Early in January 2017, Trilogy Lacrosse held its annual Recruiting Seminar for New Jersey Diesel and New Jersey Empire families. Trilogy Club Program Manager Mike Terry took to the Trilogy blog to highlight some of the key points made by Stevens Institute of Technology Assistant Coach Brian DiBetta and Princeton University Assistant Coach Pat March.
5 Major Takeaways from the 2017 Club Recruiting Seminar
1. Division I Recruiting Timeline
Schools evaluate players “all the time” regardless of graduation years. Much has been made about early recruiting and programs absolutely utilize this strategy. However, programs now either hold spots for “late bloomers” or have the roster capacity and flexibility to add another student-athlete to a class. Bottom line – if you have the talent, athleticism, and attitude to compete at the DI level then coaches will find you.
2. Recruiting Class Size + Positional Breakdown
Players should ask coaches about their approach so they better understand the program parameters. For example, one team may have space for eleven supported players while another school has access to sixteen spots. Of those eleven spots, the coach may decide to use a balanced approach of one Goalie, one Face-off Specialist, three Attackmen, three Midfielders, and three Defensemen annually. Diving deeper, the program might want one of the three Attack positions to be filled by a left-handed player. Understand the overall recruiting class size, specific positional breakdown, and ask whether a school is still evaluating players for your position.
3. Love the sport
The Los Angeles Lakers now break each huddle with the mantra “I love basketball.” Ultimately players and coaches spend a significant amount of time together. The coaching staff wants players that enjoy working hard on improving their craft whether that is time spent in their weight room, film room, or out on the field. The character of the program matters given how much time and energy they put into their profession. They want players that “love playing lacrosse.”
4. Financial Options
Players (and parents) dream of getting a “full-ride” to play lacrosse at their school of their dream. Unfortunately the number of scholarships and fully funded program simply does not allow this dream to be a reality. Instead of focusing on this pipedream, players should recognize other opportunities that can often lead to a more substantial financial offer – Merit-based scholarships, Academic scholarships, and Financial aid.
5. Social Media Matters
Coaches check accounts for players across multiple platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – to see what they’re posting in their free time. If red flags emerge then coaches have to consider whether they should continue to pursue a recruit. If issues are popping up now in high school, a coaching staff has to imagine what the next four years will look like. Is that player worth the headache? Probably not.
6. Academics Open Doors
Schools have specific thresholds or ranges that players must achieve to be eligible for their support. Admission departments vary in their approaches so understand which factors – GPA, SAT, ATC – go into their decision-making process. Often times, coaches must balance out their recruiting classes with players of relatively diverse academic standings. Therefore a player may become more attractive because their transcript outperforms their peer with equal athletic talent.