7 Ways To Grab the Attention of College Coaches
By Coach Damon on May 16, 2016
If you’re interested in getting recruited to play goalie in college, you’re going to have to do some work.
In addition to upping your goalie game and concentrating hard on getting good grades, you’ll also need to get the attention of college coaches so they know who you are.
There are probably the select few dominant keepers out there that have every college coach eating out of their hand. But odds are, that’s not you.
So if you genuinely feel you have what it takes to play lacrosse at the D1, D2, or even D3 level, then how do you go about getting the coaches attention?
Here 7 ways that young lacrosse goalies can do exactly that –
Ideally you’re gathering video footage of every single game you’re playing in.
With an iPhone and a tripod this isn’t terribly hard nowadays.
Try to setup your tripod so its as high as possible relative to the field. This way you can capture the whole play in the shot, not just the goalie’s work.
This will give you a wide body of work from which to select highlights to include in your video.
Then its time to hit the editing room. If you’re not strong with computers, ask a buddy to help you out. With programs like iMovie or Camtasia editing together video is becoming fairly easy.
You want to present the best version of your game. It should be accurate while at the same time showing off you at your best.
The video clip should be no more than 5 minutes long.
Include your information at the very beginning and end of the video so anyone who stumbles upon the video can contact you.
I even recommend you bring the iPhone and tripod to practice and film yourself going through some lacrosse goalie drills so they can get an idea of your work ethic.
For more details on the video, check out my post The Lacrosse Goalie’s Step-by-Step Guide To Getting Recruited.
To get on the coaches radar you’ll always want to initiate contact via email.
You can find coaches emails on the specific university websites.
Here is a template that you can use –
Hi Coach Kirwan / Coach Turner –
I’m Damon Wilson, goalie, class of ’99. I would love to play goalie for the Brown University lacrosse team.
Here is my highlight reel – YOUTUBE LINK HERE.
I’m currently the starting varsity goalie at Montgomery High School (Coach Smith 555-555-5555 / email@example.com) and on the Berkeley Lacrosse Club (Coach Jackson 555-555-5555 / firstname.lastname@example.org).
Attached is my current transcript and my GPA so is 4.0. My SAT score is 2000.
In addition to lacrosse, I also play soccer and wrestle. This summer I will be attending the Denver Shootout tournament on June 1 and I will be attending the Syracuse Goalie Camp on August 1.
I look forward to any feedback you have.
In this email we are doing the following –
- Customizing the email to the specific coaches at the university
- Providing a YouTube link to our 3-5 minute highlight video
- Clearly stating what year of school we’re in
- Providing contact info for our coaches from school or club teams
- Including our grades, transcript, and standardized test scores
- Schedule of camps or tournaments so the coach knows where you’ll be
- No spelling mistakes. Separated paragraphs for easy reading
D1 and D2 coaches can only email you back beginning September 1 of your Junior year. An exception is that they can email you about their camps or prospect days. D3 coaches can email you anytime.
Always spell check your emails! In fact, give it a few proofreads before you hit send to ensure that every word is used correctly and that its extremely professional. Make sure to space out the paragraphs. Including everything in a single paragraph looks horrible and is hard to read.
The purpose of the email outreach is to get the attention of the college coaches.
Depending on the the popularity of their program, these coaches will get overwhelmed with emails, however they (or a recruiting coordinator / assistant coach) do respond.
And when they do, the player needs to respond back.
These emails are developing a relationship between the player and coach leading down the path of getting recruited to play lacrosse at their school. So any correspondence you receive, be sure to reply back in a professional manner.
Even if you’ve decided not to attend a particular university that you once had interested in, the right thing to do is return the coach’s email.
If you’ve got your heart set on playing for a specific school and they’re running a summer camp, attending that camp is a great way to get on the coaches radar.
For example, if you want to play college ball for Johns Hopkins and live in the area, consider attending their camp. Technically, the camp is not affiliated with Johns Hopkins but its run by their head coach Dave Pietramala and you’ll get plenty of exposure to him throughout the camp.
If you’ve already initiated the email correspondence I suggest above, definitely give the coach a heads up that you’ll be attending his camp and that you look forward to meeting him and improving your game at the camp.
Universities’ lacrosse camps are an excellent way to meet not only the coach, but also current players who are working at the camp. In the down time away from the lacrosse field, you can get a better sense of what lacrosse and life is like at that school.
