Ladies Recruiting Advice from Katie Rhodes of Colgate

We had a chance to catch up with Coach Rhodes of Colgate University, a strong liberal arts school in Hamilton, NY. Coach Katie Rhodes is entering her first season as assistant coach for the Colgate women’s lacrosse program. This year she begins her career at Colgate after two years at the University of Detroit Mercy as an assistant coach. She coached Detroit’s goalie to Atlantic Sun Defensive Player of the Year where the goalie was second in the nation in saves and sixth in the saves per game in 2012. She also helped the Detroit Mercy Titans make it to their first conference championship that year with a record of 3-1. With five first team selections, three second team, and a freshmen making the all-rookie team Coach Rhodes helped the Titans improve their record substantially from a 3-15 record to an 8-9 in 2012, which was a program record for wins in a season. We’ll hear from Coach Rhodes about what this Division I coach looks for when she is recruiting and how you can best position yourself as a player in search of a college.

1. What advice do you have for players interested in Division I schools?

Be sure to contact coaches yourself, don’t have your parents, it shows you are proactive and mature. It is also okay to have your club coaches reach out as well. When visiting campus, make sure you set up times to meet with coaches, don’t just show up unannounced. If you show up unannounced, you run the risk of the coach being in meetings, going over film amongst many other things and needless to say, not available to meet with you. Also before visiting, know what the school stands for academically, socially and financially before you visit, the lacrosse team may be a great fit for you, but the course-load and cost of the school may not. You should want to be at the school regardless of lacrosse.

2. What is the best way for players to get on your recruiting radar?

E-mail coaches with all your athletic and academic information, highlight video with club and high school team footage, tournament schedule, and why you are interested in Colgate, not just Colgate lacrosse. We like to see footage of player’s club and high school teams because it allows us to see how players perform on different teams. In that footage, we want to see the entire play, don’t just show fifteen clips of you scoring on the run, allow for us to see the play develop, your off-ball movement, even if you lose the ball or get beaten, we want to see how you react after that or how you recover. Be specific with your tournament schedule and include your jersey number for each team, what time you are playing, and what field if you have that information. Our camps and clinics are also huge for us because we get to meet you face-to-face, have you hang out with the team and get to know you a little more.

3. What type of player’s do you primarily look for, a raw athlete or refined lacrosse player?

It’s about a 60 / 40 mix of raw athleticism to talent. You can’t teach heart, hustle, athleticism and a killer instinct, but you can teach lacrosse fundamentals. There is always a learning curve when entering DI, so a player must be sharp and able to adjust. To put it simply, we recruit versatility.

 

4. What areas of player development would you recommend players to focus on?

There are four things every player should focus on:

1. Stick skills – You can get on a wall anywhere – 20 minutes on a wall everyday will make a big difference in your ball handling

2. Speed and field sense – Play as much as you can – Keep playing other sports, there are a lot of transferrable skills and knowledge (vision, playing with different athletes)

3. Stay in shape – Do strength and conditioning workouts so you aren’t shellshocked when you get to college. DI players have strength and conditioning, weights and practice all in a row on the same day

4. Don’t burn out – Again, play other sports and keep lacrosse fun

5. How has the accelerated recruiting landscape impacted your approach to recruiting?

Right now we are going with it because we have to keep up with everyone else, but hoping for a change. We see talented players at a young age right now, but it is difficult to foresee what they will develop into. We don’t want to pressure a young player into a decision because it is so early, especially given how academically strict it is to get into Colgate. As I mentioned earlier, we want to make sure the player likes the school for the school and that they aren’t committing just because their friends are all committing to schools or because they want to be a part of our lacrosse program.

6. What are your do’s and don’ts, likes and dislikes of recruiting videos?

Put your name, the team you play on in the video and your jersey number for that team. Don’t show just your best highlights, show as much of yourself as you can in the video. For example, if you’re a goalie, show us saves in the cage, out of the cage, clears, behind the cage play or for a defenseman, caused turnovers and transition to the offense. Again, we want to see the play develop and how you react to different situations.

ConnectLAX is a third party recruiting service and not affiliated with or endorsed by Colgate University or Katie Rhodes.

Born and raised in Auburn, New York; Nick spent his childhood with a lacrosse stick in hand. Nick was a D1 midfielder at Fairfield University in Connecticut. Nick has been in New York City for 5 years and is in pursuit of his dream of growing the sport of lacrosse so it receives the recognition, following and continued growth it deserves.

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