Monday, November 24, 2008

Lacrosse Recruiting Timeline

Below are a few pointers we at put together. Having a profile helps a high school lacrosse player stay organized throughout the recruiting process. A profile makes it easy for a college coach to view your profile and game video, increasing your odds of being recruited.

The four most important points we want every high school lacrosse player to understand are:

1. Work hard in the classroom and study hard for the SATs / ACTs. The better your grades and the higher your board scores, the more schools that can recruit you. The more schools that can recruit you, the more options you have. The more options you have, the less stressful the recruiting process will be.
2. Be realistic about your ability. The number of players that play at the top Division 1 schools is a very small percentage of the number of college lacrosse players across Division I, Division II, Division III and MCLA (club). Being realistic about your ability from the beginning will make the recruiting process a lot less stressful and ultimately more rewarding.
3. Do not pick a college just because you can play lacrosse there. Choose a college or university that is a good fit for you academically. Use lacrosse as a vehicle to get you into the best college possible.
4. BE PROACTIVE IN THE RECRUITING PROCESS. Just like anything else, the harder you work, the better your results will be. Create a profile on and send your profile to every school you are interested in. Call the schools you are interested in. Introduce yourself to the coaches you are interested in when you see them at camps / tournaments. The more you put into the recruiting process, the more you will get out of it.

Rising Freshmen-

* Focus on academics!! Start your high school career off right by doing well in school. When the time comes and you are recruited, grades are VERY important. You can be the best player in the country but with poor grades, top tier academic institutions will not be able to recruit you. By working hard in school, the number of schools able to recruit you increases exponentially, giving you more options.
* Improve your lacrosse game. Keep a stick in your hand in the off-season and try to play a lot of lacrosse in the summer. Be sure to stay in shape if lacrosse is your only sport. If you are a multi sport athlete, that is terrific. College coaches like well-rounded athletes, but if lacrosse is your main sport, try to hit the wall during the off-season to stay sharp.

Rising Sophomores-

* Continue to work hard in school. Mistakes made sophomore year academically can really hurt your chances of being recruited by top academic institutions. The harder you work in the classroom, the more options you will have when being recruited. You do not want a coach that is interested in your athletic ability to not be able to recruit you because you did not take pride in your academics.
* Begin thinking about college and what kind of college you are looking for. Do you want a big school? Small school? Northern? Southern? Speak to your teachers about schools you are interested in and do research online.
* Create a profile. You can choose schools you are interested in and each coach is alerted immediately of your interest. One click and any coach in the country can view your complete profile and video. This is the best way to get on the coach’s radar because a profile on makes it convenient for the coach to view your profile and video. Instead of being another letter or e mail, you have a personal webpage that can be viewed by any college coach. For an example, view

Rising Juniors-

* Again, keep working hard in school! This year is critical when you are applying to college. Take challenging classes. If you can take Advanced Placement classes, take full advantage.
* Make a list of 15-20 schools you are interested in. Be realistic about your lacrosse ability. Talk to your high school coach about what level you should be focusing on. Having a realistic list of target schools will make your life a lot easier when the recruiting season starts. Lacrosse should be used as a vehicle to get you into a better academic institution. Get the best education possible!
* By now, you should have a profile on Your profile has all academic and athletic information a college coach needs to evaluate your talent. The coach can also watch your high definition video with the click of a button.
* Having a profile on allows coaches from every DI, DII and DIII school to search for athletes that fit their recruiting profile. Coaches run searches for athletes that fit their recruiting profile and are able to watch their video and connect with recruits they are interested in.
* College coaches are under a lot of pressure and giving them a convenient way to evaluate your talent increases your odds of being recruited. Instead of just sending a letter / DVD and crossing your fingers, your profile makes it easy for the coach to see you play and see your grades. Including your custom web address in every e-mail and letter to coaches lets coaches quickly and easily evaluate your talent.
* Log into your account to see where the coaches from the schools you are interested will be during the summer recruiting season. Every lacrosse program has a profile on with a list of the Camps and Tournaments they plan to attend.
* In all correspondence with college coaches, include a link to your profile. If your name is Chris Hines, your profile would be This allows a coach to quickly and easily see your profile and game video. When the coach logs into his account, he is able to see contact information and academic information.

