ConnectLAX Recruiting Profiles Go Mobile

Like everything else, college recruiting has gone mobile. Coaches don’t find you while surfing the Internet; they see you on the field. They look over their shoulder and say “hey, who’s that number 24.” As a recruit, you want to have that information at their fingertips, which is exactly what a ConnectLAX mobile recruiting profile provides. Oh yeah and recruiting plans start for free.

College coaches can bookmark and message you through your recruiting profile and track your tournament schedule. In addition, coaches can review your highlight video and endorsements from your current coaches, all from the convenience of their phone or tablet. College coaches see hundreds of potential recruits every year, separate yourself from the pack by helping coaches evaluate your skills and profile together.

There’s no question lacrosse recruiting has evolved. Travel teams provide increased exposure to college coaches, who enjoy the ability to see many recruits at once competing against top opposition. At ConnectLAX, we know a recruiting profile is only the first step. Making it mobile and then tying it to your travel or high school team maximizes your exposure. Coaches are able to find you by pulling up your team’s roster as well.

“I see a lot of recruits at a bunch of tournaments, and the ability to evaluate a recruit’s profile while watching them live and then share that player with my staff makes it easier for us to screen and ultimately get him on our recruiting radar” says Carl Festa, head coach at The College of Wooster.

Create your free, mobile recruiting profile at Connectlax.com.

ConnectLAX believes recruiting success = skill x exposure + knowledge. We help recruits develop their skills by working with a private instructor and attending the right camps. Players maximize their exposure to college coaches with mobile recruiting profiles tied to their teams. Knowledge of the recruiting process comes from working with our personal recruiting coaches and reviewing step-by-step recruiting guide, written for today’s accelerated recruiting environment. Find your college matches and recruiting success at ConnectLAX.com.

http://www.lacrosseplayground.com/connectlax-recruiting-profiles-go-mobile-to-maximize-player-exposure/

Thanksgiving Throwdown: Generation Grudgematch

There are a lot of awesome things about Thanksgiving. Football, food and of course, beating on your siblings in the backyard. It’s fun to see the game played across generations and genders and still somehow make sense. The rules are simple, take everything back and lose a point if you hit the dog with a bad pass.

Oh and it’s referee by committee, nothing like seeing your 8 year old sister rip into her dad for a bad pass that cost them. It’s also great how somehow the same team wins every year, yet it’s always close.

This year Christmas came early as 33plays sent over a backyard net system for our annual thanksgiving throwdown. The winners we’re clear, the youngest brother who inevitably has to chase down most balls and our neighbors, who were able to walk by their windows without looking out for a shot gone awry.

The nets were easy to set up and best of all, they flexed back when you fell into them, so body checks were still allowed behind the cage. Lacrosse is predominately a northeast sport and the northeast is predominately filled with trees. Translation, balls disappear, a lot. The net helped a lot so we could focus on our game instead of arguing about who had to chase balls. More time playing, less time chasing.

Back to the game, per usual, it broke down into two point shots with no one daring to run through the teeth of the defense, even if it was made up of teen and pre-teen girls and a dad with a wooden stick. The win was secured with a long 5-hole role shot and the losers did the traditional 20 push-ups. Sweet, sweet victory.

I also noticed that anyone who uses a goal protector like our black and white menacing dude is shooting for the corners, which is what you should be doing anyway. Shooting for corners obviously means more balls are just missing the cage than going down the center. Our net was perfect for catching these near misses. Thanks again to John Griffin at 33plays, check them out at 33plays.com. And enjoy your holiday.

Stache You Next Season: Movember

Though this is the last week of Movember, part of me still feels that we won’t have to wait until next Movember to see another string of mustaches.  “Championship staches,” are amongst the many superstitious means in which teams try and continue their win streaks, so keep your social media devouring eyes open for the resurrection of the mustache this spring 2014 season.

We’ve seen an assortment of mustaches ranging from the entire band of Lynard Skynyrd, to handle-bars, goetees, pencils, and Super Marios.  Our team mostly consisted of 1970’s versions of Alex Trebek, make of that what you’d like.  Regardless of how strange the first days of rocking a mustache felt, we knew we were doing what our representatives at Movember HQ wanted us to do, that being strike up a conversation because of our mustache.

