College recruiting - Finding the Right School

Post interesting articles, your philosophies, or any random lacrosse topics.

A Visit to Union College

Postby DlaxDad » Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:22 am

It’s late afternoon on a hot day in Upstate New York. I’m checking my e-mail, and the boy is in a dugout in the shade, and the Union College lacrosse team is gathering for a Thursday afternoon practice before their weekend game with Liberty Conference rival St. Lawrence. I hear the foghorn voice of Coach Paul Wehrum directed at the boy. “Hey, you can’t sit there. You can’t sit there.” My thought is “Where else are we going to sit? It’s the only shade.” And I hear the rest of the Coach’s charge. “Grab a stick and get out here.” The team’s captain and All American candidate is on injured reserve, and the boy is assigned to shag balls with a potential All American. That’s about as cool a day as it’s possible for a 17-year-old lacrosse player to have.

We pulled into Union on a gorgeous April day – sunshine, low humidity, one of those east coast spring days that get everyone outside and dressed for sun absorption, and the quad is dotted with groups of co-eds soaking up the bennies, as DlaxMom’s college roommate used to say – short for “beneficial rays of the sun.”

The day is so nice it even masks the rust belty feel of the city of Schenectady. Schenectady is part of the tri-city region of Albany, Troy, and Schenectady, and no one would mistake any of these towns for America’s garden spot. On the drive in we pass the GE plant – still operating, but the huge parking lot looks to be about half full. A lot of the businesses we drive by have seen better days. On the way out we drive through some pretty hard scrabble neighborhoods.

The Union campus, though, is a jewel, and is being improved in significant ways – you can see the construction of the new science building underway. The campus focus is the Nott Memorial, a 16-sided, three story domed structure with stained glass windows that looks almost medieval – federal period meets the Greeks. The whole campus is beautiful, and full of people who seem to like being here. With about 2,200 students, Union is a rigorous liberal arts institution, known for sciences and engineering.

The visit goes well from the start. The boy doesn’t hear much of what the tour guide says, he is busy checking out the sun worshippers – well, half of them, anyway -- but notes that the campus has what they call the Minerva House system – everyone is assigned to a social house, and each house has a budget, much of which goes toward student-organized social events. Can you say party? We have a group session inside the Nott Memorial, which is led by a recent graduate who played basketball, and who assures us it is possible to balance Union’s demanding course load, over a trimester system, with varsity athletics. He also touts the school’s alumni network and graduate schools, and its relation with Albany medical school.

The 45-minute interview goes 90 minutes, and the effervescent young woman who interviewed the boy, a very sophisticated and outgoing African American girl who would seem to have little in common with the lad, has been so positive, she’s recruited the boy’s twin brother to come to Union, during the boy’s interview. I wonder if I’d get a group discount on tuition.

We have an initial session with Coach Wehrum and assistant coach Tucker Kear, a midfielder who played at Albany. They haven’t seen the boy play, and Coach Kear asks for DVD highlights, saying that their computers aren’t fast enough utilize the web site we paid hundreds of dollars to set up. We have a side meeting with Coach Wehrum, a crusty old SOB, who’s probably forgotten more about lacrosse than I’ll ever know. Most of the discussion isn’t about lacrosse at all – Coach Wehrum had a child who attended Cornell, and one who attended Union, and what he talks about is the importance of going some place where you’ll get a good education, where you’d want to be if you couldn’t play lacrosse. He even trots out that truism that you should go to a college where if you broke your leg the first week and could never play a minute of lacrosse, you’d still be glad you were there. Coming from him it sounds fresh. He tells the boy to go home and make a chart with the factors that are important to him – majors, location, outside activities, lacrosse, whatever – and to compare all of the colleges he’s looking at, to be sure he’s picking the right place. He doesn’t try to sell the boy on Union, which actually makes it more appealing.

Coach Wehrum hasn’t seen the boy play, but while we’re talking about where we’ve been we say we met with Coach Campbell at Middlebury, Coach Wehrum asks, “Dave Campbell’s recruiting him?” I don’t know that I’d say that, but he’s talking to us. This seems to give us a little credibility, as does a later recommendation from the boy’s travel team coach, himself a former college player, who tells Coach Wehrum that the boy can play at the next level. Coach Wehrum’s response is along the lines of, “It’s helpful to hear from a former player who knows what it takes. I get calls all the time from prep school coaches telling me their guy can fly, but they have no idea what it takes.”

