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Guide to Recruiting & Choosing a College

This article will discuss some issues that you will ultimately come across during your

search for the perfect college and/or university to attend. By no means, am I an expert, in

the field of college guidance but if you take just a little bit of this information I have

gathered and apply it to your specific needs, it may help you decide, in the big world of

College, University and athletics.

 

Does it pass the “test”?

When selecting a college, there are several things you should consider. These

recommendations apply to those who do not plan to play ball, as well. In no particular order:

1. Majors and Requirements: The first thing most would say is the most important

item when choosing a college are the majors, courses of study and/or

requirements to attend that particular school. Keep in mind, most freshman do

not know what they want to major in and/or be when they grow up. Some

graduate and still don’t find the answer for many years. Pick a school with a wide range of options.

2. Location: Picking a place, where there is a college close bye, is not usually

difficult. Large town/Small town, Suburbs/Rural, Far/Close to home, East/West

Coast, In/Out of state. This will depend on the individual and what they are

seeking. Also think about travel to and from home during those holidays and breaks.

3. Type: Along the lines of Point #1, choosing a college that devotes its time to

certain programs, research, undergraduate, graduate, single sex or coed, religious, Ivy league, the options are endless.

4. Size: Large, small and everything in between. 30,000 vs. 5,000. Did you like the

size of your high school? Would you have preferred bigger or smaller? Do you

want to blend or know everyone? Very large campuses usually have students

from all over the country with wide ranges in ethnic, socio-economic and religious backgrounds.

5. Cost: Public vs. Private? In state/Out of state? Tuition, scholarships and financial

aid are just some of the factors related to cost. Keep in mind, the first two years

of college, generally are the same at any college. If going the transfer route, make

sure the previous college credits are accepted where you would like to finish.

6. Athletics and Events: Are you a sports fanatic or do you cringe when someone

mentions sports? A lot of colleges and students revolve the sports programs

around their calendars. If you like concerts, plays and shows you may not be

happy at a small school in the country. Do you like outdoors all year round?

Places with snow, unless you ski and like to hike through it, may not be for you.

Looking for tranquility on campus, the middle of an urban city may not be the best bet.

What do you do when lacrosse season is over? Do you like anything else about the campus?

7. Your gut feeling. If it feels right or wrong no matter how good it looks on paper, it may not be for you.

 

Don’t believe the myths!

1. College is too expensive. Financial aid, govt. loans, private scholarships to name a few. Check with your college advisor.

2. College isn’t really necessary. College graduates earn more money then noncollege graduates. Money is not everything but it sure helps.

3. I need to know my major- Many students do not know and change their major many times before they graduate.

 

Start planning now!

1. Get help- get to know your college advisors, teachers and principals, they will be able to give you valuable information and provide you with letters of recommendation.

2. Graduate- Make sure you have all the classes you need to graduate. Regents and/or non-regents exams etc?

3. Get involved- Extra curricular activities are what some colleges look for.

 

Email and/or letter, as the first contact?

Which is the best source when making the first contact with a college coach? Years

ago, before the day of computers and the internet, letter and face to face were the

preferred ways. With the onset of the above, in addition to, time constraints and

video, DVD’s etc it is basically a personnel, choice these days. If sending a DVD,

make sure it is no more then 5-6 minutes or so. The important thing is to make sure the content is neat and the

grammar and punctuation, is correct. Handwritten and/or typed may not matter.

From the old fashion point of view, you can’t go wrong with a handwritten letter and

a follow up phone call.

 

Beware of the promises:

There are recruiting services that you could use but there are also some that aren’t

worth the money and don't offer very much. Don’t be sucked in by the hype and flash

websites that some of these services have, it won’t help you get recruited. Remember

that there is little point in having your “athletic resume” posted on a recruiting service

site, coaches don’t go surfing the internet for prospective athletes. Do not use a

service that sends your resume out on their letterhead, coaches want the application to

come from the athlete, or at least appear to come from the athlete.

Finally, beware of any recruiting service that promises to get you a scholarship and/or

tells you that they know the secrets to getting a scholarship.

 

THERE ARE NO SECRETS AND THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES.

