College recruiting information

TIPS for recruits

September 1st BEGINS the recruiting process for the class of 2023. Many of you will receive phone calls from colleges beginning as early as midnight and will be ongoing after that with emails and calls as they do not have a limit to their contact with you. Coaches want to talk to the players not the parents!!!   Have both your home phones and cell phones charged and ready - you do not know which number they will call. Be aware all coaches handle this phone call differently.  Do not expect to discuss financials at this time. For many this is the very first time they are having a conversation with you, make a good impression.  Have your questions ready!  Some coaches call just to say Hi and will discuss more at a later date or want you to visit or want to visit you, some may not.  Some may invite you on an official visit and some may not. Be aware some coaches do not like to be in the melee of Sept 1stNow there will be 3 scenarios that I see taking place:

PLEASE DO NOT PANIC - EVERY SITUATION IS DIFFERENT

Scenario #1- Athletes flooded with calls/emails from several schools and feeling overwhelmed.

  • Be organized- Have pen and paper ready
  • Be Honest
  • Respond to everyone- Be respectful
  • Make everyone feel appreciated-an honor they called and you're excited to hear from them
  • Get all coaches cell numbers
  • Ask for official visit dates
  • Official Visits and Junior Day Visits- See below

Scenario #2- Athletes receiving calls/emails from schools, but not necessarily anyone they were hoping for.

  • SAME AS SCENARIO #1
  • DON’T GIVE UP ON TOP CHOICE, AS YOU MAY BE SECOND TIER AT THIS TIME AND THAT COULD CHANGE AS KIDS COMMIT.
  • BROADEN LIST AND PLAN ADD 20 MORE SCHOOLS TO CONTACT
  • MAKE SURE YOU ARE SIGNED UP FOR FALL TOURNEYS
  • EMAIL SCHOOLS AND ASK WHERE YOU STAND ON THEIR LIST
  • DON’T BE SHY OR YOU WILL GET NOTHING

Scenario #3- Athletes not receiving any calls or emails.

  • SAME AS SCENARIO 1 and 2
  • BROADEN YOUR LIST AND PLAN- EMAIL AND CONTACT 20 ADDITIONAL SCHOOLS
  • MUST ATTEND FALL TOURNEYS
  • EMAIL SCHOOLS AND ASK WHERE YOU STAND ON THEIR LIST
  • DON’T BE SHY OR YOU WILL GET NOTHING

No matter which scenario you fall into this is just the beginning of the process. The top-tier kids in their eyes will be recruited first and once they commit spots open up. They all fight for the same kids at first and then everything changes weekly. So, don’t panic at first, still market yourself to your top choices, but broaden the scope of your search by adding more schools that you would be interested in. The upcoming Fall tournaments and onsite college clinics will be huge especially for those in scenario 2 or 3.

THINGS TO DO:

  1. Sign up for SAT & ACT tests. Go to these websites.  Determine when you will take the tests.
    SAT: http://www.collegeboard.com
    ACT:http://www.actstudent.org/regist/centers.html
  2. TRANSCRIPTS:  Go to guidance and get copies of your transcripts
  3. Registering with the NCAA Clearinghouse: https://web3.ncaa.org/ecwr3/  

Prospective student-athletes may register with the clearinghouse via the Internet at the beginning of their junior year in high school.  As part of the amateurism certification process, each prospect will be asked to answer several questions regarding his or her sports participation history.  Early registration with the clearinghouse and the completion of the athletics participation questions will allow institutions to have preliminary information regarding a prospect's amateurism status, which will promote consistency in the recruiting process.  Final certifications of amateur status will occur at the end of the prospective student-athlete's senior year of high school or approximately two to three months prior to initial full-time enrollment at an NCAA Division I or II institution.

  1. Sign up for tourneys & college clinics you want to be seen and known. Go on college websites and find them
  2. Official Visits- Be organized you are only allowed 5 visits- Choose Top schools- Many offers made on official visits
  3. Junior Day visits:
    If you have been invited to a "Junior Day" - try to make it.  If you can't tell them you're unavailable and ask to visit another time.If you are trying to set up a visit with a coach on your own please keep a few things in mind.
    Coaches do not always check their e-mails.   Some Head Coaches leave all recruiting to their assistants.  If you have not heard back from a Head Coach try e-mailing their assistant.
    Always Set up an appointment - don't just show up at their office.  You can call their office - but remember they can't return your call!

WHAT DO EMAILS MEAN?

You must realize that there are many types of e-mails you will receive over the coming months. 