Rising Seniors-

* Create a list of your top 15 choices. Connect with the coaches at each of these schools and include a link to your profile. These coaches can view your profile / video and make a note to see you during the summer on the recruiting trail.
* If a coach contacts you and you are not interested, tell the coach. Coaches respect honesty.
* Again, be realistic about your ability. If you are not receiving letters from the top DI schools, do not take it personally. Play hard during the summer and focus on the schools that have shown interest in you. By the end of the summer, you will know where you stand recruiting wise.
* Upload game film to your profile so a coach can see how you play in the flow of a game. Consider cutting down the game to only the plays you are involved in. Highlight tapes are important to show the coach your most athletic plays, but every coach is interested in seeing how you play over the course of a game. Everyone looks like a star in their highlight tape!
* Study hard for the SAT / ACT. Just like poor grades can keep you from being recruited, poor SAT / ACT scores can close doors from a recruiting standpoint. Do the best you can on these tests!
* BE PROACTIVE IN THIS PROCESS. Create your profile to make it easy for a college coach to see you play, but do not be afraid to call a coach and introduce yourself. If you see a coach at a camp / tournament and you are interested in that school, introduce yourself. There are too many great lacrosse players out there to sit back and hope you are recruited. Take pride in your ability and reach out to schools you are interested in. Always follow up with coaches who have expressed interest in your ability.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Coach’s Perspective: Fall Tournaments & Initiating Contact

This Sunday, I headed up to Lehigh's King of the Mountain tournament. On top of $1.95/gallon gas prices that I took advantage of in New Jersey, the Fall Ball jamboree was very worthwhile. There were forty teams there from all over the northeast, including one team from Canada. The weather was cold and windy, forcing most of the players to wear sweatpants/leggings throughout the day, except for the Canadians of course.

This was my third tournament I have attended this fall, and the old adage held true that the third camp was the charm. I arrived at King of the Mountain looking for two types of players. One, I was looking for a couple of athletic poles to add to an already talented list of defensive recruits. And two, I looked for an offensive player who had the potential to quarterback an offense. In general, however, I was looking for seniors with potential who have slipped through the cracks and remained under the radar for one reason or another.

My criteria for evaluating defensemen consisted of the following: Most importantly, does he have the speed to keep up with his attackman/middie? Not looking for take away artists, does he play solid angles and stay on his attackman/middie's hands, making him as uncomfortable as possible without getting out of position? Looking to play an upbeat style of play, a defenseman with the ability to get the ball up off the ground and have composure with the ball in his stick is key. He must be able to move it upfield by either passing it to a teammate ahead of the play or legging it himself. I found a couple defenseman who fit this mold and contacted them first thing Monday morning.

On the offensive end, I was looking for someone to come in and be a quarterback of an offense. Currently, our list of recruits is loaded with athletes on the offensive end. I was looking for an attackman or middie who understood how to play within the offense of their respective club team, communicated non stop, and possessed the intangibles. Players who can dodge through six guys and score at the high school level are most likely not going to be as successfull at the college level. All the pressure for kids to stand out at these Jamborees often forces them to play out of their comfort zone. I was looking for a player that saw the field well and communicated what he saw to his teammates.

In the end, every coach at every level is looking for hustle. After a mistake, will the player compound the mistake by either getting a penalty or not hustling back on defense or off the field? Coaches keep track of every positive thing they see on the field. They also keep track of every negative thing they see on the field. For instance, I received a highlight tape from a high school player in the mail. I watched it, and the kid looked talented. I showed the tape to the head coach. He referenced his notes from the summer to see if he missed this kid. Next to the kids name was written "absolutely not-no hustle!" That closed the book on our relationship with this kid. So, when in doubt, hustle.

Initiating Contact

I received e-mails from a bunch of players notifying me that they will be attending the tournament. I appreciate the effort, therefore, the first teams I watch play are those who have contacted me ahead of time. If other coaches are like me, I advise high school players to contact the head and assistant coaches of their schools of interest. It is like dealing with a warm lead if you were a salesman, which many college coaches are.

A few tips on what to include in your initial e-mail.

