Recipe for Recruitment

Going through the recruiting process can be stressful especially when you do not even know where to begin.  There are many steps that should be taken in order to have the potential opportunity to play at the next level.  Having all the information about the basics of getting recruited can make those vital summers of your high school career a lot easier.

It is especially important to understand that you should never assume that your time has passed to get noticed by a coach.  The acceleration of the recruiting process has been a large topic of conversation amongst the prospects in the lacrosse world, but that still does not mean that all hope is lost for rising juniors and seniors.  There is a large percentage of coaches that have said they still evaluate their senior players, as well other coaches who have said although a large part of their senior class has been filled, they still look for independent players at camps or tournaments.  So never assume and always be open to opportunities and chances to get yourself noticed by coaches.

Take note of these tips and statistics for typical questions that parents and players have about recruitment. Keep them in the back of your mind during your own process, but do not over think! Just play your game.

1) Where do I go to get noticed by coaches?

A lot of times players are concerned that they are not getting enough face time with coaches and will not even get the chance to be seen by them. Finding yourself a solid club team with a trustworthy coach is VERY important.  This way you have a team to compete with at tournaments, which 40% of college coaches say is their main hunting grounds for spotting their recruits.  When attending tournaments you should absolutely send emails out to coaches for schools that you are interested in, letting them know exactly where you are playing, against who, what time and your basic profile and information so they can come watch you play.

Attending camps is another very important place to get on a coaches radar. Camps are unique from tournaments because a lot of the time coaches are the ones running stations and drills, so you can have a hands on experience with them.  38% of coaches find camps to be very telling and informative when coming to a decision about who will be on their team.  While camps are a great way for players to meet coaches and look to see what coaching style they like, camps are also a great place for coaches to look to see what players are coachable, as well as what players can perform well in any setting, with anyone.

When sending out an email to a coach letting them know you are interested in their team and school, a lot of the time, coaches say that including a highlight reel will boost their inclination to respond.  Having film on your original email gives coaches a visual of your skills and abilities right away so they can see if you are the type of player they would be interested in pursuing.

2) What are coaches really looking for in a player?

Technical and refined skills are a very important part of the game and obviously something that coaches look for in a player when watching or coaching them. So never abandon WALL BALL! However, at the same time raw, athletic ability, hustle and attitude are just as important, if not more.

Coaches really look for players who naturally have the things they cannot teach. Hustle is one of the most highlighted things when coaches explain what they look for in their recruits.

Attitude is also something that should never be overlooked or under appreciated.  Coaches notice if a player can work well with any one and/or any team, and if they share the ball. While at the same time, also players who are not afraid to get the ball.  Drexel Head Coach Hannah Rudloff says, “we as coaches definitely look for signs that you are mentally tough and focused as we watch you play.”

3) How do I get about making a decision when committing?

Although committing early is exciting and something every player (and parent) would love to have happen, committing to schools is not something that should be rushed.

>Take your time committing.  Find a school that is right for you not just based off of lacrosse alone, (even though that is extremely important), but financially, educational and locationally.

> Find a team and coach that you see yourself doing well with.  Having a relationship with teammates is one of the most important parts of playing a college sport.  That being said, keep an open mind when it comes to meeting new people.

>As corny as it sounds, follow your heart and your instincts. A lot of times when players are committing they go on visits to campuses, meet players and take tours. Many times girls have said that when they find their school they know right away.  Sometimes you can just tell you will love a school by the feel of it and the people around you.  At the same time, do not get frustrated if you do not seem to be falling in love with a school right away. Good things take time and there is a school (and team) out there for everyone!11089659-large

Be confident in who you are as a player and person and do everything you can to stand out and be unique from others.  But remember it’s not a race so do not ever give up! @ConnectLAX

 

Top Recruiting Camps for Girls

Playing lacrosse in high school is just one part in the steps that need to be taken in order to get recruited to the next level.  Finding yourself a strong club team is the next move in the recruiting process, while signing up for summer camp is just another way to ensure you get on college coaches radar as a stand out player. Finding the right camp can be a difficult process and it is definitely important to go somewhere that will make sure you get the right attention to mold your skills, as well as the potential to be taught and/or watched first hand by college coaches.