  • A good college coaching staff knows how to work computer programs and have your name inserted in key sentences.  They will appear personal because your name is in it. They have an extremely long database to use. Don't think because your name is in a letter that it means something special - what it means is you are on a list.
  • You have to be able to disseminate the e-mails
    • All are friendly - all will say they have identified you as a recruit.
    • Many colleges will send you their monthly e-mails just because you're in their database
    • Many will send out newsletters and camp fliers
  • If a letter gets into specifics about the way you play, how they have watched you develop etc. then they are interested and are watching you.
  • If a coach tells you in a letter to feel free to visit - that is not a Junior Day invitation - but if you like the school make the visit - show them that you are interested
  • If a coach tells you to come down on a specific weekend for a Junior Visit then you have been invited.
  • Do not worry if you haven't had a Junior Day invite yet!!  A handful of schools do Junior visits in the Fall - many wait until January-February-March
  • If they tell you they have to see you play more - they are telling the truth.  They may not have even seen you play at all.
  • Keep them informed of your lacrosse tournament schedules.  Approximately one week before every tourney you will re-send your basic info (Name, Jersey #, Team name) and your specific schedule for that tourney.  Most will not come to your high school games - a very few may show for high school playoffs and state championships.
  • Handwritten letters are a good sign of interest!
  • Just because you are not on their radar now - doesn't mean you won't be on their radar very soon and vice versa - just because you showed well last summer won't carry you through this season.
  • E-mails come in spurts - there will be quiet times
  • E-Mails will get more personal as time goes on.
  • E-Mails must be responded to promptly - if required

Some advice:

  • Don't expect to play well at tournaments if you haven't picked up your stick since July.
  • Get your stick in your hand before any tournaments
    • go against the wall
    • practice ground balls on the run
    • practice shooting
    • get together with your friends and practice your defense.
    • If you are a goalie get a friend or brother or sister to shoot on you.
    • Get some training
  • Hone your skills!!!
  • Always behave at tournaments - parents too –if you appear to be a problem on or off the field you could cause a coach to lose interest very quickly.
  • DO NOT TALK TO COACHES AT TOURNAMENTS!! This is an NCAA violation.

OFFICIAL VISITS- HOME VISITS -AND JUNIOR DAY VISIT PREPARATION AND QUESTIONS

Let’s prepare

 A coach recently wrote:
One of the questions I ask athletes on an evaluation visit is where they want to go to college. I am often surprised at those that say, “I don't care as long as I can play lacrosse.” I like the eagerness that she is willing to go play anywhere, but there needs to be a better plan.

BE PREPARED!!

When you go on a visit you must be prepared to speak with a coach, be prepared with your list of questions and be prepared with your answers to their questions. Bring your updated resume and a copy of your sophomore transcript.

We’ve advised you in prior e-mails to do your homework on the schools and the teams, if you’ve made your notes you will have a good start on your visit.

Depending on the situation you may have the opportunity to speak with a coach – sometimes the coach will not have time for a private session with you. We can't guess at all of the questions you may be asked but we have listed some questions we feel are the toughest to answer for most potential recruits.    We want you to really think about your answers and be ready to relay them to a coach intelligently. Be friendly, have a firm handshake, and look them in the eye when speaking to them - don’t look at your hands or the ceiling.

o    Why do you want to attend my school?
o    Where are we on your list?
o    What other schools are you looking at?
o    What’s important to you?
o    What majors are you looking at right now?
o    What are your grades?
o    Why do you want to play for my program?
o    What contributions can you make to my team
o    Give me 3 of your strong points
o    Give me 3 of your weak points
·         How will you turn them around and make them strong points?
o    How would you describe your character?
o    What are your expectations?
o    What’s important to you personally and athletically?
o    What do you like/dislike about your current team?
o    What’s your competitive nature?
o    What’s your timetable
Coaches will not just watch how you play on a field, but they will watch:
o    How you respond to mistakes
o    Leadership capabilities
o    Interaction with teammates
o    How you react to criticism
o    They will watch how you communicate with coaches
o    They will watch how you communicate with your parents
o    Coaches do not want to hear you play the blame game

You have to be able to speak with the coach and make a good impression -Similar to a job interview.
If you are uncomfortable talking - you must practice and Role play.

The relationship your player establishes with the coach can make a critical difference in the recruiting process.

Most importantly it is the player that must do the talking, not the parent!  Parents can ask questions and be involved but allow your daughter to do most of the talking and ask most of the questions.  She is the one that has to be comfortable with the coach and the school.

