Coach Jim Stagnitta is a founding partner of PreGame Lacrosse and current coach of the Denver Outlaws of the MLL. Before becoming the new head coach of the Denver Outlaws he was the head coach at Rutgers for nine years and Washington and Lee University for eleven years. Coach Stagnitta has extensive knowledge of the recruiting process and here is some of his expert advice.
Step 1- Prepare For The Recruiting Process
There is no template for the college recruiting process. Each individual experiences a somewhat unique and unpredictable process. Typically, both the parent and player are very excited by the prospect of being recruited by college coaches.. It is an honor and great accomplishment to have college coaches contact you. Eventually though, it can become overwhelming and anxiety producing.. There are a few vital steps that you can take to help alleviate some of the stresses one often encounters in the process. The timetables continue to change and as a recruit it is impossible to completely control the process, however by taking some initiative and planning ahead you can be ready for this challenging journey. The key to preparing yourself for the recruiting process is the ability to narrow your focus early. By this I mean, knowing what appeals to you in a college, and what is going to be essential in a school to give you a level of comfort and confidence that it is the right place for you. You can do that by taking advantage of every opportunity you have between 8th and 10th grade to visit college campuses and conduct personal research in the following areas:
What size school do you like eg: small,medium or major university
The easiest way to figure out school size and location preferences is to simply visit as many different colleges as you can. It isn’t necessary to meet the coach or even have an admissions tour (unless time permits) . Start with the colleges in your area and branch out when traveling in the summer for vacation, camps etc. or if a sibling is attending or in the process of choosing a school, tag along. The more you see the more you understand and gain a perspective of what is out there and what appeals to you. Research the colleges through their websites, paying attention to admission requirements, academic programs, campus life and athletic opportunities.
Your ultimate goal is to narrow your focus to a certain category of school which
automatically takes some of the confusion out of the recruiting process . With this understanding you can eliminate schools that are not of interest when contacted and likewise you can zero in on the ones that do. This also helps put you on the course to making a educated decision early. In the current recruiting environment, if all things are equal, the recruit who is prepared to make a decision (commitment) earliest is more likely to get the spot.
Prepare yourself for the process by knowing what is important to making your college choice the right one! Do your homework and answer the questions that are unique to you. You will have now taken the first step in navigating this difficult process.
Look for additional articles on how to understand and navigate the recruiting process coming soon from Coach Stagnitta.