Throughout the summer of 2015 and previous summers before that, there have been camps that have proven themselves as standouts, causing players to not only improve lacrosse skills physically, technically and mentally, but also have gotten players recruited to the next level.

Here is a list of noteworthy camps for high school girls looking to make it to the next level:

1) Elite 180 (Keen State, Keen, NH)

Elite 180 is known for having very close individual attention to each player in order to give them a full picture of what the recruiting process is like and what is necessary for a player to do in order to get on a coaches recruiting map.

“Elite 180 provides a wonderful perception of DIII lacrosse, as well as the ability to play competitively. This camp was beneficial for me during my recruiting process and I would definitely recommend it to other high school student athletes.”

2) Maximum Exposure (University of Maryland and Loyola University, Baltimore area)

Every single current college coach attends Maximum Exposure, which is an advanced camp to develop the skills of players, as well as expose them in front of coaches to prepare them for the next level.  This camp is available for rising juniors and seniors.

“Maximum Exposure has become a more important stop for Freshman and Sophomore players with DI aspirations. There are a few ‘diamond in the rough,’ players who will get noticed in the older age groups. But for the most part, the older players are either committed or going DIII.”

3) Northeast 215 (Kimball Union Academy, Meridan, NH)

Northeast 215 is made up of some of the brightest minds in lacrosse, all of whom guide and instruct players through the 3-day camp that include various drills, games, coaching talks, and scrimmages. Campers will work directly with the staff and be instructed in high-level technical and tactical components of the game.

“I found this camp to be extremely beneficial during my recruiting process. NT215 pulled coaches from the Northeast and beyond. It gave me the exposure I needed with some top schools. I’d recommend it to any high school player looking to play competitively at the next level.”

4) Super Sophs (Greenwhich HS, CT)

This one day show case is primarily for rising juniors to exemplify their skills in front of a vast group of college coaches.  The show case is comprised of about 200 players to ensure that each camper will be able perform and be noticed in front of the coaches.  Players and parents also take part in a recruiting seminar so they have all the available knowledge about the recruiting process.

“Super Sophs was a great one-day format that supplied us with both information and exposure we did not find at many other events.”

5) FLG Premier Girl’s Showcase (Long Island University, Brookville, NY)

FLG is a one-day showcase event for coaches to monitor players’ games throughout the day.  Throughout the day and once the day is finished, coaches can request players profiles and information in order to find out more about the players they have put on their radar.

“FLG is a first-class program, and this event promises to be in-line with the organizations reputation.”

6) Nike Top of the Class (Governor’s Academy, Byfield, MA)

This camp is unique because college coaches run each of the stations that are provided during the camp’s sessions giving players individual guidance and professional advice from coaches across the country.  This ensures that each camper will be personally attended to and will allow them to receive valuable insight on how to improve their game.

“This camp is really fun and challenging. You are provided many chances to learn skills as well as display your own. The coaches and counselors are helpful and very approachable for any questions you have. I would recommend this camp to anybody who is interested in competitive lacrosse.”

7) Northstar Invitational (Northwood School, Lake Placid, NY)

The Northstar Invitational was developed as an invite-only camp for the nation’s very best high school girls lacrosse players to compete and perform within a format which best showcases their abilities to top college coaches.  This invitational will secure the chance to be seen first hand in front of coaches all across the country.

“Northstar allows coaches to evaluate the hand-selected talent from across the country, all in one prime location. The structure and format of Northstar allows coaches to watch and evaluate athletes across all different aspects of the game. I look forward to seeing the highest level of talent in what promises to be one of the most competitive environments within the women’s recruiting landscape. Northstar provides the perfect opportunity for young girls who are invited to showcase their abilities, and ultimately bring their game to the highest level.”

