(Editor’s Note: Welcome Dave Madeira from Empower The Athlete back to LAS. He hasn’t led us astray yet with his past recruiting advice so listen up and learn. Then live your college lacrosse dream!)
Every year colleges are setting new admissions records for number of applicants. More students are applying to college, and these students are also applying to a greater number of schools than in previous years. Lacrosse recruiting is following a similar trend; there is a larger talent pool for coaches to recruit from, and more programs for recruits to consider. As college lacrosse has become more competitive across the board, many schools have emerged as a viable option that will offer a competitive collegiate lacrosse experience, including D-3 programs on the East Coast and mid-West, and MCLA programs in the West.
[side note: how cool is it that Marquette and USC are adding NCAA programs?! Although I was bummed that Cal dropped their girls program, I'll take one step back to take two steps forward any day of the week. Here's to hoping that strong programs like Michigan, Oregon and CU Boulder will follow suit in the near future. I'm calling in right now, 2020 NCAA National Championship, east meets west, UVA vs Stanford.]
What does all this competition mean for you?
If athletes are looking at a greater number of schools in their recruiting process, then it is more important than ever to stay organized.
A recruit’s ability to be accountable to a coach during the recruiting process – respond in a timely and mature manner to their emails, letters or phone calls – can make or break an opportunity at a school. Coaches have told us that one of the biggest turn-offs can be when a recruit writes them an email and doesn’t get the school or even the coach’s name right. It reflects a carelessness and shows the coach that the recruit is not sincerely interested in their school. When a coach is choosing between two recruits of comparable athletic and academic ability, ten times out of ten they will chose to support the athlete in admissions who they think really wants to be a part of their team and community.
Recruits should start with a list of 10-20 schools they are interested in their sophomore year and begin contacting those schools. That list will be constantly revised throughout the process as some schools drop off the list and others are added to it. Managing a large list and communicating with many coaches successfully requires a recruit to be efficient and organized. Recruits can help themselves by keeping a binder, and track their communication with coaches.
If you want to make it really easy on yourself, Lax All-Stars has partnered with Empower the Athlete to provide free recruiting tools to its readers. Simply visit EmpowerTheAthlete.com and use the access code “LaxAllStars200” to create your account. Begin by using the College Coaches Database as a one stop search page for email and phone contact information for college coaches. Then visit the Tools page for sample emails, letters, athletic resumes and even phone scripts to use for your recruiting efforts, so you won’t be the one making spelling mistakes. And most importantly, log your recruiting activities in the Recruit Tracking System, which will store all your relationship history with a school and coach.
Just like your on-field play, where timing, consistency and executing the game plan is the difference between winning and losing, so too is your recruiting process where staying organized and being professional turns each recruiting communication into an opportunity for yourself.
Feature Photo courtesy of Lax.com