Editor’s note: Please welcome Trevor Tierney back to the Lax All Stars! This week, we posed a few questions to Trevor about character and sportsmanship, and how they can impact the recruiting process for high school lacrosse players. For more information on recruiting, make sure you check out his “How To Get Recruited” series at TierLacrosse.com!
Got a question you want Trevor to answer in next week’s post? Drop it in the comments section below and we’ll make sure he sees it!
Where does sportsmanship figure in to the recruiting process? How highly do most D1 coaches value sportsmanship in potential recruits?
I think for most coaches sportsmanship is a very important trait that they look for as it tells a lot about a players attitude. A player with good sportsmanship will most likely be a good leader, a solid teammate and be coachable. However, sportsmanship may be a tough characteristic for coaches to evaluate because for the most part, all high school players exhibit great sportsmanship at all the summer tournaments. Obviously, they know that the coaches are watching them out on the field.
But, as I explained in my blog this week on TIER Lacrosse, coaches may be picking up for signs of attitude in other ways. I wrote on my blog :
Coaches watch you when you are not playing. If a coach is interested in recruiting you, he might try to observe how you act on the sidelines. He may ask himself questions about you like the following :
Is he just goofing off all the time?
Is he being supportive of his teammates?
Is he being respectful of the other team?
Is he into the game or is he sitting down on the bench?
Is he interacting with his team in positive ways?
Most coaches have been around sports and young athletes for a long time, so it is pretty easy for them to pick up on some cues on whether or not you would be a positive addition to their team or not as a person. So, it’s important for you to become more aware of yourself and how you are being at all times in these situations. Strive to be the best teammate you can be, strive to be the best friend you can be, strive to be the most coachable player you can be…and then when a coach asks these questions about you to himself, he will see someone that he wants to make a part of his program!
With how competitive the whole recruiting process has become and from how few spots there are out there to play college lacrosse, coaches can afford to be very picky. How they rate your attitude as a person may make or break you in the recruiting process.
Do you find that coaches at different levels of play look at sportsmanship differently? Or is it more of a school by school or coach by coach difference?
Definitely, the coaching world, just like any other industry, is filled with all different types of people. I think there are some that value personal characteristics like attitude and sportsmanship more than others. Personally, the coaches who value and instill these ethics with their players, seem to be the most successful ones. There are also exceptions to that rule as well.
I have definitely observed teams in NCAA lacrosse that are not sportsmanlike by any means and our even dirty in some regards. Personally, I think we should treat this game with more respect and honor than that. Usually those teams are not very successful on the field though, so I would hope that maybe they could connect the dots in the future!
How do coaches figure out where a recruits sportsmanship levels are at? It seems like much more of an intangible. It’s easy to see if a kid can shoot on the run out of a dodge, or cover 1 on 1, but how do coaches decide which kids play the game the right way?
This is a really tough question and I’m not sure that I can answer it sufficiently. I just think that it is important for the coaches to get to know the young men that they are recruiting and vice versa. That is why I hate what has happened to lacrosse in the past ten years with coaches recruiting sophomores who have not even started for their varsity team in high school!
When I was getting recruited in high school, I was able to get to know the coaches over a period of a year or so, through conversations on the phone and then also taking an official visit during the fall of my SENIOR year. That allowed the coaches to get to know me and me to get to know the coaches.
There is much less of that now and it can be very hard for a coach to get a read on a player’s overall attitude or sportsmanship. It also forces players to make a much less informed decision on where they will be spending four years of their life. It’s an unfortunate situation, in my eyes.
What can prospective college players do to help themselves get noticed in the right way? How can non-playing actions help or hurt a young player?
Check out TierLacrosse.com for more great articles from Trevor Tierney.