8) Triple Threat (Episcopal HS, Alexandria, VA)

Triple Threat is an extensive 4 day camp that works players to improve on their skills technically and physically.  Each camper is put into a group based off of their age (10th-12th grade) as well as their skills in order for each player to get the right attention they need to advance their game.

“I have sent a number of my players to this camp. It is a high octane camp where girls get better over four days. It is also nice that the coaches on staff are so hands on.”

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Enroll in any of these camps and you will have the chance to improve your lacrosse skills AND make sure to be exposed in front of some of the best colleges coaches across the country!

Nike Looks to Make Bigger Lacrosse Jump with Help of Thompson Brothers

The video above is one of Nike’s newest commercial spots which is entitled “Short A Guy”.  The basic premise of the advertisement is that a Nike clad kid is pulled into games by professional athletes because their pick-up teams need an extra player.  Many big name athletes make appearances such as Anthony Davis, Mike Trout, and Mia Hamm.  However, there are a few faces that may be familiar to lacrosse fans only.  Miles and Lyle Thompson make their debut for the Swoosh.

The addition of the two Onondaga Native Americans spells huge things for the game of lacrosse.  By including lacrosse in their most recent national advertisement, Nike has made it apparent that it is focusing on this growing sport.  Nike has made equipment for several years now and have also sponsored some of the NCAA’s elite teams (Syracuse, Johns Hopkins, UNC) but the move to sign two of the games most prolific stars indicates that Nike is gearing up to take a bigger bite out of the market.

Additionally, Nike has sponsored an event at their World Headquarters in Oregon that they have deemed “The Ride”, which is a four day event for 100 of the nation’s best boys and girls lacrosse players.  The Thompson brothers were in attendance as well as ESPN analyst and former Johns Hopkins star Quint Kessenich.

 

Do you think that Nike can dominate lacrosse as they have done with other sports?  Are the Thompsons the players who can help this brand have success?  Comment below and follow @ConnectLAX.

College Commitment Phobia? Here are 5 Things to Help You Make Your Decision About Where to Play

Here you are, the end of the summer before your senior year of high school and your last summer of club lacrosse, and you still have no clue where you want to go to college to play lacrosse. All that you know for sure is that you definitely do want to play. Sure, you’ve been in contact with 8-10 college coaches, letting them know what tournaments you’ll be at throughout the summer. But, there is still something about the process that is keeping you up at night.

Every night at the dinner table, your parents ask those few questions that send your mind into overdrive…..”So have you sent out any emails this week?….Have you thought of anywhere else you want to visit?…What are your top three schools as of right now?” Most of your teammates already have their top 3 schools picked out, if not their top school, and at this point they’re just waiting for signing day to sign that little piece of paper confirming their decision. You know it’s almost time to take that leap of faith, and make that decision, but honestly, the thought of signing the next four years of your life away to a college is nothing short of absolutely frightening for you.

Here are 5 things that may (or may not) help you to make this frightening, yet exciting decision:

1. Understand that lacrosse, or no lacrosse, this will be your home for the next 4 years. This is extremely important to remember, as things do happen, and if you decide that playing collegiate lacrosse is not for you, or if you (by some chance) become injured and cannot play, you should still be happy about the school that you have chosen. Although it is possible to transfer if you become unsatisfied with your experiences on campus, you should never choose a school just for their lacrosse program. There is so much more that schools have to offer, and you should be looking for a school that will give you the overall experience you are looking for. Continue reading…

Who’d Make Up the Mount Rushmore of Loyola Men’s Lacrosse?

Loyola Maryland’s Men’s Lacrosse has always produced top players in the NCAA. Below are the four fantastic players that made the cut for the consideration of “Who would make up the ‘Mount Rushmore’ of Loyola Maryland’s Men’s Lacrosse.

1. Defenseman Joe Fletcher (2011-14) – Finalist for the Tewaaraton Award – college lacrosse’s version of the Heisman Trophy – and only the second defenseman in the award’s 15-year history to be named a finalist… Winner of the William C. Schmeisser Award given to the country’s outstanding defenseman in 2014… One of the university’s two multiple first-team All-Americans, in 2013 and 2014… Third in school history in career caused turnovers with 76.

