talked to him after about it.  And he said “coach you were right, get it on net right where I wanted it to go”.  I was shocked he scored on that shot, but it was on net.  Goalies make mistake just like every other player.  So, speed doesn’t matter like accuracy.  

So the next time you practice aim for the corners.  Once you can hit them every time, show your teammates.  They will be jealous, trust me.  I once told my team I was going to hit the top-right corner and I did.  It happened to be the first time I shot in front of them.  I earned their respect right way, from that accuracy shooting display.  It felt pretty good.  So, take the same pride and passion in you accuracy as you do the rest of you game.  

Check out more at www.coachgafner.com

The first rule is making sure your kids always know your rule for playing time.  It doesn’t matter if you are only going to play the best or if you are going to try to play everyone the same amount.  As long as the kids know your rule that is what matters.  Make sure they know before they sign up and on the any time you talk about playing time. 

This year the approach I’m going to take is varsity team is the best are going to play.  We want to win games, I know there will be some games when we are winning or losing by a lot and that is when I will get others playing time.  But, the overall varsity team philosophy is to win so; I’m going to play the best in order to make that happen.  But, the guys that will play have to be at practice if they want to see they field. 

On the other hand JV is about development.  I think we are at a stage where if the kids get good enough we need their help on varsity.  In the next two years we hope that will be our middle school team.  But, for now it is the JV team.  We try to get all the boys that practice equal playing time, so they can develop.  This helps making them the best they can be.

Is this the best way for your program?  I don’t know but sit down with your coaching staff and talk about the way you are going to approach this year’s playing time.  Then you can let the boys know and it will make everything run smoother when the season starts.

Now, I feel that players at the varsity level should be able to substitute on their own.  The great teams don’t need help they just play.  I’m going to set up a way I want my team to substitute and they should be able to do that on their own.  An example would be middies; it should go lines 1, then line 2, then line 3, then back to line 1.  If they kids can’t handle that we have other problems.  After we got that under control in practice, with scrimmages then we will add in LSM and offensive and defensive middles.  This way I can focus on the game and just coach.  And if the game gets out of control we can make the rotation go line 3, 4, then 5 (middie lines).  Then sub in the backup attack and defense. 

I wanted to tell you about this because last year I spent so much time with the JV on subbing that I didn’t get to coach as much as I wanted too.  The other way is to have another coach handle the substitutions and you can coach the game.  How ever you approach it have a plan.  Have a passion about the way you want to deal with substitution and it should run smoothly in future.

Check out more at www.coachgafner.com

First of all a goalie has to have a passion for the position if you want them to be good.  They have to want it for themselves.  Because, some teams put the bigger and slow kid in the net, hat is not what you want to do.  I like to tell the kids that goalie is the most important position, because it is.  The goalie controls so much of the game.  I want someone in net that has good vision, is loud, can communicate well, can pass well, and is not afraid of getting hit by the ball.

Last year we didn’t have a goalie for JV so, I had to convince one of the kids to play.  I talked to the team asking the kids who wanted to have the biggest impact on the team should give it a try.  We had one kid step up and he has been getting better ever since.

I had someone ask me how to approach warm-up.  It all depends on the amount of time you have.  But, planning this out is the coach’s job.  The first step is to start passing and making the passes longer.  This way you can work on clears.  Having one you’re your players jogging around so the goalie can pass to different areas of the field.  Then you go into the cage to take shots.  Take shot high, middle, low, on both sites.  When goalie is taking shots, you have to remember to take shots in all areas of field where a shot can come from.  This way they are warmed up for all the different shots that happen in a game.  Another key note is that who ever is doing the shooting needs to not rip them as hard as they can.  This way you build up your goalies confidence.

Talk to a couple older goalies to see what they like.  Every goalie is different. 

Here are a couple of videos that I want my goalies to watch to get better.

YouTube Preview Image  YouTube Preview Image  YouTube Preview Image

Check out more at www.coachgafner.com

laxmag_coverNovember was a very exciting month for LacrosseRecruits.com. We finished and tested the girls side of LacrosseRecruits.com (to be released to the public very soon), we finished guided flash tours of LacrosseRecruits.com (which will be live this week!), and we continued to grow our membership base. An added bonus was a phone call out of the blue from a reporter at Lacrosse Magazine asking for a few quotes from us for their “Recruiting U” series. They had heard about LacrosseRecruits.com through the lacrosse community and were very impressed with our website and the tools we offer our members.

