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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

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

Coaching is not a one man job.  I don’t care if your name is Dave Pietramala (Johns Hopkins’ Coach) or Jim Berkman (Salisbury’s Coach) you can’t do it alone.  That goes for any level of coaching.  If you want to win or be more productive the more qualified coaches the better.  Think of every good team in college or pro sports they have coaches for offenses and defense, some even more.  The big college programs and professional teams have different helpers doing extra tasks to bring players water.  As a result the best way to get better at something is to watch the best and apply that to your team.

Last year when I knew I was going to coach for the first time, the first mission was to see if my friends that I understood and played sports could help me out.  One wanted to help out right away, his name was Randall Palmer.  He played football in high school and had free time after work.  He was excited to say the least.  Then my next goal was to get my other friend to Cory Spence, who will post on here now and then, to coach with me too.  He has played football and basketball in high school.  When Randall and Cory said they were going to help when they could I knew it was a good thing for the team.  For many different reasons, first they understood sports and knew that the boys had to be productive if they wanted to get better.  Second, they were willing to learn the game of lacrosse from scratch.  Third, I trusted them with the boys if I wasn’t there.  That is important, when looking for helpers/coaches you want to make sure you can trust them.  Since they are going to be around the boys and parents hear everything from kids and every choice you make get analyzed.

I didn’t have time before the season to teach them much about the game.  So, if you can get to your new coaches or helper before the season that will make things a lot easier.  One thing I think this past summer was take the US Lacrosse Level 1 Coaching Clinic.  I would suggest, no matter what level if you are a coach you should take that.  It was great to be around a bunch of coaches and level from some of the best was a neat experience and will help your program a lot.

When our practices started last year I set up drills and had Randall and Cory run them.  I would give them things to watch for so that they were still helping the player progress.  An example would be, on ground ball drills I wanted the guys to get after players to have two hands on their stick at all times and for good body position.  That way I could do more coaching during the drills and they could make sure the guys are being productive.  Plus they were learning on the job.  Then towards the end of drills I would go setup the next drill and when I was ready I would call them over and do the same process again. 

Something else to think about is what your new coach’s backgrounds was in or even yours, because that can play a factor.  As the season went on we needed to get away from the basics so since I played attack I would work with the offense and Randal and Cory would work with the defense.  I would explain what needed to happen at first.  With both Randal and Cory have sports background they knew how the basics of defense to JV players, and did a great job. 

As the season went on I asked my high school goalie and good friend to come help out a couple of times.  He did and that made a huge difference.  Then I got a another friend to help out and be just a helper, that was nice because that just saved me a lot of time from doing things that wasted time during practice.  And as the season went on the things fell into place and the team started to improve their skills just like my little coaching staff.      

I tell you my story to verify that fact that anyone can coach if they have passion for the game.  I hope this helps you get more people or friends to help coach lacrosse with you. 

Coaching is hard enough, get help.  It will make a difference, trust me.  If you put in the same passion to coach your coaches as you do you players.  It will make your life easier and your players will develop faster.

Check out more at www.coachgafner.com

These are five things that I want players to think about as they enter this season.  If you are coaching this year I would like you to comment on other things that will help players this year too.

1. Attitude
As you enter this season you have to have the right attitude.  You have to be willing to learn and ready to listen.  If you have the right attitude, you will do a lot more of the small things without knowing it.  I have one player on my team last year that had the best attitude.  It really took me over a year to realize that it was his attitude that was the reason for his improvement.

2. Work Ethic
If you are willing to put in the hard work then the results will show.  Apart of your work ethic is practicing the right way.  You need to be aware of the time you have to get better and use it well.  I understand you have a lot going on with your life, I went thought it, but when you make time to practice or have practice use that time to the fullest.  Last year at the start of my season the guys on my team wanted to goof around a lot, I didn’t mind it sometimes.  But they didn’t want to goof around during a drill or a time when we had to be productive.  Some of the biggest improvers on my team last year were players that had a great work ethic.  So, adjust your work ethic to make the most of this season.

3. Ability To Understand The Game
A problem with a lot of new teams or teams that aren’t on the east coast or teams that aren’t successful is they just don’t understand the game that well.  Everyone that plays lacrosse should always be learning about the game.  That goes for coaches too.  To understand you have to learn why teams do things.  For a lot of newer and unsuccessful teams they don’t understand the right way to play the game because they don’t have the talent or personal to play lacrosse the right way.  So, the first thing to do to understand the game is to ask questions to other coaches or players.  You can always ask me, if I don’t know I will do my best to find someone who can.  After that watch a lot of lacrosse games to analyze what the teams are doing and why.  And if you do understand the game pretty well, you need to help your teammates get a better grasp. 

4. Communication
This is another area that you can always improve your game by being a better communicator.  It is easy to think for yourself, but to play team defense takes a lot of work and communication.  This communication develops on the practice field and translates to the game field the better you are at it.  I also think you need to work on you communication with your coaches too.  If you don’t understand something they want you to get, talk to them about it when they have free time.  They will help, because they teaching to something for a reason, which is to improve your game and help, the team win.  If you communicate with you teammates off the field, about when you are going to practice on your own or training your team will get better faster.  Keep the communication lines open so that your teammates know they can call on you for help too.  You will find yourself practicing more, too.

5. Don’t take things Personal
Trust me a good coach should tell you things that are going to make you mad.  But, do not take it personal.  As a coach I do want the players to like me, that is how I get them to push it when practice is rough.  But, some players need to hear things about their game.  An example is I always tell players to scoop a ground ball with two hands.  We had a couple of kids I will yell at lot about this. I hope they didn’t take it personal.  I was just trying to make them and the team better.  This is a good thing to know, you kids might think us coaches are out to get you but we aren’t.  We just want to help. 

Try to improve in these five areas and I know your lacrosse game will improve greatly.  Leave me a comment and tell me your results.

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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