Coach Wehrum strikes me as the kind of person you’d want to coach your son, who cares about what kind of man he’ll be. It turns out that Coach Wehrum is already in the Lacrosse Hall of Fame, a schoolboy player from Long Island who attended Cortland, where he was a three-time All American attack man; he coached Herkimer Community College to 27 regional and seven national junior college championships, and has coached the U.S. team in the world games. He came out of retirement to coach at Union. Yikes.

We meet with Don Rodbell in the geology department. Don’s an old ski buddy of the boy’s Uncle T-Bone. He tours us around the department, and there’s a lot going on. According to Professor Rodbell, undergraduate schools like Union are getting grant money from NSF that even grad schools can’t get, because NSF wants to push the research opportunities down to the undergraduate level. Union’s geology department has all of the high tech electronics that the grad schools have, and the undergraduates get to use them all. Don takes his research assistants to Peru; another professor takes his folks to Alaska at inter-session. While we’re viewing core samples, we meet Big Ben, who disappeared for a week last winter. It was several days before they learned Ben was at Mad River Glen, making some turns on Vermont’s best secret ski mountain. I can see the boy’s ears perk up at this.

We’re about to head out to practice – we’re late, as everything has run long – when a girl pops out of a side corridor saying, “Don, do you have a minute, I had a question about my project?” Everyone seems to be on a first name basis with their professors. Don says he’s showing a couple of guys from San Francisco around the department, and the girl blurts out, “You’re from California?!?! I’m from California!! You’ve got to come here!!!” She’s a sophomore from Santa Monica, it turns out; the weather’s no problem, she loves it here; professors are great . . . .” It takes us 30 minutes to make a 5 minute walk to the drop-off point. Another random meeting, and a demonstration of how important it is to put yourself in a position to talk to students informally if you can.

The team is practicing before its big rivalry game with St. Lawrence. The boy is on the field, in all of the huddles. The players are even courteous to his old man. One’s a geology major. We get his e-mail address. The team is athletic, hard-working, disciplined, committed. We leave about three hours later than we planned. If there were an ideal college visit this was it. We have a five hour trip to Carlisle from Schenectady. I drive. He flies.
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A visit to Dickinson College

Postby DlaxDad » Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:43 am

The sub-title of this visit should be “Notes from a Coma.” It’s five and a half hours from Schenectady to Carlisle, in central Pennsylvania. We left Schenectady late, and passed through a horrendous thunder and lightning storm on the way south, a storm that would have been wonderful to watch, but that strained my concentration to the limit, keeping the rental car on the road through unpredictable gusts of wind and rain. Neither of us got much sleep, and it’s our seventh day on the road. Because it’s a Friday, and most schools don’t give tours on Saturdays, we’re going to do Dickinson, in Carlisle, and Franklin and Marshall, in Lancaster, both in a day; we’ll also take in a game on Saturday afternoon, when Franklin and Marshall travels to Haverford.

But now, Dickinson, remembered through the haze of sleep deprivation. Carlisle’s known as the home of Jim Thorpe, the native American who attended the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in the early 20th century. Thorpe won gold medals in both the decathalon and pentathalon at the 1912 summer Olympic games, which prompted King Gustav V of Sweden to tell him, “You, sir, are the greatest athlete in the world.” Thorpe famously replied, “Thanks, King.” Another example of American modesty and cluelessness.

Carlisle is a quaint and appealing town of about 50,000, and you drive in to the campus past the American War College. Carlisle is a little out of the way – about two-and-a-half hours west of Philadelphia – but it’s quite a bit bigger than Middlebury, Canton, or Clinton, for example, and nowhere near as far off the beaten track. Something to be added to your chart of pros and cons. Dickinson was the first college founded after the end of the American colonial period – it’s not the oldest college, but it’s the first college founded in the new American nation, in 1783, six days after the Treaty of Paris recognized the sovereignty of the United States. Its principal founder, Benjamin Rush, was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Dickinson has a distinctly international flavor, with a signpost in the quad pointing the directions and distances to some of the college’s 40 international programs in 24 different countries. Almost everyone at Dickinson studies abroad, and if you can’t find an international program that fits your yearnings, you are encouraged to design your own, or to partner up with another college. Internationalism is a major emphasis of our tour – our guide, an English major who I imagine is reasonably perky on her best days, is holding it together today. She stayed up most of the night cramming, and is giving us our tour before taking a final exam in her lit course that afternoon. In a strange coincidence for a small college in central Pennsylvania, the tour is an all California affair. In addition to the East Bay lacrosse player, we have a basketball player from Marin County, and a musician from Los Angeles, and their three dads. We’re all surprised, but our tour guide takes it all in stride.