2. Midfielder Mark Frye (1996-99) – University’s first two-time first-team All-American in 1998 and 1999… 12th in school history in all-time goals with 93… Greyhounds went 42-13 with Frye on the team and advanced to the NCAA tournament quarterfinals in each of his last three seasons.

3. Attackman Gary Hanley (1978-81) – Three-time All-American who achieved first-team status in 1981… School record-holder in career points (311), goals (151), and assists (160)…. Owner of top three single-season performances in points (89 in 1981, 86 in 1980, and 83 in 1979) and three of top four in assists (45 each in 1980 and 1979 and 42 in 1981)… Sparkplug who registered five goals and two assists in the 1981 squad’s 17-14 loss to Adelphi in the NCAA Division II tournament final.

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Recruiting Insight from Drexel Head Coach Hannah Rudolff

Hannah Rudloff begins her third year at the head of the Drexel women’s lacrosse team (@DrexelWLax) in 2015-16 season. She was named the head women’s lacrosse coach in July of 2013 after putting in three admirable seasons as assistant coach from 2010-2013, in which she worked very closely to fine tune the Drexel attacking unit.  Rudloff proved to be a strong head coach from the very start as she led the team to victory over Philadelphia’s rivals. Her teams have gone 4-1 against local rivals in her two years, including a perfect 2-0 mark against Villanova and La Salle in 2015.

Rudloff won her first game as a collegiate head coach in the Dragons’ opener in 2014, swiftly taking down George Washington 12-7. She would add victories over local rivals La Salle and Saint Joseph’s making a name for herself right from the beginning.  Rudloff’s 9-8 win over Towson was just another highlight in her career to prove that she was the right choice for the head coach at Drexel.  That victory handed the Tigers just their third regular season CAA loss in the past four seasons.

Rudloff has been responsible for coaching three All-CAA performers and an IWLCA All-Region honoree during her time as the Dragons’ head coach, and also played a huge part in mentoring 2014 Mary Semanik Award winner Amanda Norcini. Under Rudloff’s strong leadership during her time as an assistant, the women’s lacrosse team made notable strides in the Colonial Athletic Association. The Dragons made the 2011 CAA Championship tournament for the first-time in program history, while in the next two years the Dragons continued to play in the post-season, after achieving the program’s most CAA wins with four.

In her previous years before becoming a huge impact at Drexel, Rudloff served as the assistant coach at Marist for the 2010 season for both the offensive and defensive units. She provided the team with strong insight about the game as well as her affective leadership. Rudloff helped the Red Foxes defeat Fairfield in the MAAC Championship Final to earn an NCAA Tournament entry.

Rudloff’s skills do not stop short at coaching as she graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2009, where she fueled the Quakers to three undefeated Ivy League seasons. Rudloff and the Quakers moved on to the NCAA Final Four in each of her final three seasons at UPenn. This included reaching the NCAA championship game in her junior season. She attended nearby West Chester East High School where she earned First Team All-America selection in 2005.

nmfRE8hB1) What advice do you have for players interested in Division I schools?

My best advice is to think about why you’re really interested in playing Division I.  It’s a big commitment, it’s fiercely competitive, and at the end of the day it will be the bulk of your college experience.  Have a good answer for why you want to play DI as opposed to DII or DIII.  If your focus is becoming the best individual lacrosse player you can be, and you are excited by the prospect of working extremely hard to help your team win championships, then you’re on the right track.  I love it when a recruit comes into my office and isn’t afraid to say that they are willing to do what it takes to win a championship.

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

All college coaches get emails all the time, but the best way to get on my radar is to include two things in the body of the email – 1) A specific reason why they are interested in my school and program.  It could be that we offer a certain major, it could be location, it could be that you are excited by the schedule we play.  This piece shows effort on your part and shows us that we’re not just getting a blast email.  But more importantly it tells me that I wouldn’t be wasting my time if I choose to recruit you, because you genuinely already have thought about why you’d want to attend my school.  2) Include a short highlight video.  Stats can only tell so much.  If I can watch a couple minutes on you, that will at least give me a baseline of your athletic ability – speed, agility, awareness, etc.

