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.
This is the second installment from Coach Stagnitta – click here to read his first post
Once you have developed the template of what type of school appeals to you. (size, location, offerings etc.) It is time to jump into the recruiting process. Only 10% of high-school seniors who play lacrosse will have an opportunity to continue their playing career at the NCAA college level. In order to give yourself the best opportunity to be part of this select group, you must actively participate in the recruiting process. Marketing and exposure are two aspects of the process where a potential recruit can have some level of control. Today we will focus on exposure.
What is exposure? Exposure is putting yourself in situations where college coaches can see you play and evaluate your potential as a recruit for their program. It helps if you have an unbiased and accredited evaluation during your the summer prior to or after your sophomore year in HS. This will help you narrow your focus to yet another level, as you will learn that you are most likely a D-1, D-2 or D-3 player, from an experienced and trusted source. There are many different ways to gain exposure. These include travel club programs, elite or invite exposure camps and all-star select teams. The ability of your club program to get you into the best tournaments that provide the greatest exposure to college coaches is essential. College coaches have multiple options of events to attend every day from June 1- mid August. They will attend the tournaments that allow them to maximize their recruiting efforts. If a tournament has a high quality of competition, multiple fields with in close proximity to each other and rosters that are accurate and informative, coaches will attend. There are only a handful of these type tournaments out there.
There are a few very select invite /exposure camps that are no-brainers. They tend to be small and very selective. If you are invited of one of these events you must attend. (eg: Maverick Showtime, Jake Reed Blue-Chip summer event) The next group of exposure camps can be very productive for a recruit depending on what level of player he or she is. (eg: Top 205, Peak 200) Division 3 coaches will spend chunks of time at the high profile top and elite camps that have 350-500 players. You can get exposure, but will not have as much exposure to a D-1 recruiter, unless you make the all-star team. You need to be careful when selecting these types of camps. Take into consideration the type of school and location that appeals to you when choosing these events. Often times a camp draws a certain level of coach from a certain area of the country. Do your homework to receive the greatest value from your summer /fall event investment.
Finally a few events have developed over the years that consist of regional teams each chosen through a local try-out. These events can be excellent exposure opportunities if they are the premier events and draw the top prospects from each region. Like every other camp or tournament quality and exposure vary.
There are many events to choose from and not all are equal or provide the exposure they promise. Do your homework, ask the questions and choose wisely. You can spend an enormous amount of money on the exposure component with diminishing returns. My final piece of advice, more isn’t always better.
Check out this video the PreGame Lacrosse guys in action.
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