The campus is beautiful, compact, just off of the historic downtown district, and the college is continuing to add on. Because the central core of the campus is comprised of white and grey stone buildings, it feels very clean, and quite well cared for. The science center is new; the college has its own astronomy observatory and planetarium, which I’d love to see – is that cool, or what? --the facility, alas, is locked when we go by.

All Dickinsonians take a freshman seminar focused on writing, but the different course offerings are truly impressive, running through all of the disciplines. According to our guide, the freshman seminars are so popular, many frosh who come to Dickinson undecided choose their seminar topic as a major.

Another Dickinson focus is sustainability, and the college dining hall orders, to the extent possible, fruits and vegetables, and meat products, grown and produced by local farmers. Our guide insists that the food in the Caf is excellent. The college’s newest building is LEED Silver certified, and there are sustainability posters and recycling bins everywhere. Unfortunately, we just pass by the athletic center without going in, and we don’t get to see the lacrosse facility at all (at least on this trip).

In another weird coincidence, after the group session, while the lad’s powdering his nose, a fellow comes up to me in the lobby of the meeting building on seeing the lacrosse logo on my windbreaker, and asks if my son is a lacrosse player. So is his, and they’re there from Atlanta. His son is also a defenseman, and when the boys emerge from the powder room, Kevin, the Atlantan, makes the boy look like a behemoth. We have a discussion about size and athleticism, and Division 3 versus Division 1, and part friends. We will run into them the next day at Haverford on the sidelines of the Franklin and Marshall game, which they have attended as part of their visit to Haverford. We also just missed them at the King of the Hill Tournament, as there were two Atlanta teams competing, one of which was Kevin’s, as I learned from an exchange of text messages with John.

It’s back to admissions, where the boy has his interview outside on the back patio – it’s warm enough that Bethany wants to take advantage of a chance to be outside, although it seems a bit chilly to me to be out of doors. That’s one thing about the north east, though, when winter breaks, everyone is ready to take advantage of it by throwing off their parkas and breaking out the shorts and halter tops -- something noted by the boy during our tour. Actually, the dads noted that, too.

While the boy speaks with his interviewer I attempt to keep from falling asleep. That is, until Coach Dave Webster arrives at admissions. No one sleeps around Coach Webster. The energy from his enthusiasm could light up Detroit. He sure lights up the room. The Dickinson Red Devils are in the middle of their best lacrosse season ever, one that will put them into the Division 3 NCAA tournament, and Coach Webster is the architect of their success. What’s more, he’s seen the boy play before, and thinks he’d be a fit at Dickinson. He’s upbeat, and is looking for athletes, with good feet, stick skills, and speed. He will spend the summer honing his list until he has eight or 10 players to fit specific needs. He is very encouraging, and tells the boy that he would be a good candidate both to play for the Red Devils, and to be admitted to the college, so long as he keeps his grades trending up.

We leave for Lancaster feeling very upbeat, but it’s the follow up that may be even more impressive. We decide to return to Carlisle in the summer, between tournaments, and let Coach Webster know we’ll be back on campus, and would like to talk to someone in the geology department. He goes through the department and finds Katie Anderson, who will be on campus for the summer, and sets us up to meet with her. He can’t be there, but we have a wonderful hour with Katie, and with Everett, who she hales down in the library to come and chat with us. We also have a chance to see the brand, spanking new lacrosse/football stadium, with the new turf field that opened last year. Everett tells us that the game under the lights is a big attraction. The geology department doesn’t have a school in New Zealand, but there are a number of students who have done field work there, and they have a classmate in Iceland studying volcanism, utilizing the convenient – for him – eruption that has paralyzed so much European air travel, as his study site.

At this point I can’t decide whether it’s lacrosse people or geology people who are the nicest. The boy keeps his cards close to the vest. Me? I’d go here in a heartbeat.
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Re: College recruiting - Finding the Right School

Postby DlaxDad » Thu Jul 15, 2010 9:52 am

Great article from today's Inside Lacrosse blog on communicating with college coaches. It is reprinted with permission.

