Recruiting Advice and Coaching Wisdom from Notre Dame, Team USA
Seattle recently hosted Team USA and Notre Dame for the wildly popular Seatown Classic. In an effort to support the advancement of lacrosse, preceding the game coaches from Team USA and Notre Dame met with local youth and high school coaches to impart wisdom and answer top of mind questions.
I wanted to briefly summarize some of the key points covered in the Q&A session with coaches because some of the information that I took in is much too rich for just my ears, players, parents and coaches all over need access to this sort of information.
The questions were posed by the audience and other coaches, the answers are comprised of the general consensus between Notre Dame Head Coach, Kevin Corrigan; Assistant Gerry Byrne; Team USA and Penn State Head Coach, Jeff Tambroni; Team USA and Lehigh Head Coach, Kevin Cassese; and other members of the Notre Dame and Team USA coaching staffs.
What is the best resource for new coaches?
There really isn’t a single best resource; however, there is a lot of great content on YouTube. Don’t forget to utilize other coaches either!
As far as YouTube goes, there are going to be many videos out there but Coach Gerry Byrne has some great drill videos on the NDLaxTV series featuring specific drills run by the Fighting Irish.
Do you have any suggestions on the do’s and don’ts of recruiting videos?
All the coaches jumped in to answer this question but Coach Gerry Byrne outlined the following points.
First, make sure you send an email along with all the information about the player, we need to know details. This also applies to the film you send. Often we get film but don’t know what we are looking at or who we are supposed to be watching. Things to include should be your name, school, club, contact information, playing background, size and so much more!
Second, don’t show us film of you doing the same thing over and over, make sure you include a variety of different plays featuring a wide variety of skills. If you give us 40 clips of you taking right handed shots we’ll think, “Well, he can shoot right handed, but that must be it.”
Third, tell us a story, we want to know about the growth of the player, and your coach’s insight can be valuable. We are not only looking at a player’s talent, but their character is also an important factor.
Finally, DON’T spend a lot of money because the polish is unnecessary as we are more interested in the content.
What tips and advice do you have for choosing a school?
Coach Corrigan shared a few words of advice for parents and players when it comes to choosing a school.
Parents and players should feel comfortable communicating their expectations of both the player and the program. It is a mutual recruiting process and should be a continuing partnership.
Don’t just say what you think the coach wants to hear and never be afraid to share your goals with the recruiting staff.
How do I get my full ride?
Full ride scholarships are few and far between in college lacrosse at any level.
Coach Corrigan noted that if his player’s were receiving aid from the school, it was not nearly covering the majority of costs. That’s why choosing the right school is so important, everything won’t come on a silver platter.
What are your weekly practice routines?
Coach Kevin Cassese let us know that Lehigh has fall practice 4 times a week. Their 4-day weekly training model typically is as follows:
- Monday/Tuesday – This is the time to address your personal performance, reflect on the good and the bad. This is also the time to fix any issues.
- Wednesday and Thursday – On these days they typically watch film and learn the opponents’ systems and tendencies.
- Friday – The day before the game is spent focusing on skills development and game preparation.
Coach Jeff Tambroni quickly added that in the fall it is important to focus on developing the players and not worry too much about implementing a bunch of systems.
While he acknowledges the pressure to put in your man up, man down, rides, and clears, developing player fundamentals will pay off in spring. Remember to start small and slowly build up to the big picture.
Keep your practices to more reps and less talk,” seemed to be a commonly agreed upon concept.
Coach Corrigan also suggested having shorter but more efficient practices. If the practice is long, kids pace themselves, lose attention and everyone is less productive.
How can we best illustrate work ethic?
The coaches agree that there isn’t a particular methodology but they suggest using examples from your own team.
Don’t put people on a pedestal but use examples where somebody outworked their opponent and how it was critical for the team’s success. Watching videos of good lacrosse will also show athletes how hard you have to work.
How much time do you spend coaching character development?
Kevin Corrigan was quick to point out that there are “endless teachable moments” and you should always develop character.
Don’t treat it as a seminar, but make it part of your culture.
What are your thoughts on multi-sport athletes?
The general consensus is that multi-sport athletes are good and the coaches like them, but everyone is different.
However, the coaches also pointed out that it’s difficult to play everything and to let the athletes make the decisions.
What is common among the greatest players?
Coach Cassese was adamant that the attribute among the greatest players was “being coachable!”
No matter at what level of play, it is critical for players to continually seek and consume instruction. He said that despite their coaches not asking, Team USA players requested Notre Dame game film before the Seatown Classic to study up on their younger opponents.
What is most important?
On a final note, Coach Corrigan said that he is on a personal mission to “end the grind.”
Lacrosse is fun, not a grind, don’t kill it!” – Kevin Corrigan
Although dedication and hard work are important, youth players need to enjoy playing the game.[mks_separator style=”solid” height=”4″][/groups_member]It was great to get guidance from some of the best coaches in the game today and was certainly appreciate by all of the local coaches and parents in attendance. Maybe we’ll see you in person next year!
Don’t miss our full recap from the 2014 Seatown Classic!