If you are not familiar with the series, “Recruiting U” is a series in each month’s issue of Lacrosse Magazine that tackles a different aspect of recruiting. For the month of December, Lacrosse Magazine was taking a look at the myth regarding athletic scholarships. It seems like everyday you hear about somebody going somewhere on a “full ride.” The fact is, however, the NCAA allows only 12.6 scholarships for every DI men’s lacrosse program and 12 scholarships for every DI woman’s program. That being said, not every DI lacrosse team is fully funded and receives all of the scholarship money allowed per NCAA guidelines. We had heard from numerous sources that the number of lacrosse players to EVER receive a full athletic scholarship could be counted on one hand. In the article (which can be viewed here), Coach Dom Starsia of UVA had this to say, “In my 17 years at Virginia, I think we’ve done it three times, where we’ve given somebody a full scholarship.”

I had a great talk with the reporter and this is what was printed regarding LacrosseRecruits.com:

“If you just look at the scholarship offerings, you’re probably talking about the top 150 guys in the country, and there’s probably 4,000 kids going in to play college lacrosse at all the levels every year,” said Matt Wheeler, a four-year letterwinner at Wesleyan University who, along with former teammate Chris Meade, co-founded lacrosserecruits.com — a Facebook-style Web site designed to market high school lacrosse players to college coaches.

We suggest you read the whole article as Lacrosse Magazine is absolutely right in everything they touch on in this article.

mag_articleAlso featured in the December issue of Lacrosse Magazine was A High School Athlete’s Recruiting Guide To College Lacrosse, which is the recruiting guide we wrote and currently sell on LacrosseRecruits.com. This guide was included in “The Scoop” section as a great holiday gift.

The guide helps high school players plan for the recruiting process and helps them avoid the mistakes many high school lacrosse players make. Using this guide along with a LacrosseRecruits.com profile puts any player at a distinct advantage over his or her peers.

Stay tuned for more from LacrosseRecruits.com as we launch the girls side of LacrosseRecruits.com and push the guided flash tours live!

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Below are a few pointers we at LacrosseRecruits.com put together. Having a LacrosseRecruits.com profile helps a high school lacrosse player stay organized throughout the recruiting process. A LacrosseRecruits.com profile makes it easy for a college coach to view your profile and game video, increasing your odds of being recruited.

The four most important points we want every high school lacrosse player to understand are:

1. Work hard in the classroom and study hard for the SATs / ACTs. The better your grades and the higher your board scores, the more schools that can recruit you. The more schools that can recruit you, the more options you have. The more options you have, the less stressful the recruiting process will be.
2. Be realistic about your ability. The number of players that play at the top Division 1 schools is a very small percentage of the number of college lacrosse players across Division I, Division II, Division III and MCLA (club). Being realistic about your ability from the beginning will make the recruiting process a lot less stressful and ultimately more rewarding.
3. Do not pick a college just because you can play lacrosse there. Choose a college or university that is a good fit for you academically. Use lacrosse as a vehicle to get you into the best college possible.
4. BE PROACTIVE IN THE RECRUITING PROCESS. Just like anything else, the harder you work, the better your results will be. Create a profile on LacrosseRecruits.com and send your profile to every school you are interested in. Call the schools you are interested in. Introduce yourself to the coaches you are interested in when you see them at camps / tournaments. The more you put into the recruiting process, the more you will get out of it.

Rising Freshmen-

* Focus on academics!! Start your high school career off right by doing well in school. When the time comes and you are recruited, grades are VERY important. You can be the best player in the country but with poor grades, top tier academic institutions will not be able to recruit you. By working hard in school, the number of schools able to recruit you increases exponentially, giving you more options.
* Improve your lacrosse game. Keep a stick in your hand in the off-season and try to play a lot of lacrosse in the summer. Be sure to stay in shape if lacrosse is your only sport. If you are a multi sport athlete, that is terrific. College coaches like well-rounded athletes, but if lacrosse is your main sport, try to hit the wall during the off-season to stay sharp.