Within 48 hours of returning from your visit, write both the coach thank them for their time, and express your interest and enthusiasm again

Campus Visit Checklist - Make the Most of Your Trip
You will probably get the general tour of the athletic facilities but here are things you shouldn't miss while visiting a college. Take a look at this list before planning campus trips to make sure that you allow enough time on each campus to get a sense of what the school—and the life of its students—is really like.

  • Take a campus tour.
  • Have an interview with an admissions officer.
  • Get business cards and names of people you meet for future contacts.
  • Pick up financial aid forms.
  • Participate in a group information session at the admissions office.
  • Talk to a student or counselor in the career center.
  • Read the student newspaper.
  • Try to find other student publications—department newsletters, alternative newspapers, literary reviews.
  • Scan bulletin boards to see what day-to-day student life is like.
  • Eat in the cafeteria.
  • Ask students why they chose the college.
  • Wander around the campus by yourself.
  • Ask students what they hate about the college.
  • Ask students what they love about the college.
  • Browse in the college bookstore.
  • Walk or drive around the community surrounding the campus.
  • Ask students what they do on weekends.
  • Listen to the college's radio station.
  • Try to see a dorm that you didn't see on the tour.
  • Imagine yourself attending this college for four years.
  • For more information, check out the complete guide to “Campus Visits and College Interviews” —it's available in the college board online store

QUESTIONS TO ASK ON A VISIT

1. Can you run me through a typical week of practice?
2. What would a typical daily schedule look like for an athlete on this team? Frequency of practices? Weight training?

  1. Please describe the typical season travel schedule. League and non-league travel, mode of travel, time away, timeframe of distant travel.
  2. Are there any team obligations over school breaks and summers, such as practices, summer camps, training or conditioning regimens, tournaments, pre-season camps, etc. What timeframes?
  3. Are there training or preseason trips? If so, when and for how long? Will I need a passport?
    Academics
  4. What do I do If I class I need or want to take conflicts with practice times, game times or travel to games?
  5. What academic support services are available to students? Are there any services (eg. counseling, tutors, study halls, priority course registration) especially for student-athletes or athletes from that specific team? Is there a charge for tutoring or is it free?
  6. What are the most common majors on the team?
  7. How many courses or credits do team members take each semester?
  8. Do you have anybody on the team majoring in (insert topic of interest here)? How does he/she like it, feel about it, etc.?
  9. How accommodating are professors regarding the team's travel schedule?
  10. Do team members typically attend summer school to lighten their load during the season?
  11. Are there any majors that the coach would consider to be incompatible with playing your sport? For Cornell, the answer may be architecture, due to the great number of time-consuming projects.
  12. What is your average team GPA?
  13. What is the track record of team members graduating with their class? Completing their degree? If not, why?
  14. Team goals, structure, and my role/opportunity
  15. What is the philosophy of the school's athletic program? What role does athletics play in university life?
  16. How has team performed in the past, both within its league and it post season? What are the prospects for improved performance and why?
  17. What types of goals do you, as a coach, have for the team in upcoming years?
  18. What does the coach consider to be his coaching strengths? Can he give examples of how has he helped current team members improve?
  19. Which coaches will be working with me? Make sure you meet everyone who you will be contact with/
  20. What is the authority structure of the coaching staff? The team? What are the responsibilities of the captains?
  21. Where do you see me fitting in on the team? What position are you recruiting me for?
  22. What current players are in that position? What class are they in?
  23. What players are you currently recruiting in my class for that position? Where am I in your priorities?
  24. How many players do you currently roster? How many players are in your current rotation?
  25. How do you project my opportunity to become a part of your regular rotation? What is the timetable?
  26. If I am injured playing, will my scholarship or financial aid remain intact while I am recovering?
  27. If I am unable to fully recover, will my scholarship or financial aid remain in place and enable me to complete school?
    Health/training/conditioning
  28. What health services, such as physical therapy, are available on campus for athletes
  29. What types of injuries have team members had in the past few years, and how Are they dealt with?
  30. What type of weight training is practiced, and how often?
    Campus and team life
  31. Are athletes required to room with team members? If not, how many team members do this voluntarily? Is the team housed together in one dorm?
  32. To what extent do athletes socialize together outside of practice and/or rooming together?
  33. Are there any special team bonding activities?
  34. Do most of your athletes find it attainable to balance athletics and academics?
  35. What is your team's drinking policy?
  36. When will I be informed if I will be invited for an official recruiting trip (for planning purposes)?