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It is this simple, quality game video will be one of the most important resources to get the majority of players recruited.

I know there is the assumption that coaches need to see players in person to evaluate them, but getting the opportunity to be on a coach’s radar is initiated by a coach seeing a combination of highlight video and game video. As everyone knows, coaches are increasingly stretched thin. On average, there will be four or more major recruiting events each weekend from June until the end of July. The coaching staffs will divide and conquer by taking responsibility for tournaments in certain areas of the East Coast or the entire country. At larger programs, a staff of four paid coaches will have much better coverage than a smaller D3 program that consists of two paid coaches.

To help coaches recruit you, especially the coaches from smaller programs or outside your geographic region, you have to give them the opportunity to see you play. Seeing your game video can ultimately lead a coach to plan on attending a specific tournament or make sure they are on Field 12 at 2PM to watch you play in person. The video package that you provide is the first opportunity for a coach to evaluate you. You get to pick the clips and performances that best exemplify the type of player you are. The process is not easy, but the time and effort you put into your video will help yield greater results with coaches.

How do you get game video?

A small percentage of high school programs organize filming of their lacrosse games. As a parent or player, you can see if your school already films, has video equipment available through the Athletic Department or you can hire a professional videographer. As we get closer to the summer tournament schedule, you should see if different tournaments offer filming services. For example, LacrosseRecruits.com will be at 13 boys and girls events over the summer providing filming.

What games should I get?

You should try to get video against the best opponents on your team’s schedule. Coaches like to see how a player performs against quality programs or against specific players who are headed to play college lacrosse. For example, if you are an attackman and have a great game against a UNC commit, that game video will allow coaches to compare you to D1 talent. If you play in developing areas, you may not have many opportunities to play against great competition, so I suggest that you focus on getting film from tournaments or camps over the summer.

What type of video should you include to the coaches?

The type of video that coaches like to see varies from program to program. Typically, you should include a highlight video that is no more than 6-8 minutes and the video from your best full game or two of the best halves from the season. The highlights give you the opportunity to showcase your ability, athleticism and attitude. A coach does not want to see 6 minutes of you scoring goals though. For an offensive player, they want to see the different facets of your game, dodging, shooting, feeding, off ball movement, riding, picking up groundballs and other intangibles. You want to include full game video or your best halves, so a coach can see how you perform within the flow of a game. It is important to help a coach get a better sense of you as a complete player.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Chris Meade at chris@lacrosserecruits.com. I tell a pretty good video mix up story that landed me at Wesleyan University.

Chris Meade is Co-Founder of LacrosseRecruits.com. He grew up playing lacrosse on Long Island and graduated from Wesleyan University in 2005. Chris was a team captain and led the team to their first NCAA tournament appearance.

Lots of players and parents ask LacrosseRecruits.com about the NCAA lacrosse recruiting regulations that prohibit coaches from calling and emailing players.  So here is a quick summary from a Division 1 coach’s point of view.

“If you are a current junior or younger please note that the NCAA prohibits us from calling you back until after July 1 prior to the start of your senior year. However, feel free to keep calling /emailing us (text messaging is prohibited), as there is no limit on your contacts, initiated by you to us via email or phone. We are not allowed to call or email back unfortunately. Keep trying, we look forward to hearing from you. Be relentless!”

Division 1 coaches are not allowed to send recruiting information by mail or email to players before September 1st of their junior year and can not call until July 1st before their senior year.  Typically, if you are on the recruiting radar of a school you will start to receive letters in the first days on the September and telephone calls in the first days of July.  Schools are allowed to send you questionnaires and camp information though before September 1.

As the message from the coach above mentions, you want to be proactive getting your recruiting information in front of coaches by calling them and emailing them.  As a sophomore, you want to make sure that you let a coach know that you are interested in their program and include your camp/tournament schedule for the upcoming summer.  Including your video and profile gives them the “bait” to make sure they take the time to see you play over the summer.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend.  If you have any questions, feel free to email me directly at chris@lacrosserecruits.com.  Also, if anyone can tell me which coach tells you to “Be Relentless,” I will hook them up with Reebok lacrosse gear.

Thanks, Chris

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.

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.

As the season gets near, you should have goals in mind for yourself and team. It is important to have goals because these goals are what drive you thru the hard times if you have a true passion for wanting to complete them. If you don’t have the desire to set goals then I’m going to guess you don’t want to improve as much as the opposition. But, then again if you are taking the time to read my blog then I bet you are trying to improve your game.

Setting goals is important. It is good to set short term goals so that you have something to focus on in the near future. But, these goals should all be aiming towards your long term goals. That way if you don’t meet one of you short term goals then it should drive you to improve your game to make up for your long term goals. I think that is an important part of goal setting.

Your goals should be realist and apply to this lacrosse season only. If you are younger, you goals should be something like I want to improve my weak hand so that I can use it in the games. And your long term goal could be to score one goal with your weak hand in a game. But, if you are older you goal might want to be more team oriented, like if you are a defensemen. Your goal could be that you don’t want to get any penalties in a game so you don’t put your team in a bad spot. And you long term goal for the season could be to have the best man down unit in the state.

I think it is better to make goals that are about improving you game and not worried about numbers. That way if you don’t meet your numbers it isn’t such a disappointment. These goals without numbers are harder to gauge if you completed them. But these types of goals will make you happier if you do complete them.

So, here is your task for this season. Set five short term goals. One to be completed by the time the season starts and the other four divided though out the season. Then set three long term goals to be completed by the end of the season.  WRITE THEM DOWN. Then give a copy to your coach if, he hasn’t already talk to you about your goals. Put these put so you can see them everyday, even a place where others that care about you can see them. Like your school locker or bathroom mirror. Then try your hardest to complete your goals. If you do complete them, it will make feel so good about yourself and want more. Which is a great thing, because then you will want to apply the goal setting rules you learned here and apply them to your life.