Scholarships:

The NCAA allows each Division 1 lacrosse program (57 teams) 12.69 scholarships for men. In Division 2 (33 teams) there are 10.8 scholarships for men. In Division 3, there are (146) colleges that offer lacrosse, but division 3 does not grant athletic Scholarships.

As a high school lacrosse player you should be aware that the standard of NCAA college lacrosse is very high. It is only going to get tougher as the number of players from across the country, increases. I would recommend that you attend a few games to gauge the actual intensity of lacrosse, at that level.     Remember, that only the absolute top lacrosse players will be approached with legit offers, especially at D1. Getting a letter does not mean you will get an offer for scholarship or they are actively recruiting you.

NCAA:

http://www.ncaa.org

This portal will take you to the page where you can click on Athletics and Academics and then you will find a whole lot of info on recruiting, contact times etc.

 

Reality:

Top Prospects, in any sport, usually have their choice of several scholarships. But they too have disappointments.

Mid-Range- gets offers from some D1 (Mid/Lower) colleges, D3 and some quality D2.

Good HS Players- may hear from a college in your senior year. Be honest with yourself.

Your version of reality may not be what the rest of the world thinks.

 

Parents:

Make sure that this is HIS dream and not YOURS. Dads (or moms) reliving their g

lory days, or failures, create nightmares for their children.

Have a professional (Knowledgeable College Coach/HS Coach) evaluate and give

you an HONEST opinion of your son's talent. Don't let someone who looks to make a

dollar off you give you his opinion. Leave your ego and pride at home.

Set realistic goals. Don't put him in a situation where he is destined to fail. Your ego

trip might affect his entire life and mental health. A little maturity and common sense

on your part could save him a lifetime of misery. Know what he is capable of and

encourage him to seek to be the best he can be at that level. Having a fun and

successful career at a small time school is far greater an experience, than living a life

of failures and disappointments, while looking for the big pie in the sky that will never come.

A wise decision would be to send him to local college camps, local showcases

designed to provide local exposure. Don’t waste your money on professional

websites and services. If he may be a top prospect, attending camps where you know

a lot of quality lacrosse players may be, will help in his development (playing against

better players) and let reality set in, if he is not quite what you or he thought.

Do your homework. Don't take the task lightly expecting someone else to do it for

you (HS coach, guidance counselor.)

 

Investigate every showcase, recruiter, school, coach and program that shows interest in your son. Help him make the right decisions based on FACT and not fiction.Before sending your son, to a showcase, ask a few college coaches if they will be in attendance. Before considering a school, spend some time speaking to former players

and parents about the coach, the program and their experiences while there. Help your son prioritize his life. What are the things that are truly important to him and to your family? Would you rather have him win a College championship or have his name be written in Heaven? Would you rather him win a Player of the year or be the Father of the Year? Most successful people have an abiding sense of the truly important things in life. Take the opportunity to teach him to live to the important, rather than the urgent.

 

Lacrosse questions:

Look at the roster

- see where most of the recruits come from. Every major program has a roster you can find on line.

 

How many players are returning at your position

- if there are a lot, the chances of you playing may be minimized, especially if you are not an elite player.

 

Playing time

- Do you want to sit for two or three years or do you want to play right away. Do underclassmen have a shot at playing?

 

Roster distribution

- Although not an absolute, if the squad is not balanced between all four graduating classes, you may want to investigate why.

 

Recruits

-Who else is he recruiting at your position, have their been any committed yet.

 

Complete lacrosse questionnaire

- look to college websites lacrosse page for them. This is a good way to have all the information you may want sent to you. It also allows for the college to learn a little about you.

 

Appearance

- This means a lot to coaches. Indicates what type of person you are. Do not look like a bum if you intend on visiting a coach or college.

 

Club Lacrosse:

If you should not be attending a sanctioned NCAA varsity lacrosse team, the MCLA would be the way to go for most. It is a national organization of non-varsity, college lacrosse programs. The MCLA provides a governing structure much like the NCAA, with eligibility rules, national polls, All-America and a national tournament to decide national champions in both Divisions I and II. Its nine conferences are spread across the country, from coast to coast. With close to 200 teams in two divisions, the MCLA represents the fastest growing segment of men's college lacrosse.