Here's the address: http://insidelacrosse.com/news/2010/07/ ... ic-coaches

The article is by Tom Kovic, of VictoryRecruiting.com

Here the whole article:

Whenever I lecture on college athletics recruiting, a primary area I focus on is using “deliberate” communication with college coaches in an effort to build sincere personal relationships. Although eligibility, financial aid and contacts and evaluations are all very important, I am convinced the area of communication is very important to the likelihood of success in the college search for athletes.


I choose the phrase “dynamic exchange” to help differentiate between normal communication and effective communication with college coaches. The aim is simple: Whenever you communicate with college coaches you want to create “impact” and with the aim of continuing the momentum you have developed in advancing your recruiting effort.

Dynamic and Exchange (Defined)
Dynamic: 1. adj. active, energetic, capable of giving a sense of power and transmitting energy.

Exchange: n. the giving or receiving of one thing in return for something else.

If we view the college recruiting process from its simplistic state, I think we can agree that in the end, both coaches and prospects are looking for the right match. That said, I strongly feel that the prospect and family that are willing to develop a “give and take” and an “ebb and flow” strategy in developing their recruiting tactics will have the best chance in carving out their college search…And with communication as the tool.

Preparation
Remember, college coaches have their sites set on recruiting and retaining the top prospects on their list, but as they move down the list they will be looking for “grey area components” that divide the best from the rest and they need your help.

Whether it is an on campus visit, phone conversation, or e-mail correspondence with the coaches…Make it count. The old adage is true: Measure twice, cut once. The better prepared we are before we communicate with college coaches, the more tangible the results will be. College coaches are grounded, common sense individuals who pick up on the little things that can make a big difference.

Practice
Practicing communication skills is the same as doing your homework or spending 4 hours working drills in the gym or on the playing field. The more diligent and sincere your effort, the better prepared you will be to communicate with confidence. Remember, the manner in which you express yourself, your interests and your intent can have a direct effect on the level of interest college coaches will offer.

Keep accurate contact logs of all phone calls, e-mails and face-to-face contacts you have with college coaches. This will help families organize information that will assist them in future planning. It will also help prepare follow-up communication that will generate fresh “action” items to be discussed in future contacts.

Cultivating relationships
If you want to separate yourself from the rest of the recruiting pack, then I strongly suggest you make it your goal to communicate with college coaches about your sincere interest in their program. If you give the coaches every reason to believe that you are attempting to cultivate a reciprocal relationship with them, it sends a positive signal that will, in most cases, cause Coach to take a second look at your recruiting file.

Remember, there are three key qualities college coaches are looking for in prospects: Quality students, strong athletes and kids that bring a high character component to the table. Never underestimate the character component in your recruiting effort. It could very well be your ace in the hole.

The “scratch your head” syndrome
If you are that “blue chip” kid that most college coaches are pursuing, your recruiting journey will probably be a little less bumpy. On the other hand, if you are grouped into the active recruiting file of prospects that need to compete more aggressively for athletic scholarship, an admissions component or walk-on opportunity, you need to go above and beyond and find a way to rise above the rest.

The “scratch your head syndrome” is a typical crossroads most college recruiters approach each year and with few exception. They are either stumped to how their recruiting list should be ranked, or, for some reason, they are giving a prospect a second and third look for intangible reasons. They are “scratching their head” in a worthy struggle to give a kid every opportunity to fit into the “team puzzle” and it typically happens with prospects and families who have pushed the envelope in their recruiting effort.

I encourage every family and athlete I work with to begin with the end game and work backwards to the beginning of the college search. Just like that magical season, win or lose, you can proudly look back and say you gave it your best shot. The same should hold true in the college search and using dynamic communication with college coaches that has “grip” will open up new and exciting parts of your character that coaches will pick up on and appreciate greatly.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tom Kovic is a former Division I Head College Coach and President of Victory Collegiate Consulting, where he provides individual advisement for families on college recruiting. Tom is the author of “Reaching for Excellence” An educational guide for college athletics recruiting. For further information visit: http://www.victoryrecruiting.com.


Copyright © 2010 Victory Collegiate Consulting. All Rights Reserved.
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Re: College recruiting - Finding the Right School

Postby Billax » Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:16 am

Today is September 1st, the earliest date any NCAA DI coach can initiate communication with their Class of 2012 prospects. I know a few guys who are a little anxious about whether or not they'll get an "interested" email or Post Office letter. Here's hoping that all you guys get a bite from a school you care about. Good luck today!
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Re: College recruiting - Finding the Right School

Postby DlaxDad » Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:29 pm

A few thoughts as I meander toward the end of my own lacrosse recruiting journey with the boy.