With the fun of Movember ending and winter quickly making its presence known, one feeling in particular tends to start to boil up in many of us…anxiety.  As I’ve said in my other articles, Movember was not only created to raise awareness for testicular and prostate cancer, but also overall men’s health, that includes mental health.  In today’s article I will talk about some early signs of anxiety, negative affects it can have and also ways to cope with it.

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Connecting the Dots on Coaches Thoughts

Quint Kessenich recently wrote an article reacting to the decrease of age among high school recruits.  Here, he gives keen insight as to what college coaches are asking themselves when recruiting a player, and it’s not all about his/her lacrosse skills.  Let’s look at a few of the questions that stood out to me the most.

How will he fit into the culture of our university, socially and academically?

All universities are different in their team chemistry, social scene, and academic rigor.  Therefore when a coach has recruiting power, it becomes their responsibility to make sure the recruit is a good fit for the “student” side of “student-athlete”.  An example of how college social scenes differ is the team’s policy on fraternity life.  Some coaches will allow you to rush for the largest frat on campus, and others won’t allow you to rush at all.  My coach fell under the latter category with the belief that one’s teammates should be the brothers.  As for academics, the structure of classes can be a deciding factor for recruits.  So whenever you get a chance to speak with a coach, ask him how long a term is, how many hours of class a week do you take, how many courses do you take at once, what time of day do classes usually occur, and how does team practice fit in with my class schedule for X major?  Trust me, you’ll want to know if you’ll have 6 am practices once or twice a week, or a consistent practice schedule in the afternoon.  Like I said, every program is different, so make sure you know ahead of time.

Can you trust him?

I love how vague this question is.  It shows how their is no checklist for coaches to consult for a recruit.  The recruiting process is truly a communicative process where two parties form a relationship.  The most nerve racking thing for me in my process was calling coaches, but having a conversation with a person is the best way for them to get to know the real you.  Over email you can refine your sentences to make yourself sound smarter or harder working, but the phone is a great tool for communicating your honest self.  My advice is to just talk lax with them any chance you get.  Don’t be scared. Their job is to communicate with athletes, so it’ll flow better than you think.

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Recruiting Importance of Travel Teams

The role of travel or HS club teams in lacrosse has grown significantly as college recruiting landscape has become increasingly competitive over the past few years (why? supply and demand). Change is scary; which is why this trend alarms some. But it is simply the natural byproduct of lacrosse recruiting following the recruiting timeline of college basketball, where AAU teams dominate the recruiting landscape.

Why is lacrosse recruiting so competitive like basketball when the pros don’t make much money? The reason is because lacrosse is a great tool to get into your dream school and get an education and network that will set you up for long-term success. Many of the country’s top universities have lacrosse programs. Back to travel teams.

Simply put, it is easier for college coaches with limited recruiting budgets to travel to “All-Star” tournaments and see many top players at once than travel to individual high school games that overlap with the college season. Further, coaches want to see how recruits compete against strong competition.

Travel teams are a great way to meet other players passionate about playing college lacrosse. Travel team coaches, many of which played in college, are often well informed about the recruiting process and have seen where previous recruits succeeded but also tripped up along the way. Their experience and relationships can be of great resource and help you identify college programs that fit you well. To jumpstart your researching of college programs; get a free, personalized list of target colleges here.

To make sure college coaches can find and track you while playing in recruiting tournaments. Make sure your mobile, recruiting profile is tied to your Travel team so coaches can find you on the field.

Good luck!

Movember Week 2: Class is in session

Now that we are officially six days into the month of Movember, mustaches are a’plenty. It’s great to see so many people participating and we’ve even already raised $125! This being our first year, we did not anticipate the mustache competition we would encounter; there are staches of such authority that they could earn the respect of great historical mustache men such as:

Wyatt Earp – Famous “Untouchable”

Wyatt_earp

and

Doc Holiday – One of Wyatt’s boys and fellow mustache enthusiast

Doc_holliday

Judging by our competition, we may have to institute a recruiting plan for next year’s cause…or can the ConnectLAX + Pinkwhales superteam make some sizable impressions. For your viewing pleasure, we wanted to give you our latest updates of our “manstaches” and will continue to do so week by week.  In addition to our handsome mugs, there will also be the first installment of men’s health and preventative cancer education in the spirit of Movember.

You may be wondering, what is prostate cancer and what is your prostate?

“The prostate is a gland forming part of the male reproductive system. It is located immediately below the bladder and just in front of the bowel” and to save you the uncomfortable details, I will summarize it by saying it is very important in reproduction.