Rising Sophomores-

* Continue to work hard in school. Mistakes made sophomore year academically can really hurt your chances of being recruited by top academic institutions. The harder you work in the classroom, the more options you will have when being recruited. You do not want a coach that is interested in your athletic ability to not be able to recruit you because you did not take pride in your academics.
* Begin thinking about college and what kind of college you are looking for. Do you want a big school? Small school? Northern? Southern? Speak to your teachers about schools you are interested in and do research online.
* Create a LacrosseRecruits.com profile. You can choose schools you are interested in and each coach is alerted immediately of your interest. One click and any coach in the country can view your complete profile and video. This is the best way to get on the coach’s radar because a profile on LacrosseRecruits.com makes it convenient for the coach to view your profile and video. Instead of being another letter or e mail, you have a personal webpage that can be viewed by any college coach. For an example, view www.LacrosseRecruits.com/Chris_Hines

Rising Juniors-

* Again, keep working hard in school! This year is critical when you are applying to college. Take challenging classes. If you can take Advanced Placement classes, take full advantage.
* Make a list of 15-20 schools you are interested in. Be realistic about your lacrosse ability. Talk to your high school coach about what level you should be focusing on. Having a realistic list of target schools will make your life a lot easier when the recruiting season starts. Lacrosse should be used as a vehicle to get you into a better academic institution. Get the best education possible!
* By now, you should have a profile on LacrosseRecruits.com. Your profile has all academic and athletic information a college coach needs to evaluate your talent. The coach can also watch your high definition video with the click of a button.
* Having a profile on LacrosseRecruits.com allows coaches from every DI, DII and DIII school to search for athletes that fit their recruiting profile. Coaches run searches for athletes that fit their recruiting profile and are able to watch their video and connect with recruits they are interested in.
* College coaches are under a lot of pressure and giving them a convenient way to evaluate your talent increases your odds of being recruited. Instead of just sending a letter / DVD and crossing your fingers, your LacrosseRecruits.com profile makes it easy for the coach to see you play and see your grades. Including your custom web address in every e-mail and letter to coaches lets coaches quickly and easily evaluate your talent.
* Log into your LacrosseRecruits.com account to see where the coaches from the schools you are interested will be during the summer recruiting season. Every lacrosse program has a profile on LacrosseRecruits.com with a list of the Camps and Tournaments they plan to attend.
* In all correspondence with college coaches, include a link to your LacrosseRecruits.com profile. If your name is Chris Hines, your profile would be www.LacrosseRecruits.com/Chris_Hines. This allows a coach to quickly and easily see your profile and game video. When the coach logs into his account, he is able to see contact information and academic information.

Rising Seniors-

* Create a list of your top 15 choices. Connect with the coaches at each of these schools and include a link to your LacrosseRecruits.com profile. These coaches can view your profile / video and make a note to see you during the summer on the recruiting trail.
* If a coach contacts you and you are not interested, tell the coach. Coaches respect honesty.
* Again, be realistic about your ability. If you are not receiving letters from the top DI schools, do not take it personally. Play hard during the summer and focus on the schools that have shown interest in you. By the end of the summer, you will know where you stand recruiting wise.
* Upload game film to your LacrosseRecruts.com profile so a coach can see how you play in the flow of a game. Consider cutting down the game to only the plays you are involved in. Highlight tapes are important to show the coach your most athletic plays, but every coach is interested in seeing how you play over the course of a game. Everyone looks like a star in their highlight tape!
* Study hard for the SAT / ACT. Just like poor grades can keep you from being recruited, poor SAT / ACT scores can close doors from a recruiting standpoint. Do the best you can on these tests!

* BE PROACTIVE IN THIS PROCESS. Create your LacrosseRecruits.com profile to make it easy for a college coach to see you play, but do not be afraid to call a coach and introduce yourself. If you see a coach at a camp / tournament and you are interested in that school, introduce yourself. There are too many great lacrosse players out there to sit back and hope you are recruited. Take pride in your ability and reach out to schools you are interested in. Always follow up with coaches who have expressed interest in your ability.