If I could tell an entering freshman three things that would help him play lacrosse at the next level, these would be the three rules:

1. Work hard and do your best in school.

2. Work hard and do your best in school.

3. Work hard and do your best in school.

Start as a freshman and keep your eye on the prize. Lacrosse isn't a "revenue" sport. Many of the best lacrosse programs are at rigorous academic institutions. You will get a better look if you have good grades. Grades may or may not have much to do with native intelligence, but one thing they say to a coach is that you're a person who figures out what he has to do and then does it. There will be more doors open for you, at whatever level you're interested in, if you have good grades.
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A visit to Franklin and Marshall

Postby DlaxDad » Mon Sep 27, 2010 10:49 pm

We leave Dickinson and head east through Amish country. There are hex signs on the barns, lots of stores with quilts for sale, and signs by the roadside with the silhouette of a horse and buggy against a yellow background. Lancaster is about an hour and a half southwest of Philly, and has a pleasing small city ambience that surrounds the college’s 125 acre campus. It’s a city of 60,000 in a metropolitan area of about 400,000, with both parking spaces and hitching racks on many streets. The buildings on campus are mostly brick – Gothic and Colonial, as befits a college founded in 1787 and named after Ben Franklin and John Marshall, the first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. The campus is criss-crossed with walkways and is as neat as a pin.

We have a campus tour – after six other tours in seven days, they’re starting to blend together just a bit, but what I recall is the vivid college eatery, and that all of the college’s 2200 students become members of one of the College Houses – sort of a real world Griffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff, and Raven-whatever – and after freshman year participate in governing their houses and setting social schedules and organized intellectual activities. Freshmen enroll in a First Year Residential Seminar, which involves living with the other 16 students in your freshman seminar, studying a major theme or concept within an academic discipline.

Geoscience is one of the outstanding majors at the college, which is known for its strong natural science programs. We have a meeting set up with a geology professor, who, with his wife, who is also a professor, is doing amazing research utilizing GIS lidar studies combined with sedimentology, to demonstrate that it was 18th century riparian rights struggles, rather than poor farming techniques, that led to the damming and re-damming of creeks in Western Pennsylvania – he who dammed farthest upstream controlled water power and commerce – sort of a geology/American History cross over. Franklin and Marshall is the headquarters of the Keck Consortium, a group of colleges that specialize in getting research opportunities for undergraduates. We visit a geology lab where an undergraduate is finishing up his thesis work, using some extremely complicated electronic devices. With only undergraduates enrolled, there are no graduate students to elbow the undergraduates away from the fancy, expensive equipment.

We have also made an appointment to watch a bit of lacrosse practice, but we’ve spent so long on the tour that we arrive at the field just as practice is ending. What’s weird is that the first guy who walks up looks to be Tucker Kear, who we just saw yesterday at Union. I’m standing there with my mouth open, and ask, “What are you doing here?” He says, “Were you at Union yesterday?” and when we nod yes, he says, “Then you must have met my twin brother, Tucker. I’m Casey Kear.” Which just makes me light-headed. Both Tucker and Casey played at Albany – Tucker at midfield and Casey at close defense.

Coach Cavallero charges off the field all energy and earnestness. Glad to have us here, thinks the boy can play for F&M, can get admitted – a very positive few minutes, even if we don’t get to see much lacrosse. But we’re going to drive to Haverford Saturday morning to watch the Diplomats – always shortened to the “Dips” – play the Fords. Haverford is a beautiful campus and a gorgeous field, and we watch perhaps the best game of lacrosse we saw during our trip – two skilled, athletic, well-coached teams, neither of which has any quit. Haverford is up three in the fourth quarter, but the Diplomats storm back to tie and send the game into overtime, before Haverford pulls it out. Looking at Laxpower I’ve had in mind that F&M is a sort of middling team in the Centennial Conference, but what I haven’t accounted for is the level of lacrosse played by all of the teams in this group. These boys can all ball. It gives me chills to think of the boy playing with athletes of this caliber.

We drop in at the tailgate after the game and meet some of the players and their families. People are very welcoming, even if we get a few double takes when we say we’re from California. Coach Cav gives us one last pitch to come on back. I think we will. This is a place that could come to feel like home.

