Recruiting Interview with Fairfield Men’s Lacrosse Head Coach Andy Copelan
As we are all aware by now, lacrosse is no longer just the fastest game on two feet; it is also the fastest growing sport in the US. With that said, it is much more competitive to find a college roster spot than it was in the past, but with the right plan, drive, and determination, the collegiate experience as a lacrosse player is closer than you think.
ConnectLAX has the resources to help players find schools that fit their personality, academic and athletic goals as well as their financial parameters. Players can create a list of target schools for free and coupled with their recruiting profile, can start taking control of their recruiting process with confidence and direction.
With more and more players looking for a limited number of roster spots, coaches are looking for players that can stand out on the field and in the classroom. This means players need to work not only harder, but smarter. Training more outside of practice, not being content with natural ability and striving to reach their full potential as a player all while remaining focused on their academics.
Hard work, strong academic standing, and versatility ultimately are key. Coaches are looking for athletic ability and speed, which comes from personal training when the stadium lights are off, not just playing in another game.
Focus on getting your game in front of the coaches you’re interested in: know where the camps they host are and try to attend as many as you can, make sure your academic and athletic information is well-organized in one place, and be realistic and positive. If you plan ahead and execute properly, your decision will ultimately be one you cherish for a lifetime.
We sat down with Head Coach Andy Copelan of Fairfield University, a team that has year-over-year reeled in some of the most talented players in the country, to get his recruiting advice for West Coast players.
1. What advice do you have for West Coast players interested in Division I schools, which are primarily located on the East Coast?
Be sure to contact coaches with your highlight film, contact information and also be sure to have a list of references. More importantly, have a plan on how you plan to get noticed. Playing Division I is unrealistic without having a plan on how to go about getting in front of a coach.
2. What is the best way for West Coast players to get on your recruiting radar?
Again, have a plan and also be sure to show initiative. One of the best ways to do this is to attend the prospect days (camps) of their school. This will require you to travel, but this way you can guarantee you will be getting in front of that particular coach, most of whose summer schedules are challenging and many times unpredictable. Also have 5-8 schools on your list so you can make your trip worthwhile.
3. What type of players do you primarily look for, a raw athlete or refined lacrosse player?
The first thing we look for is speed and raw athletic ability and after that it really depends position to position. Defense for example, we want someone big, an imposing presence, but then for attack, we look for someone who is quick, unselfish, has good intuition, can play with two hands and puts up points. Something else we look for are players that have a versatile set of skills and aren’t just a “one-trick pony.” This means not relying solely on that one move that works every time, be versatile. Lastly, an important common theme in all our players that is a must are those who are mentally and physically tough. Players that have that “old school” mentality, guys who aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves and go to work regardless of the circumstances.
4. What areas of player development would you recommend West Coast players focus on to elevate their game?
Something I believe to be true that I first heard from Coach Cottle when I was the assistant at Maryland, was, “if you stay the same, you get worse.” The best thing a West Coast player who is not exposed to a lot of competition can do is become a better student of the game. Watch game film and off-ball movements. It’s easy to follow the ball around, but so much more happens outside of that. Play on teams that have a variety of players from other areas to learn through experience other styles of players. Don’t fall into the “lax-bro” mentality and play only because it’s cool, play because you love the game and challenge yourself, find where the best competition is and play both with and against them.
5. How has the accelerated recruiting landscape impacted your approach to recruiting?
We try and not pass judgment because everyone has their reasons; we just choose not to participate in it. Right now we feel that it’s a buyer’s market for coaches, there are plenty of talented players and right now we would rather take the best 10 than the first 10. We also feel it is also important that players go through the recruiting process, look at schools and make the right decision.
ConnectLAX.com helps players maximize their recruiting exposure with mobile recruiting profiles linked to their team roster. Recruits can create their recruiting profile and target list of colleges for free. ConnectLAX team recruiting helps coaches manage and promote their players. Learn more about registering your team at Connectlax.com/recruiting. ConnectLAX is a third party recruiting service and not affiliated with or endorsed by Fairfield University.
ConnectLAX is a third party recruiting service and not affiliated with or endorsed by the Fairfield University or Andy Copelan.