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#51099 - 01/08/14 02:01 PM Communications : Profiles, Letters, Contacts  
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This thread has been established to highlight the communication issues that players, families, and coaches will want to consider during the showcasing and recruitment process. Among the topics covered in this thread will be the following items:
  • How to Begin Identifying Potential Target Universities and Colleges,
  • How to Construct Your Profile,
  • How to Get the Most Value from Your Showcase,
  • How to Construct a Proper Letter and Content,
  • How to Follow-Up After a Showcase Event, and
  • Other Topics.
Please feel free to add additional questions into this thread as needed.

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#51100 - 01/08/14 02:02 PM Re: Communications : Profiles, Letters, Contacts [Re: CageSage]  
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How to Begin Identifying Potential Target Universities and Colleges

Start by constructing two lists : the first list is a purely academic list of schools that have your son/daughter's majors/interests. The list should contain about ten to twelve schools broken into three buckets : stretch schools (100-200 points above your current SAT scores), on-par schools (those that match your GPA or SAT/ACT scores), and safety schools (those which are an obvious acceptance where you would be in the top quartile of the student body). When you do this academic listing, think to yourself "suppose I could never play lacrosse again - where would I go?" (CollegeBoard.Com is a great resource for these types of searches.)

Now, construct a second list of the ten lacrosse programs that would interest your child. Be sure to consider all NCAA divisions as the commitment level will vary greatly. Construct this list without any notion of money/scholarships, but give thought to whether your son/daughter would be a bench-sitter or an active player. For some families, a Division III opportunity with a starting role is worth much more than a Division I limited action role until the junior year.

You will have at most 20 schools at this point. Now, figure our where the overlaps might are between the two lists. This overlap list might have between five and eight schools - which is your initial target market!

It is ideal if you already have these lists, but working on these before your junior year Winter Recess or Easter break is critical. Those are the High School vacation periods where you really need to start your campus tours. Try to visit campuses while student activity is active - you get a much better sense of the campus "vibe". Take the tours, eat a meal at the campus, and speak with students.

Importantly, start e-mailing the head coach and assistant coach at each school. Send a copy of your profile along with your e-mail to the coaching staff. Express your interest in their schools and do not hesitate to show some enthusiasm. Fill out any on-line recruitment material. Schedule a visit with the coach to see the athletic facilities.

#51101 - 01/08/14 02:03 PM Re: Communications : Profiles, Letters, Contacts [Re: CageSage]  
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How to Construct Your Profile

Some aspects you might want to have included in your profiles and resumes when applying for college or showcasing :

In the header at the top of the page, include the player's name, uniform number, address, GPA/SAT/ACT scores, height, weight, birthdate, telephone contact numbers and e-mail addresses.

Think about having an e-mail address dedicated to your lacrosse recruiting so that e-mails are centralized and responses are tracked. Also, include a profile picture that allows a coach to identify you from 30 yards away on the field. A head shot is valuable; an action shot on the profile that is 10 pixels square on a printed page does not help anyone.

Include some information about your athletics, including High School, and academics (AP, Awards and such). Include important activities and if space exists, some information about upcoming appearances (tournaments) or references. Make sure that the profile fits on one single printed page.

#51102 - 01/08/14 02:04 PM Re: Communications : Profiles, Letters, Contacts [Re: CageSage]  
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How to Get the Most Value from Your Showcase Event

There is a general assumption that being accepted and showing up is enough to have players "noticed" at showcases. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Once your team is accepted, the work really begins for a team to get the most from the showcasing experience and expense.

Some questions to consider:
  • Is someone on the premier/club team maintaining a master list of players and the schools to which they have written?
  • When multiple players are competing for the same college, is there a club coach conducting conversations to get the player with the top interest in the school noticed first?
  • Are team profiles up to date with signings and commitments that have already taken place?
  • Have your players specifically received confirmation from coaches as to which game they will be attending?
  • Have parents been assigned corners on the playing field to hand out profiles to visiting coaches?
  • Is a parent recording the names of coaches who are seeing your team?
  • Is someone asking the attending coaches which players they are there to see as a means of confirming coaching interest?
The list goes on, but the more preparation that is done before a showcase, the more likely that your team and players will successfully meet their goals. Organization is everything to make the showcase event as valuable to the entire team as possible.