Let’s think about it.  The game starts with a face-off, so who ever win it get the ball to start with it and set the tone of the game early.  And if you don’t play the face-off right you can get brunt early for a goal in under 10 seconds.  And let’s face it no team wants to be down 0-1 after 10 seconds into a game.  What is why practicing face-offs as a team is so important.

I don’t have a rule but the way I’m approaching face-off this year is to have a face-off guy for each middie line.  I think I will have four or five middie lines so; I will have four or five face-off specialist.  Now, with my team we had two returning players that did the job from last year and I help two guys on the JV team get better at face-offs.  So, they will remain my four guys.  If you are starting a team or don’t know who your guys are, have a competition for the spots after practice or during practice.  Tell them how important it is to the team and if they win how they will be on the field more.  Kids will want to do it.  I have seen some long stick that can take a face-off because they are quick and if they lose what better way to stop a fast break than to have a long stick on ball right a way.

After you get your guys picked for the season, it is a good idea for them to practice face-off four to five times a week.  Maybe one or two times with the whole team.  That why they are always getting better.  The thing about face-off is that if you win you control the ball more. Than leads to more scoring chances and more less time on defense, two things that will give you team a better chance to win.  Of these guys each of them should have their own move, if you can.  They are many different face-off moves.  I attached two video I found that work.  The reason that you have each kid have their own move is then you can adjust to the other teams top face-off guy.  Now my number one guy is good at all the moves, so he adjusts on his own.  And if he can’t beat that guy, he knows which one of the other guys on our team is the best shot to win the face-off, because they have been practicing against the same moves in practices.  I let this senior be in charge off the face-off department because his passion for winning them is second to none.  He is team players so, if he can’t win the face-off he lets someone else try.

Last, if you are having a hard time of winning the face-offs in a game.  Try two things.  First, get a guy that is going to be physical out there.  Some face-off guys like to be so quick that getting hit isn’t fun all the time.  Plus it wears that guy out while the physical guy doing the hitting likes it and wants to keep doing it.  Second, try putting a long stick on the guy and play defense right way.  Yes, you lose the face-off but, you don’t give up easy goals or fast breaks.  You team defense is in better position this way.

I’m sure you know after every goal there is a face-off, so start practicing them to give your team a better advantage in the game.  And to think it only takes about 10-15 minutes a day, and the rest of the team can do something else.

Check out more at www.coachgafner.com

Every year tames have tryouts for the team the first week of the season. This is an important step in make your schools team better. Some teams that don’t do so well don’t have tryout because they have a hard time getting kids to play and investing a large amount of money into the sport. If there are 60 spots on the team and you have 40 come to tryouts then you have no choice you take everyone that came. But, if 85 kids come out you then take the top 60 kids. Or whoever each coach handles cuts. I might have to make a couple cuts this year but, won’t know until March 9th.

The more success one team has the more kids want to play. So, how do you get more kids to tryout before the season starts? I think the best thing to do if your school isn’t into lacrosse is getting the kids informed. You can do this many different ways. Hold a meeting about the game and shoe a tape of the game. Bring equipment to the meeting and have players on the team show them tricks. The average kid that shows up will be interested in playing. Lacrosse is a cool sport to play and looks like a lot of fun. But, the problem is after you get them hooked.

That problem is money. If you can make it easier on the patents pocket book then, you will be able to get more kids to play on your team. You have to have a lot of patent support and are willing to do a lot of fundraising. To make it cheaper for new players to play lacrosse. Buying used pads isn’t always the key.

Then after you hold this meeting do a lot of following up to make sure the kids are still interested and are going to play. Then when tryouts happen you will have more kids than expected. Yeah, it would not be fun to make cuts as a coach, but your team will be better because you have better players. Why do you think the larger schools are better at sports? Because they have more kids to choose from to make their team.

I spend a lot of time in the off season on trying to promote lacrosse in my area. My passion for the game doesn’t just take place during the season. I want people to at least try to play lacrosse, because I feel they will like it. And the more people that like it and know about lacrosse the more people tryout for the team. And I hope that number goes up for every team this year.

Check out more at www.coachgafner.com

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