3) What type of players do you primarily look for, a raw athlete or refined lacrosse player?

We like to recruit a mix of players that are raw athletes and players that are refined in their skills.  There are a lot of roles to be filled on the field, and there are a huge variety of types of players that can fill those roles.

4) What areas of player development would you recommend players focus on to elevate their game?

I’d focus on the mental side of the game as early as you can.  Can you push through the last rep of a tough workout?  Can you make a great play to get the ball back after you turn it over?  Can you understand the flow of a game and make decisions appropriately on the field?  These are skills that are vital at the highest level of the game, and ones that take the longest to develop, so we as coaches definitely look for signs that you are mentally tough and focused as we watch you play.

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

I think the accelerated recruiting timelines have lead us to do a lot more homework before we become invested in a player.  A player might look flashy early on, but we want to know if she’s playing other sports, if she has the work ethic to keep improving over her high school career, if she’s applying herself in school. We talk to their club coaches, their high school coaches, anyone who knows the player.  The kids that have had the most success coming through our program are ones that their coaches can’t stop talking about, and so we really take that into consideration early in the process.

 6) Are there any last pieces of advice for players and families you’d like to share?

As much as coaches like to think we’re in control of the process, we aren’t. You hold the keys to the car.  Take as much time as YOU want to make a college decision.  It’s human nature to want to keep up with teammates who may be making commitments, but if you (or your daughter) hasn’t found a fantastic fit for her yet, don’t stop looking.  If you can’t picture yourself at the school if lacrosse wasn’t in the picture, or if there was a different coach, you should really think hard about whether that school is the right place for you.

ConnectLAX is a third party recruiting service and not affiliated with or endorsed by the Drexel University or Hannah Rudloff. 

Who Will Come Out On Top?

The competition is heating up in the MLL with rookies making lasting impacts, underdogs powering through, and unreal goals being scored left and right.  The current standings have the New York Lizards in first place with a record of 10-2.  Their spot is pretty secured as they have been annihilating all teams in their path.  The Lizards most recent win was against the Denver Outlaws with a score of 18-15.  Rob Pannell, the newly established rookie came away with 7 points leading the team to victory.

The Ohio Machine, Boston Cannons, and Rochester Rattlers all have an equal record of 7-5.  The Machine handily beat the Rattlers in the two teams first face-off on Ohio’s home turf, but Rochester answered back, beating Ohio in a one goal game during the second match up. Rattler’s Rookie Kevin Rice has been raising eyebrows with his memorable performances, including the game winner against Chesapeake in the last two minutes.  The Cannons came out on top versus the Rattlers in an overtime win during their first game, but with another come back the Rattlers blasted past the Cannons in a 13-6 win during the second game.  The Cannons and the Machine will find each other on the field again in the last game of the season, leaving hopes for the Cannons to counter back the teams original loss of 12-19 to Ohio largely due to brick-wall goalie Brian Phipps (21 saves).

The Chesapeake Bayhawks, Florida Launch, Denver Outlaws, and Charlotte Hounds all have a losing record, but have still managed to put up some head-turning plays throughout their competitions.  Lyle Thompson has already made an outstanding impact on the Launch netting 6 goals, including the game winner in their nail-biter win against the Hounds.  Miles Thompson contributed 5 goals giving the Thompsons 11 of the 17 goals proving their status as valuable rookies.  Despite the loss against the Cannons, Charlotte’s specialist Brendan Fowler came away with 21 of the 37 face-offs and controlled most of the possession at “X”.  469495302

The competition level is at its peak right now and the must see championship game will be one for the books.  My vote is the Lizards won’t give up their number 1 spot too easily, yet the Machine have proven they can fight.  However, as we have seen this past MLL season, anything can happen.  So lacrosse fans who will come out on top?