While some schools offer camps, other’s have what is called a showcase or a prospect day.
These are typically one day long events that are run much like college practices with drills, individual or group instruction, and live games.
Similar to the camp, if one of the schools on your list holds a showcase or a prospect day, attending this is a great way to get on that coaches radar and any other coach who happens to be in attendance.
Even if the school doesn’t hold a showcase often times those coaches will attend large showcases held in the area that are put on by companies not affiliated with the school.
You can find camps and showcases with a simple Google search. For example, here are a few –
Given the regionality of top lacrosse programs the best bet for getting maximum exposure is by attending a camp, showcase, or prospect day on the east coast.
However with the rise of lacrosse on the west coast and throughout the USA, more and more coaches are making regional trips to other places like California, Texas, Colorado, Florida, and Michigan.
Be careful not to attend so many events that you burn out. 3-4 per summer is by far the max I’d recommend.
Attending prestigious tournaments near universities that you want to attend is a great opportunity to get the attention of college coaches.
Unfortunately, you probably won’t have much control over which tournaments your school team or club team attends.
But if luck is on your side, it might work out. Say for instance you’d like to play ball at the University of Denver. If your club is playing the Denver Shootout, you’ll be able to get exposure to coaches in the area and those that have travelled in from out of town to recruit and scout.
Again, it’s a great idea to send a nicely worded email to the coach asking him if he’ll be attending X tournament. Or if you know for a fact he’ll be there, letting him know you’ll be in attendance too.
With these tournaments, camps, and showcases you still need to play your best but that’s the topic of another article.
An unofficial visit to a campus is simply one where you are going on your own accord and on your own dime (or your parent’s dime).
You can still do all the things as you could on an official visit like meet with the coach, get a tour, attend a practice, attend a class, etc.
If the coach is at all interested in recruiting you, he’ll agree to an unofficial visit.
Consider these unofficial visits like a job interview. Would you show up to a job interview unprepared wearing ripped jeans and a baggy T-Shirt? No.
The great thing about these unofficial visits is they can happen anytime and there’s no limit as to the number you can do. So the only limit is your travel schedule and your financial situation to make the trip.
Unofficial visits cannot be made during “dead periods” which are typically winter breaks, holidays, etc. so be sure to find out when a school’s dead periods are and avoid them.
Pretty much every school will have an online questionnaire that college coaches use to gather initial details of potential recruits.
Completing this form is another method to grab the attention of college coaches.
Coaches will use this information to continue along with the recruiting process so this is a vital step.
Some universities even have a place to include a link to your highlight reel. I still recommend sending the contact email described earlier but including your link in the questionnaire is also a good idea.
One of the first things coaches will ask potential recruits has nothing to do with the lacrosse field – “How are your grades?”
To get college coaches attention you have to make academics a priority in high school.
Simply put an above average lacrosse player with poor grades will have trouble getting the attention they deserve.
If you’re an elite player, coaches can make exceptions depending on the school. But to play in the Ivy League for example, there’s no exceptions, you have to have the grades.
Recruiting for lacrosse goalies is extremely competitive. So when faced with two goalies with similar lacrosse talent, if one has better grades, he/she gets the advantage.
So while you’re focused on putting up stats in the goal also be extremely focused on putting up stats in the classroom.
A’s and B’s in AP classes with a strong SAT score is ideal.
Some coaches will also take note of an upward trend so if you’ve struggled academically your freshman and sophomore year but can turn it around and show progress your final two years, coaches will take notice.
I am by no means an expert in the recruiting process. I’ve learned a few things here and there in helping my goalies get recruited and in talking with college coaches at camps and on the phone.
Luckily for us, Coach Miller and Coach Kerwick are experts in the recruiting process.
Check out their Recruiting Roadmap product which outlines every step you should take to get recruited.
This roadmap outlines everything you should be doing before starting high school and every year in school. From Freshman year all the way to Senior year, every step you should take to get recruited to play either D1, D2, or D3 lacrosse.
They’ve put out a product that goes into extreme detail about the recruiting process. So instead of emailing me a question, check out this product and I’m sure you’ll find your answer there.
Getting the attention of college coaches can seem like a tough process.
But if you use the 7 methods outlined in this post, the odds of getting in front of the right people will be greatly increased.
Remember that you still need to put the stats on the field and in the classroom. But by outworking everyone in academics and on the field, you’ll be well on your way.
Until next time! Coach Damon