#51103 - 01/08/14 02:05 PM Re: Communications : Profiles, Letters, Contacts [Re: CageSage]  
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How to Construct a Proper Letter and Content

The introductory letter or cover letter on a player resume is that first impression that the young player can make on a possible coach. Let's take a look at some of the "do"s and "don't"s for that letter.

[1] DO NOT address the letter as "Dear Coach", "Coach", "Sir/Mam", or a popular salutation with young people, "Hey". Address the coach by his/her surname as in "Dear Coach Smith", "Mrs. Jones", or "Dr. Roberts". The surest way to make your introductory letter seem like a form letter is to have a generic salutation.

[2] When writing, DO NOT construct the letter as if it was intended for your "BFF on IM or Facebook". DO spell every word out completely, use a spell or grammar checker, and proofread your writing. DO ask a parent, teacher, or trusted adult to reread your final draft. Schools that expect a 550+ on the SAT Critical Reading section are not looking for incorrect usage of to/too, there/their/they're, its/it's, and so forth.

[3] In the opening paragraph, DO include your name, high school, academic interests, lacrosse interests/awards, and one sentence telling the coach why you are writing to him/her. DO actually name the target college in the opening paragraph to show that each letter is unique and targetted.

[4] The second paragraph should provide a four to five sentence summary of your interest in the college or university. DO make it clear that you have done your research and know something about the school. Use the school nickname, the league or conference in which the school participates or their home field/stadium name. DO know something about the roster (boys/girls from New [lacrosse] or the region), individuals you might know who could give you a positive reference that are on the team, or information about the team's regular season. DO include a possible non-lacrosse point as to why the school is on your target list.

[5] In paragraph three, DO really show how you want to attend the program, play for the coach and school, and why your profile might be a match to the school. Include a summary of your resume in a couple of sentence to entice the coach to learn more.

[6] The closing paragraph should be open ended, perhaps by asking some simple questions. "Would it be convenient for me to contact you next week to schedule a visit?" "Please let me know if you can attend any of my next three Spring showcases." "Can I have my club coach call you to arrange an additional discussion about my fit with your program?"

[7] The closing salutation should include your name, address, home phone number, and e-mail address. You can attach your profile to the e-mail in order to give more background on yourself.

Hopefully, these seven simple steps will get your son or daughter started on the right foot with their letter writing campaign.

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#51104 - 01/08/14 02:06 PM Re: Communications : Profiles, Letters, Contacts [Re: CageSage]  
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How to Follow-Up After a Showcase Event

Some reminders for parents and players following attendance at a showcase event. Be sure that you are able to check off each of these items to get the best follow-up value from your showcase.

[1] Thank You Letters : With your Showcase weekend completed, be sure to have your players send thank-you letters to the coaches that came to see them play. Remember, even though it is their career choice, the coaches that came to see you play were still giving up time from their weekend and a note expressing your continuing interest is quite important at this time of year.

[2] Visit Lists : If your team kept records on the coaches that came to see your team, be sure that the team members (parents and players) are aware of that information.

[3] Next Showcase Preparation : Remember that now is the time to start your next e-mail campaign for coaching attendance at your next showcase. During the showcase gauntlet, there is very little time to not be working your contact lists.

[4] Planning College Visits/Tours : Start making contact with the coaches regarding tours and visits to campus.

#51105 - 01/08/14 02:08 PM Re: Communications : Profiles, Letters, Contacts [Re: CageSage]  
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How to Ask the Tough Questions to a College Coach

This is one topic with which many parents (and some club coaches) struggle when it comes time to seal the deal for a potential collegiate opportunity. Remember the ground rules where athletic money from a coach and/or athletic director is only available for NCAA Division I and Division II schools. All NCAA coaches can help with placement of your application for academic and grant money from your chosen university or college. Additionally, they should be willing to help you connect with your institution’s financial aid office so that you can receive an early indication of what your family can expect to be paying to attend and play for the school.

