Should High School Coaches Help Their Goalies Get Recruited?
As a high school coach if you’ve got a stud in goal, what steps should you take to help them get recruited to play goalie at the next level?
For a new high school coach who has never gone through the full recruiting process with a player you can easily feel out of your element or guilty that you’re not doing everything you can to advance their career.
But do you need to do any additional work to ensure college coaches get eyeballs on your super star goalie?
That is the topic of today’s post – are high school coaches obligated to help their goalies get recruited?
The Responsibilities of a Coach
I would say the primary job of a lacrosse coach is help your players become well-rounded, well-functioning adults using lacrosse as a teaching vehicle.
All the best athletic coaches that I’ve had taught us about life via the sport as their primary objective. Discipline, respect, team work and appreciating the value of hard work are all skills I learned in the sports world as a kid and continue to excel at now in my professional life as an adult.
The second responsibility of the coach is to teach sound lacrosse fundamentals. And sound goalie fundamentals if you are the lacrosse goalie coach.
We’re molding these young balls of clay into the perfect save machines via good coaching.
In a distant third place is the responsibility of helping your players get recruited.
In fact, I think you’ll find in most cases if you properly execute responsibilities one and two above, the final responsibility of recruiting will take care of itself.
I don’t think lacrosse (goalie) coaches should take the burden of trying to get their star recruited outside of teaching them to be great humans and great lacrosse players.
Focus on building a successful program and the coaches will reach out to you.
The Responsibilities of a Player
As I discuss in my guide to getting recruited as an NCAA lacrosse goalie, the first two critical steps to getting recruited are:
- Get solid grades
- Be a great goalie
As a coach you encourage and help in these steps (especially #2) but ultimately it is the player’s responsibility to get good grades and to keep working hard to improve their goalie game.
After that if a player is serious about playing lacrosse at the next level they should be taking the necessary steps like putting together a highlight video and initiating contact with coaches while including said highlight video.
The guide I linked to above gives some tips for contacting coaches including specific email templates.
I don’t think the coach should be the one reaching out on the player’s behalf. If a coach calls to get information on a player, that’s a different story. In that case feel free to spill your loving enthusiasm.
Encourage Club Ball, Tournaments, and Camps
If your goalie has the desire to play lacrosse at the next level, they should be participating in club teams, tournaments, and showcase camps.
If they’re serious about lacrosse, they’re probably already doing this to be honest. Since most NCAA recruits eat, sleep, and breath lacrosse.
But some great goalies might not realize that extra lacrosse outside the high school program will increase their chances of being seen and thereby increase their chances of getting recruited.
Therefore as a coach you will be doing your players a great service by encouraging them to participate in these extra events if they’re not already so.
Playing club ball and playing in specific tournaments will help the goalie get seen by NCAA coaches.
No Cookie Cutter Solution for Recruiting
With all that said, every specific situation is different when it comes to helping goalies get recruited to play at the next level.
You may have a goalie that is like a son or daughter to you and you would do anything you can to help them in their pursuits.
That’s fine. But my point is that beyond building a great lacrosse program, a lacrosse coach shouldn’t feel obligated to help his/her players with their recruiting efforts.
Teach them to be great adults. Teach them to be great lacrosse goalies. When those are accomplished many times you find the recruiting falls into place.
You can always let the players and parents know you’re willing to help if there is anything you can do. Give them your phone and email to pass to college coaches if they want to contact you.
If and when college coaches reach out don’t hold back in your glowing review of your goalie.
If you’re a new lacrosse coach you likely don’t have NCAA coaches as acquaintances but as they start to reach out you can certainly develop a relationship with them to ensure a future star has a quick line of communication to a coach.
For lacrosse goalies that I tutor this is the offer I make. I provide my contact information in the event college coaches want to reach out to me to get a better understanding of the goalie. And if those coaches contact me I don’t hold back.
Online Recruiting Resources
In today’s era of online solutions, they are a few tools out there to help lacrosse recruits. If players are a unaware of these tools, as a coach its worth informing them.
While I personally don’t have experience working with these tools I’ve heard some good things from sites like FieldLevel.com.
These sites allow college coaches to communicate with high school coaches and student athletes.
It allows you as the coach to control which programs get your players contact information while allowing them to have their own profiles with game film and what not.
These tools are worth exploring.
If you have successfully used on online recruiting tool, I’d love to hear about it in the comments.
Edit: One LGR reader also suggested the sites – NCSA and Be Recruited. And congrats to Anna for getting recruited to play college ball.
While it may sound rude, I wouldn’t recommend that high school coaches and goalie coaches make getting their players recruited apart of the job description unless you specifically want to.
Focus on building a successful program that has well-rounded student athletes and not only have to accomplished your role as coach but you’ve also inadvertently done the best thing you can do to help a goalie get recruited.
Players have their own responsibilities to accomplish if they want to play NCAA lacrosse. They understand these and be willing to work hard to achieve them.
Playing college lacrosse was the best decision I made in my life and I hope that this post helps others do the same.
Until next time! Coach Damon