Check out more at www.coachgafner.com

Kids you have to realize how IMPORTANT your grades are. Parents and coaches tell you about how much they mean all the time. Why do you think that is? Because they are important and help guide your future. If you ask anyone that is done with school, where that is college or high school, I bet 90% of these people wish they could have done better. You don’t ever hear anyone say “I wish I would have tried less”. Why do you think that is, because you will always or should always want more out of yourself. That drive to be better, is what defines us as people.

I think you kids have to realizes that coaches do want their players to get better at lacrosse but, not at the expense of their grades. I want my players to excel in the classroom first, so when they hit the field they will be ready to do the same. I don’t want players that are all books and don’t care about lacrosse either, but to play on my team your grades must come first. It isn’t the end of the world if you have to miss a couple practices to finish a project? No, even if that means you don’t start in the next game? No, it isn’t. Colleges don’t care about lacrosse unless they are recruiting you and guess what they still look at your grades. Why? Because, the school work is going to get harder and the practices longer.

So, take your school work serious. Trust me college is hard; I’m still going, but it is the best time of your life. Take the same approach to school work as you do to lacrosse. By that I mean, put the hard work in and the long hours and the results should show. And get some help. Lacrosse player don’t practice by themselves, so don’t study by yourself either. In college about a year ago, I had my hardest class I had ever taken. The teacher demanded so much out of us students, it seemed unfair. But, I tired my hardest. I didn’t get the grade I wanted, but I learned so much about the subject that it made me want to get better for my job. The next term, I had part two with that teacher and it was great. I learned so much and had a great time, besides putting in long hours to get all the work done. And I got the grade I wanted too.

You see you have to realize that your parents and coaches have been though this before. It may have been 3 years ago or 15 years. But they can help. The people that care the most are the one that give you the most grief.

So try your hardest and have fun in the process. Grades are important so take take pride in them and try to have the same passion for them as you do lacrosse that as the season starts. And good luck.

Check out more at www.coachgafner.com

This Sunday, I headed up to Lehigh’s King of the Mountain tournament. On top of $1.95/gallon gas prices that I took advantage of in New Jersey, the Fall Ball jamboree was very worthwhile. There were forty teams there from all over the northeast, including one team from Canada. The weather was cold and windy, forcing most of the players to wear sweatpants/leggings throughout the day, except for the Canadians of course.

This was my third tournament I have attended this fall, and the old adage held true that the third camp was the charm. I arrived at King of the Mountain looking for two types of players. One, I was looking for a couple of athletic poles to add to an already talented list of defensive recruits. And two, I looked for an offensive player who had the potential to quarterback an offense. In general, however, I was looking for seniors with potential who have slipped through the cracks and remained under the radar for one reason or another.

My criteria for evaluating defensemen consisted of the following: Most importantly, does he have the speed to keep up with his attackman/middie? Not looking for take away artists, does he play solid angles and stay on his attackman/middie’s hands, making him as uncomfortable as possible without getting out of position? Looking to play an upbeat style of play, a defenseman with the ability to get the ball up off the ground and have composure with the ball in his stick is key. He must be able to move it upfield by either passing it to a teammate ahead of the play or legging it himself. I found a couple defenseman who fit this mold and contacted them first thing Monday morning.

On the offensive end, I was looking for someone to come in and be a quarterback of an offense. Currently, our list of recruits is loaded with athletes on the offensive end. I was looking for an attackman or middie who understood how to play within the offense of their respective club team, communicated non stop, and possessed the intangibles. Players who can dodge through six guys and score at the high school level are most likely not going to be as successfull at the college level. All the pressure for kids to stand out at these Jamborees often forces them to play out of their comfort zone. I was looking for a player that saw the field well and communicated what he saw to his teammates.

In the end, every coach at every level is looking for hustle. After a mistake, will the player compound the mistake by either getting a penalty or not hustling back on defense or off the field? Coaches keep track of every positive thing they see on the field. They also keep track of every negative thing they see on the field. For instance, I received a highlight tape from a high school player in the mail. I watched it, and the kid looked talented. I showed the tape to the head coach. He referenced his notes from the summer to see if he missed this kid. Next to the kids name was written “absolutely not-no hustle!” That closed the book on our relationship with this kid. So, when in doubt, hustle.

Initiating Contact

I received e-mails from a bunch of players notifying me that they will be attending the tournament. I appreciate the effort, therefore, the first teams I watch play are those who have contacted me ahead of time. If other coaches are like me, I advise high school players to contact the head and assistant coaches of their schools of interest. It is like dealing with a warm lead if you were a salesman, which many college coaches are.

A few tips on what to include in your initial e-mail.

1) Your name.
2) The club team you are playing for.
3) The jersey number you are wearing. If you are not wearing the number listed on your teams roster you might as well not show up.
4) Your position.
5) Keep it brief and spell check. Do not e-mail coaches as if it were a text message.

Do not write “im gonna be at lehigh this sunday and was hopin that you could watch me play. i really wanna play college lacrosse.” We, of course, appreciate the interest. But, let the coach decide how casual the e-mails will be. It does not matter how talented a recruiting class is if they cannot stay academically eligible for the spring. An e-mail with poor grammar will do more harm that good, it will either indicate lack of effort, lack of attention to detail, lack of interest, or lack of intelligence. So, have your mom, dad, brother, sister, or college advisor proofread all e-mails if you do not trust your own writing.

~Anonymous Coach

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