Follow your team for updates: @LizardsLacrosse @BostonCannons @TheBayhawks @Florida_Launch @MachineMLL @CharlotteMLL @RattlersLax @DenverOutlaws 

Potential Shot Clock Coming Soon to Women’s Lacrosse

The discussion over having a shot clock at the collegiate level for Women’s Lacrosse has been an ongoing topic for some time.  Recently, in the June 1st-3rd meetings in Indianapolis, the NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Rules Committee, highly suggested the implementation of the shot clock rule to not only increase the pace of the game but, to also limit the abuse of stalling and shaving time off the clock.

The rule would create a 90-second time period for the offensive team to get a shot off on goal.  If there is no shot taken within that time period, possession will be changed over to the opposing team at the place where time ran out.

The clock will be reset any time a goalie deflects a shot or the ball hits off of the post.  The clock will also be reset any time a defender receives a yellow or red card, in addition to any change of possession during play.  The clock will continue to run down to zero if a shot goes wide or over the net.

Some colleges and universities have been open about their support for the rule change including Syracuse University, who endured almost 3 minutes of stalling from Northwestern in the 2012 final game. Many supporters make the point that the rule would not only increase the intensity and play of the game, but also make watching the sport much more enjoyable, with less standstill play and more fast-paced action. The recent match-up between UNC and Syracuse in the 2015 ACC Championship shows the expectations of how quickly shots should be taken at the higher level.

The Committee hopes for this rule to be approved during the July 16th Conference with the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel.  If this change in the game is approved, it will be established at the D1 level in 2017, and the D2 and D3 levels in 2018.

 

Stars Shine in Under Armour All-American Game

The jerseys may have not been as colorful as years past, but the stars were out to play on July 3rd for the Under Armour All-American game.  The game featured some of the top seniors in the country, with New York state having the most players selected for the game. When it came time for the game, the South team won 25-17 thanks to an outburst in the 3rd quarter.  Let’s check out a few of the players who’s play stood out.

Aside from the expected, which is #1 ranked recruit Ryan Conrad (Virginia commit) dominating with 6 points on 8 shots and some action at face-off, there were many players who’s talents were on display.   Staying in the ACC, Syracuse commit Nick Mellen was a force on the other side of the ball for the North as he led defenders with 6 groundballs.  In a game that’s often full of flash and nifty goals, Mellen’s play stood out.

louis dubick

Louis Dubick is pretty familiar with the back of the net

The other talk of the night was the hat trick duo out of the Maryland University commits.  Both Timmy Monahan and Louis Dubick (Maryland’s all-time leading point scorer) helped carry the South’s offense as they each recorded hat tricks.  Along with filling up the net, Monahan recorded 2 assists, while Dubick kept heavy pressure on the goal, firing off 10 shots over the course of the night.  I feel we might see these names next to each other for a long time as they terrorize the Big Ten together.

It was no coincidence that future stars such as Peter Baum and Myles Jones once dominated these games back in the day. I think we’d be smart to keep an eye on names such as Conrad, Mellen, Monahan and Dubick as they continue their already illustrious careers.

Two in a row for Charlotte…time for a Playoff Push?

During the All-Star break it seemed as if the Charlotte Hounds playoff hopes were already gone.  Fast forward two weeks and all of the sudden the Hounds have beaten the best team in the MLL and gotten revenge against the Denver Outlaws in a 14-11 win.  The Hounds looked like a different team on both sides of the ball against Denver with dominant play and surprising performances from players such as Shamel Bratton.

The Hounds beat the Outlaws on Saturday thanks to a 8 goal 3rd quarter, stellar defensive play and excellent work at the face-off (won 20 out of 26 face-offs).  The Hounds controlled the tempo from the beginning, limiting the former Blue Hen John Grant Jr. to only a couple touches while the Hopkins alum Pierce Bassett made key saves throughout for the Hounds.  Over the past two weeks, the Hounds have given up an average of 11.5 goals per game, which would rank as the 2nd best defense in the league in terms of goals allowed.

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