The questions to ask boil down to three simple themes : What is the whole picture for my son/daughter's class, how many total scholarships will be available, and where your son/daughter ranks on the coach's depth chart.

As for questions to open the discussion, the easiest question to act as an ice-breaker is typically, “What does your funding look like for the Class of 201x recruits?” Let’s spend some time going over what a sample exchange might be and some follow-up questions for the newbie parent or coach.

The college coach will likely respond with an initial answer such as “Well, we have three graduating seniors and one junior who we do not think is returning next season due to her major.” This is your opportunity to narrow down on the number of scholarships available so you might want to ask “Is the program fully funded for next season and how many scholarships will be available?” The fully funded question is important as it tells you how many scholarships across the team are awarded. The second half of this question narrows the discussion to what is the pool for your child and what the coach might have already committed to other players.

The coach might respond with “We have 3.5 scholarships coming free but we will use 0.75 of those to cap off three rising juniors who are expected to be starters for next season.” As with most schools, all of the money becoming available is not plowed directly back into the freshman class as awards for existing roster players might be increased during their collegiate careers.

So, you now know that 2.75 scholarships are available and you should know how many freshman recruits are coming into the class along with your son or daughter. Now is the time to ask the ultimate question. “Based on the recruiting class, where do you see my son/daughter in the scholarship pool?”

Say there are eight incoming recruits with 2.75 scholarships available. Anything between 0.25 (25% for a more average player, limited playing time first year) and 0.50 (50%, significant minutes expected at some point during season) would be a reasonable offers. Once the discussion starts narrowing down these numbers, you can move into academic awards (perhaps another 25% to 50% of tuition for excellent grades or SAT/ACT results) and financial aid for the family.

As for the side questions, most coaches will guarantee a scholarship for the year that a player is injured, but more than a year might be difficult. All agreements and discussions should be captured in writing, via e-mails with the coach, to be sure that there are no misunderstandings between the parties. Remember that there is no such thing as a "four year ride" and each year, the player's contract is "renewed" and reviewed with the institution.

#51150 - 01/09/14 09:25 AM Re: Communications : Profiles, Letters, Contacts [Re: CageSage]  

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Well done Cage, this should be a "Stickie" at the top of the page....definetly required reading

#51302 - 01/12/14 04:05 PM Re: Communications : Profiles, Letters, Contacts [Re: CageSage]  

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Originally Posted by CageSage
How to Get the Most Value from Your Showcase Event

There is a general assumption that being accepted and showing up is enough to have players "noticed" at showcases. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Once your team is accepted, the work really begins for a team to get the most from the showcasing experience and expense.

Some questions to consider:
  • Is someone on the premier/club team maintaining a master list of players and the schools to which they have written?
  • When multiple players are competing for the same college, is there a club coach conducting conversations to get the player with the top interest in the school noticed first?
  • Are team profiles up to date with signings and commitments that have already taken place?
  • Have your players specifically received confirmation from coaches as to which game they will be attending?
  • Have parents been assigned corners on the playing field to hand out profiles to visiting coaches?
  • Is a parent recording the names of coaches who are seeing your team?
  • Is someone asking the attending coaches which players they are there to see as a means of confirming coaching interest?
The list goes on, but the more preparation that is done before a showcase, the more likely that your team and players will successfully meet their goals. Organization is everything to make the showcase event as valuable to the entire team as possible.


Cage, my son just went through the recruiting process. He is committed to play this fall in his first choice school.

I think your advice is above is great. However, I'm not sure about the whole parents approaching coaches with profiles and asking them who they are there to see part of your advise. Having sat through more recruiting primers held by DI,II,III coaches this advice is counter to everything I've heard these coaches say. Almost to a coach, they all say they aren't interested in direct parent to coach contact on the side lines. I also think handing out profile sheets to coaches might be the most over the top thing I've ever heard. Further, in all the showcase and tournaments my son did over the last three years, I never saw anyone do that.


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