1) Your name.
2) The club team you are playing for.
3) The jersey number you are wearing. If you are not wearing the number listed on your teams roster you might as well not show up.
4) Your position.
5) Keep it brief and spell check. Do not e-mail coaches as if it were a text message.

Do not write "im gonna be at lehigh this sunday and was hopin that you could watch me play. i really wanna play college lacrosse." We, of course, appreciate the interest. But, let the coach decide how casual the e-mails will be. It does not matter how talented a recruiting class is if they cannot stay academically eligible for the spring. An e-mail with poor grammar will do more harm that good, it will either indicate lack of effort, lack of attention to detail, lack of interest, or lack of intelligence. So, have your mom, dad, brother, sister, or college advisor proofread all e-mails if you do not trust your own writing.

~Anonymous Coach

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Straight Shooters & Jason Fried

We are leaving the rain behind in CT and hitting the road for Philadelphia. In standard LacrosseRecruits fashion, we are trying to cram in as much as possible into the weekend. A few meetings with lacrosse friends in Philadelphia (Ricky Choi of Lacrosse & Co., Mike Winkoff of LI Select), a Kings of Leon concert, then hitting the road early in the morning to make it to the MVP tournament at Rutgers.

Straight Shooters

On Thursday, I ended my day by checking Google Analytics to monitor traffic on our pages. I was excited to see a large number of visitors referred from I clicked the referral link and was guided to Lacrosse Magazine Online’s Straight Shooters article, “Should We Be Clubbin?” by Matt Zash. The article covers the growing importance of the club lacrosse scene in lacrosse and highlights LacrosseRecruits as a means to gain recruiting exposure.

We were excited to see LacrosseRecruits mentioned in the article. Discussing, Matt wrote, “For a look to the future, last year launched a Facebook-like interactive Web site which is especially helpful to those who play in new and emerging lacrosse markets. Players can fill in academic grades, position, honors, etc., in information fields, upload game tape, and select colleges they might be interested in. Coaches can then use this information to search for players based on a number of fields entered. It's a win/win.”

Keynote with Jason Fried of 37Signals

I always check for fresh perspectives on everyday happenings, from a review of the new MacBook to Hyundai going luxury with its new Genesis to innovation in the business world. This past week, Benjamin featured a 15-minute keynote by Jason Fried at the Business Innovation Summit. Fried is the founder and CEO of 37signals. He spearheaded the concept, design, and development of Basecamp, 37signal's web-based project management tool for designers, freelancers, and creative services firms.

Fried’s keynote made me think of a few common sense points that we can focus on to improve our marketing efforts…

1) Educating your target audience - We are going to share more about our everyday experiences - From helping players navigate the recruiting process, to camp previews, to new features

2) Why we buy certain products – Focusing on the process that a player or parent follows to create a profile

3) Building a LacrosseRecruits community – instead always trying to “reach” people, building our audience through our blog, facebook and video features

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

LacrosseRecruits' Midweek Breakdown

It has been a hectic week at We are rolling with new memberships from players throughout the country, securing sponsorship from Reebok Lacrosse & Maverik Lacrosse and fielding lots of emails about the girl’s launch. (We are launching in the next 10 days. Our head programmer is the proud father of his first child, we are going to wait until he is back in the office to oversee a smooth launch)

Lacrosse: Growth Is Good

When we launched, we preloaded every NCAA team that competed during the 2008 season. In the past week, we have had a number of new colleges register to use our tool; Husson University, Mercy College, Calvin College, Missouri Baptist University and Willamette College. The addition of these schools is a great example of the growth of the sport at the college level. We are excited that schools feel that LacrosseRecruits gives them a leg up in the recruiting process and helps them market their new program. Please visit our Participating Schools page on

Tech News: Why Google Will Rule the World

Yesterday, Google rolled out voice and video chat to GChat. It pretty much makes the need for IChat nonexistent on my MacBook. Instead of opening another program to video chat with my brother or other “employees,” I can do it through my GMail, which is always open on my desktop anyway. Both TechCrunch and VentureBeat covered this on their blogs, but I appreciated VentureBeat’s blog title more, “Gmail’s awesomeness increases with video chat.” Click the link to read more.