Post-visit note: The boy did an overnight at F&M in September. Played Halo Reach with "some guys" on Friday night, the guys he was bunked with off campus had an "epic" HD TV at their apartment, and the freshman girls on the women's lacrosse team (2007 D3 national champs) were cute. What else do you need to know?
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What teams to play for -- how to get "looks"

Postby DlaxDad » Mon Oct 04, 2010 8:53 pm

Someone asked at another topic what travel teams to play for if you want to play in college. I have thought a lot about this question over the time I've been posting about college visits -- it's a good one. I think the short answer is to travel every chance you get.

My guy was very fortunate to have been promoted to try out for the NCJLA Vail team after sixth grade. Even though that was only six years ago, it seems like a long time ago, and a galaxy far, far away. That summer, with tournaments at Park City and Vail, led to Mario Enea's BraveHeart teams, which played one summer at the Tri-State in Princeton, and at the NEYLAT (New England Youth Lacrosse All-Star Tournament) at U Mass, and the next year at the Tri State again and at the MidSummer Classic in Alexandria, VA. The BraveHeart teams also played at the Best of the West Tournament in Las Vegas, competing in the JV division as middle-schoolers, and at the Adrenaline Shoot Out in San Diego. I think the boy's played in that tournament four years in a row.

I don't know what the youth teams are any more. I think that Peter Worstell's Be the Best Camp is a great way to get noticed, and can be a stepping stone to the try outs for California Gold; the promoters of the Alcatraz Outlaws have used the California Gold try outs for the past several years as a way to get a look at the best 21 players in Northern California. The Outlaws comprise their roster by invitation, although boys can self-nominate.

There are players and parents who swear by the West Coast Starz program, which is another invitation only program -- the boy's played a number of tournaments with the Starz, including last fall at the University of Maryland. If you play at Adrenaline events, Mike Wein coaches Brady's Bunch, which is a western all star squad that plays in a number of tournaments. I think Brady's Bunch is also by invitation, nomination by friends, coaches, etc.

Pete Langkammerer, of Salisbury and Sonoma State, coaches the NorCal Braves, a squad that started three seasons ago and grew out of the BraveHeart experience. Dan Nourse coached the first Braves squad at the Bison Brawl at Bucknell and at the Adrenaline Challenge, and has passed the torch to Pete. The Braves are playing a couple of fall tournaments, and will be at the Adrenaline Challenge in January in San Diego. Pete's a terrific coach and is developing a year-round program.

You will have noticed that a lot of these teams are by invitation. If you want to play in college, play every chance you get. Hit the wall. Practice your shot. Find guys from your team who want to throw on the weekend. Hit the wall. Practice your off hand. Watch games on TV. Hit the wall.

Most importantly, do what you love. There's no point in doing it if you're not having fun. The boy's contemporaries on the various travel teams he's been lucky enough to play for, tend to be the guys who are first to pick up a stick and last to put it down. But they always look like they're having fun.

Do what you love.
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Re: College recruiting - Finding the Right School

Postby lamo lax » Mon Oct 18, 2010 9:08 pm

How do you get on the nor-cal vail/talon team?
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Re: College recruiting - Finding the Right School

Postby DlaxDad » Mon Oct 18, 2010 9:46 pm

Lamo lax, I assume you're a youth player. I'm pretty out of touch with youth lacrosse, boarding only a high school senior at home these days, but I hope someone else can answer your question.

I think that last year the NCJLA sent a team to the U 15 national championship tournament in Florida that did quite well. That team was formed after a try out. There were also Festival teams that played under the auspices of the NCJLA.
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Re: College recruiting - Finding the Right School

Postby SkylineCoach » Mon Oct 18, 2010 9:55 pm

Emails go out in spring to A team coaches, asking for nominees to tryouts. There's a day set aside for tryouts in an April afternoon, all the game schedulers know in advance not to have A games at that time.

There's a second round of tryouts after the first cut, where kids who've make teams are grouped on National- and Festival- level Tournament teams. Vail is a "festival", but the top 2-3 finishers are invited to a national tournament. Other tournaments, like Baltimore & Ohio, are national qualifiers from the start, with sometimes half the teams being considered.

Tryouts are very competitive and have everything to do with fundamentals, coachability, and readiness, and nothing to do with your best trick shot, flow, or helmet tilt.

Edit - I wish this hadn't distracted from the excellent thread on College recruiting. I only answered because that last sentence is also how you make a college team, not just a U13 or U15 Norcal team. :wink:
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