[The following article covering recruitment Basics and authored by Ken Miller has been reprinted from the Everest Recruiting Consulting web site. More information about Everest Recruiting Consulting is available at their web site. BOTC is working with Everest and Miller as much of our recruitment philosophies overlap as do our views on academic performance being at the heart of collegiate success. Everest has a unique abilty to execute a recruitment plan on behalf of your college-bound child and BOTC can recommend their services.]

Recruiting 101: Tips from Everest Consulting
Ken Miller, August 3rd, 2011

The game of lacrosse has certainly reached a national level in terms or exposure. The fantastic coverage by Quint Kessenich, Paul Carcaterra and Lowell Galindo is driving the game deeper into the households with professional persona and great human interest stories.

I think, however, the most lasting memory that I had of ESPNU’s production of games this spring was the great montage of the band 30 Seconds to Mars and their hit, Closer to the Edge, interspersed with dynamic clips of highlights throughout the playoff weekends. This montage was as compelling and well done as anything you see for the NFL or any other sport on TV. This will undoubtedly result in some more converts to this great game.

I liken the recent dramatic growth of lacrosse to the growth of both surfing and triathlons. Both sports, seemingly overnight, have become a part of our culture. When I first started surfing, most breaks were filled with 10-15 other guys in the water. Now those same breaks I surfed are packed with 50-60 people fighting for waves. Likewise with triathlons, when I first started competing, races were small and many people signed up on race day. Now there are races all over the country and they fill up within days after the registration opens. Both sports have benefited from great marketing and our ongoing devotion to fitness and athletics.

Lacrosse is surely headed in the same direction. National TV exposure and major sponsors and manufacturers are all bringing more and more athletes to the game. However the number of NCAA DI schools that offer lacrosse has not grown as rapidly.

As it relates to the effect on recruiting, the results are dramatic. The pool of talent that coaches can choose from is huge, and the competition for coveted slots at many of the top academic institutions that offer lacrosse is now more fierce than ever.

This ever-increasing pool of talent means that parents must take note of the recruiting process earlier and it is incumbent upon them to drill down deep to understand how the process works across various conferences.

I often tell parents that there is no blueprint for what their son or daughter should expect. Each student-athlete must work hard toward making sure they maintain a focus in the classroom in addition to maximizing their exposure on the recruiting circuit.

Here are some of the action steps that I think parents need to address to avoid becoming overwhelmed by a process that speeds along on its own.

• Take visits to schools during your sophomore year.

• Focus on the education first and the lacrosse second. Identify schools based on your son or daughter’s sophomore-year grade. Students with a B average sophomore year are less likely recruits for Ivy or NESCAC conference their junior years.

• Make your Top 10 list of schools and decide how to get exposure in front of those coaching staffs.

• Encourage your son or daughter to take ownership of the process in terms of choosing schools to visit.

• Find a trusted coach or advisor who can assess your child’s athletic skills with respect to the level of play. Very few athletes can play or will be recruited by upper-tier DI institutions. If you possess the skills to play at a Carolina or a Duke or Notre Dame, they will find you. Your job is to find the school that matches your child’s academic grid and athletic skills on the field.

• Set a timeline for the production and release of your highlight reel. It should be available to the coaching community before your son hits the tournament circuit the summer of his junior year.

• Familiarize yourself with premier recruiting tournaments that now run year round. Certain recruiting showcases for teams afford you a great degree of exposure.

• Try to find student-athletes who have attended the schools on your Top 10 list to gauge the academic rigors of each school. Your son should seek out a school where he can thrive academically, not just survive.

• Anticipate taking SAT and/or ACT on three occasions to maximize scores. Have the test dates plotted out well in advance to facilitate preparation.

• Contact schools to find out what subject test they prefer and again block out dates for these tests.

A proactive and systematic approach to determining your son’s future will afford you less, reduce anxiety and will afford you a greater sense of control.

Ken Miller is the owner and founder of Everest Recruiting Consulting. Ken has been involved in the game of lacrosse for over 30 years. He was a player at the University of North Carolina and he also runs a boys travel team based out of Long Island called the Long Island Sting.

The Everest team consists of Ken and Scott Anderson, the former men’s lacrosse coach at Harvard University, and Charles Grantham , the former Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at the Wharton School, Graduate Division, at the University of Pennsylvania. Gantham was also the former Director of the NBA Players Association. Grantham is also the founder of Athletes for a Better Education.

The Everest team helps families make sense of the complexities of the recruiting process in their efforts to afford their son or daughter the best education possible at the college level. Over the last seven years, the team at Everest has assisted over 300 recruited athletes and their families in their college search.