College recruiting can be overwhelming for an athlete. You can be hit with messages from places you never knew existed, you have to monitor your athletics and academics at all times while building relationships with coaches, all the same time as trying to enjoy being a kid. To make a bit easier to navigate, I’ve put together a shortlist of some recruiting do’s and don’ts for when communicating with college lacrosse coaches.
As a Division III head coach myself, these lacrosse recruiting do’s and don’ts especially apply to my level of lacrosse. That doesn’t mean they’re totally inapplicable to other levels or even to other sports. Recruiting is recruiting; there’s plenty of overlap. But it’s important to note that this is my perspective.
Lacrosse Recruiting Do’s and Don’ts: Communicating with Coaches
DO: Include your cell phone number. We know your phone is your native environment and that you don’t read your emails as quickly as you see your phone.
DON’T: Spam us. We know if you filled out a form letter and blasted it out to every coach in the (insert recruiting service website name here) database.
DO: Send the email from your actual email address and not through MailChimp or something like that. It is not a bad idea to make sure your email name has your high school grad year and your name in the address. For example: MikeSchanhals86@gmail.com. It might be a good idea to just create an email account exclusively for your recruiting communication.
DON’T: Worry about contacting us. Communicate. We are good with it – this is our job. If you have a question, please ask. We don’t mind helping you work through your search. Remember that in the summer, we are on the road a ton, so be patient on the replies.
DO: Include a PDF of your transcript (ask your counselor at school, and they can hook you up) and any film clips you have. If you don’t have film yet, let us know that and when you will have it.
DON’T: Assume we will be at every event during the recruiting season. We would love to be there, but every college coach has to factor in the recruiting budget and their availability on those dates.
DO: Please invite us, though, and when you do, update us with your jersey number for the tournament and schedule, if possible. This makes it much easier for us to put a watch list together. We love seeing you play.
DON’T: Assume that we know where to find you (or your club coach) at these events. Some of these events are huge. Do your best to make it easy for us to find you. Also, don’t take it personally if we don’t find you or even make it to the tournament/showcase you are playing in. Send an update after so we can follow up with you.
DO: Text us. Then we have you in our phone and know who you are. Emails get buried pretty quickly in our inboxes, especially when we’re on the road.
DON’T: Have you parents contact us. It’s okay if they proofread you letter or communication before you send it, but send it yourself. We are happy to talk to your parents on a tour of the school or visit, but you should be the person communicating with us.
DO: Fill out a recruit form (like this: https://go.hope.edu/register/athletics-request-info). This gets you looped into optional communication from admissions and athletics. You may get invites to recruiting events and prospect days.
DON’T: Worry about it if you don’t hear back immediately. You will want to research schools carefully, get there no a visit, meet the team, and get a feel for campus life. This all takes time, and communicating along the way is key.