This brings us to our next question: What is prostate cancer?

“Prostate cancer occurs when some of the cells of the prostate reproduce much more rapidly than in a normal prostate, causing a tumor. If left untreated prostate cancer cells may eventually break out of the prostate and invade distant parts of the body, particularly the bones and lymph nodes, producing secondary tumors, a process known as metastasis. Once the cancer escapes from the prostate, treatment is still possible but is more intensive and difficult. If appropriate treatment begins while the cancer is still confined to the prostate gland, it is possible to prevent the progression of the disease.”

The thing that is tricky about this disease is that majority of the time the cancer develops with little to no symptoms, however, if this is diagnosed and treated early, there is a 97% success rate.

The big take-away from this should be, early detection is key. This doesn’t mean you have to run out and go get checked right away, but it is highly recommended you speak with your doctor about your chances of developing prostate cancer. Many of the factors include family history, age, ethnicity, and lifestyle (I’m talking to you couch potatoes).

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ConnectLAX Movember: The Stache

To most, November is just another month of cornucopias, turkey, fallen leaves of yellow, orange and red contrasted against trendy fall jackets.  But in the most recent years, an old symbol of strength, wisdom and ferocity has begun to rise from the ashes, that thing being…the MOUSTACHE!

November has cleverly been coined MOVEMBER, a month in which gentlemen of all shapes, sizes, color and creed join together to put away their razor for a month to grow a moustache in order to raise awareness for prostate and testicular cancer as well as overall men’s health.

Guys, mind you, the ladies, are doing a very good job at staying alive longer than us fellows year after year.  Statistically, the average life expectancy for American men is almost five years less than women (presently 76 compared to 81).  Mind you, this is not because men were dealt a poor hand by nature, but evidence shows that women simply just take better care of their health than men.

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How To Grow Your Game Outside of Practice

Dedication to a sport is not as simple as showing up for practice and games; it is more complex than that.  The players you see that rise above and stand out from the group are the players that put in extra work outside of their required duties; they are the people that go “above and beyond.”  Today we are going to go over some of the outside of practice drills and exercises for offensive players to elevate their game.

This Above and Beyond session will consist of three components you can focus on to bolster your game.  First and foremost, the basis of any position in the fastest sport on two feet is…footwork.  Footwork is something that could easily be overlooked simply because it is such a basic part of the game, even before stick-work.  Footwork, proper or improper can potentially be a make or break moment for a player, especially in a one-on-one situation, with seconds left in a tie game, don’t be the guy that gets “burned.”

  • Footwork is key.  A simple, yet effective footwork drill that can be done on any space or terrain is the ladder drill. Watch as former conditioning coach Corey Crane from United States Military Academy takes you through key foot work exercises that are Stride Run, Speed Run, Icky Shuffle, and In-Out Shuffle. These four foot speed exercises will make you nimble and give you a greater ability to react to defensemen, execute your dodges more effectively, as well as ride and play defense more tenaciously.  “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee,” said Mohammed Ali and he was always light and quick on his feet, and look where that got him, LEGEND STATUS.  Elevate your game.  Don’t have a ladder?  ConnectLAX.com offers a free training ladder with the Varsity and MVP recruiting plans.

The second segment of this lesson is improving your reaction time.  Lacrosse is undoubtedly a sport with some of the most unpredictable and chaotic moments that can sometimes lead to opportunity.  The key to vacuuming up that ground ball at full speed through a pile of lumberjack defensemen or catching that pass that was thrown to your ankles while cutting to the cage is not only athleticism, but reaction speed, hand-eye coordination, an improvable skill.   With that said, why wouldn’t you want to be more Wolverine-like?

  • For this drill think Karate Kid when he has chopsticks and is trying to catch the fly; if you don’t know this scene, crawl out from under your rock and watch the movie.  Also, you will need a partner.  To start, stand in front of a tall fence, ball stop, or something similar.  Have your partner throw the ball as if it was a bad pass in a game like situation.  Bounce passes, ground balls, low passes, and high passes.  Continually, you can alternate them throwing 10 reps to each hip side, shoulder, head, ankles, and then mix it up.  This will speed up your reaction times so in games it will become second nature catching a bad or unexpected pass.  For advanced players: try doing this same drill on the run.  Additionally, each player can run side-by-side the length of the field repeating the same actions (you will have your exercise cut out for you with the rendition).