Note to Google: If you can incorporate free (or very cheap) internet and telephone calling, I fully support taking down Skype…

Inspiration: Why draws as many visitors as it does

Fred Wilson had a chance to take an early look at Seven Lessons For Radical Innovators by Umair Haque. Fred posted this quote from Haque’s book on his blog, “Bigness of purpose is what separates 20th century and 21st century organizations: yesterday, we built huge corporations to do tiny, incremental things - tomorrow, we must build small organizations that can do tremendously massive things.” This idea made me rethink the importance of the tools that we use to communicate and interact with each other on the web. I am excited to see the enormous scalability of these tools and how they will connect people and commerce in our lifetime. As always, cheers to Fred Wilson, not Fred Smith.

Personal: Why Ambien is an option : )

This morning, I forced myself out of bed at 7:30AM to break my current sleep cycle of going to bed sometime between 2AM and 3AM and waking up at 9:45AM. If you do the quick math, going to bed at 2AM and waking up at 9:45 almost gets me a healthy 8 hours of sleep. For some reason, everyday I wake up and look at my alarm and see 9:45, I feel like a complete slacker. I completely blame this on Jon Serko and Mitch Barnett at Cushman & Wakefield for making me get to the office everyday for two years by 7:30AM. Just joking, kind of…

Lets go through the things that keep me up at night…

1) I run a start up (yes, it is that simple)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Digital Next

LacrosseRecruits Learns on the Web

Earlier in the week I posted a link to a blog post, "How to Target a Facebook Ad to a Specific Individual" by Sam Lessin from It is a welcome to the world of nano-targeting using our favorite social networking site, Facebook. Lessin wrote, "I created a series of nano-targeted advertisements targeted at specific individuals. For example, I set one up for my girlfriend, "Sending my love ..." All I needed to do was target an ad to: "Wall Street Journal reporters who are 25, graduated from Harvard with a history degree and live in San Francisco."

After reading this post, it made sense that we could run targeted LacrosseRecruits ads to males and females, 14-17 years old, in high school that have an interest in lacrosse. We finished our one day trial yesterday and were very happy with the results. The ads drove visitors to our website from all over the country. We are excited to continue the ads as soon as we roll out our next round of updates.

LacrosseRecruits Reads Lacrosse Magazine

I just want to say how impressed I am with Lacrosse Magazine's November Issue. It is not as flashy as InsideLacrosse but the editorials throughout the magazine are dead on with current trends in recruiting and the growth of the game. If you have a chance, please read "Educated Consumers Make the Best Parents" by Steve Stenersen and "Recruiting U: Too Vested in Verbals?" by Brian Delaney. Both articles are necessary reads for parents who have children that plan on playing travel lacrosse on a "select" team and playing lacrosse in college.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Colorado Trip

I am flying back to New York after spending the past six days in Denver. Each time I travel to western cities, I understand more and more why Easterners visit and end up spending the rest of their lives there. I had six days of 70 + degree weather, blue skies, and clear views of the snow capped Rockies.

The trip was a great opportunity to visit with friends and meet with members of the Colorado lacrosse community. I sat down with Jamie Munro, DU’s Head Coach & Director of Mile High All-Stars, Trevor Tierney, the Director of Icon Lacrosse, and Greg Bastis, current Icon coach, MLL player and Middlebury Alum. I was excited to show off and explain how our profiles can help their players gain recruiting exposure. Our tool was well received and I look forward to getting players from both programs on board.

At times, it seems like all I can think and talk about is lacrosse. As everyone knows, I love lacrosse. But spending a few days outside of the office, daily trips to get bagels or pancakes, only one cup of coffee a day, enjoying Fat Tires on the stoop and spending time up in Frisco & Breckenridge helped me regroup/prep as LacrosseRecruits ramps up for a busy holiday season.

Blog of the Week: - Fred Wilson's (Union Square Ventures) blog is a great resource to understand how a VC Rockstar views the current VC/Technology markets.

Moment of Zen:

Response on InsideLacrosse to Quint Kessenich's Take on the MLL's 4th Pole

By patlax on Nov 4, 2008 | Reply

"Quint, I can’t wait for lax season to start, so I can turn the sound down when you give us your insight... "