Last but not least, the final segment is building or rebuilding a proper base of fundamentals. Over time players come into their own style of play and create their own habits, some great, some terrible. So it is important to not simply practice, but practice perfectly. Perfect practice makes perfect.

  • Proper technique is very important as a player to keep in mind at practice.  Keeping your game structured and well-groomed is key, this helps to create muscle memory responses, those reactions that happen in the heat of the moment of a game that leave you saying “I don’t even remember thinking about sniping that top corner, it kind of just…happened.”  One drill that is great for this is, our old friend, wallball.  Check out this video for a good base on your routine and also let us know your favorite wallball set!

Happy laxing.

ConnectLAX Partners with Prodigy Launch

ConnectLAX.com recently launched a free college matching service and recruiting profiles. To bring their recruiting profiles to life, ConnectLAX has partnered with Prodigy Launch for the creation of their recruit highlight videos. “Simply put, recruiting profiles need a great highlight video to be effective and highlight videos need a recruiting profile to effectively reach college coaches,” says Gage Mersereau of ConnectLAX. “We reached out to Prodigy Launch because their player isolation and replay editing are the best, and this is what college coaches told us is most important in their evaluation.”

ConnectLAX recruits receive exclusive pricing from Prodigy Launch on their highlight videos. Recruits can get their customized, highlight video created in a few easy steps and in just a few days. In addition, Prodigy Launch has a network of videographers that can come film you in action. “The ConnectLAX recruiting profile is the perfect opportunity for any lacrosse player interested in playing at next level to showcase their talents and find their perfect college fit. We’re excited to be working with ConnectLAX to offer players the best lacrosse, highlight video option to accompany their recruiting profile,” says Matt Burkhead, CEO of Prodigy Launch.

Recruits can learn more and view sample videos here: Highlights.prodigylaunch.com.

ConnectLAX believes successful recruitment = skill x exposure + knowledge. Prodigy Launch highlight videos will bring your game to life for college coaches and ensure it gets shared in the best way possible.

ConnectLAX will also work with Prodigy Launch to get their game highlight videos in their college profiles (e.g. connectlax.com/collegeteam/male-d3-at-stevenson_university). The ConnectLAX directory has over 1,350 collegiate lacrosse teams from club to top Division I programs. Players and parents can create a personalized list of target colleges that match their academic, athletic, social and financial preferences.

Find your college matches for free here: Connectlax.com/colleges.

ConnectLAX has the largest network of private instructors and the biggest camp directory in the US. From private lessons to camps and club teams and on to recruiting, ConnectLAX helps players grow their game. Prodigy is a sports marketing, management and media development company for amateur, collegiate, and professional sports and lifestyle organizations. To learn more at ProdigyLaunch.com.

www.lacrosseplayground.com/connectlax-com-partners-with-prodigy-launch-for-recruiting-highlight-videos/

Why Are There So Many Verbal Commitments in Lacrosse?

The rise in verbal commitments, especially in men’s recruiting, stems from the significant supply and demand imbalance in Division I recruiting. With 67 Division I men’s teams, including 4 independent programs, the slow growth in the number of teams and thus roster spots has been outpaced by the explosive growth in youth participation across the country. There are 91 Division I women’s teams, which has seen more growth in roster spots but remains very competitive.

According to US Lacrosse, more than 1,400 new high school lacrosse teams have been added since 2006. Today, there are more than 170,000 male and 120,000 female high school athletes, a significant increase over the 100,000 male and 70,000 female athletes in 2006.

The below compares the number of high school lacrosse players to Division I lacrosse teams from 2006 to 2012.

Recruiting

In short, Division I recruiting is similar to musical chairs and the number of people playing the game is growing faster than the number of chairs in the game. Players fear there may not be a chair or in this case, a roster position for them if they wait, and therefore look to verbally commit early in the recruiting process. Keep in mind a verbal commitment is non-binding for both the player and coach.

It is important to remember that if you are passionate about playing collegiate lacrosse, there are enough Division I, II, III and club roster spots across the country for most every player and many club teams exist at schools with NCAA varsity programs.

To learn more about this trend and navigating today’s accelerated recruiting landscape, check out to Recruit Handbook.

High School Statistics from: “US Lacrosse 2012 Participation Survey.” US Lacrosse: p., 5.