May 4, 2010

Meade: Highlight Reels A Must in Recruiting

by Chris Meade | LacrosseRecruits.com

Earlier this week, I took part in a conference call with a number of lacrosse parents to discuss roles game film and highlight reels play in the recruiting process. It amazes me that so many parents and high school coaches overlook this aspect of the process. I think it has to do with the negative connotations that many people associate with highlight reels and the idea that coaches don't want to see reels.

A parent remarked, "I know coaches didn't want to see a highlight reel from my older son when he went through the process six years ago; they wanted to see full games."

Well sir, lots of things have changed over the past six years. Six years ago, "travel" lacrosse was in a nascent stage, there were 20 summer recruiting events as opposed to 80 summer recruiting events, and the top players in the country were not making their college decisions in the fall of their junior year.

As the game of lacrosse continues to grow throughout the country and the level of play increases due to more established youth programs and experienced coaching, college coaches are overwhelmed by the amount of candidates that are interested in their schools.

We often describe the current recruiting conundrum like this: we have an enormous funnel that keeps getting wider at the top, but the hole at the bottom is staying the same size. The top of the funnel is the amount of high school lacrosse players, which has grown at a rate of 10 percent for the last 10 years. The bottom is the number of NCAA college lacrosse programs, particularly in Division I men's lacrosse, which has remained pretty constant. Yes, there has been growth at the Division III level, but Title IX restrictions have hindered the growth at other levels. The result is an increasing number of high school players who want to play in college and are competing for a set amount of spots at the college level.

The growth has stretched college lacrosse programs thin as they try to cover as much of the country as possible over the summer and fall. This is where the importance of the highlight reels comes into play. College coaches now request highlight reels to evaluate a player and to help them answer the following questions:

1. Can he or she play at our level?

2. Is he or she a Division I, Division II or Division III recruit?

3. Is he or she someone we are going to take the time to watch in person?

This is where things have changed dramatically over the last five to 10 years. Back then, a coach maybe had time to watch a game video. Now, college coaches don't have the time to watch full game videos of each player that expresses interest in his or her program. However, they do have 3-5 minutes to watch a highlight reel, which will answer primary questions. If they like what they see, they will then make an effort to either see the athlete on the recruiting trail or watch an entire game video.

So if you want to position yourself, your son or your daughter to get evaluated by the most schools possible, a highlight reel is necessary if a player wants to play college lacrosse at any level. You have to remember that college coaches are professional evaluators. I am not saying they are making scholarship decisions based on 4-6 minutes worth of clips, but they will be able to determine if a recruit is a potential fit for their program or not.


Chris Meade is co-founder of LacrosseRecruits.com, the Official Recruiting Tool of US Lacrosse. LacrosseRecruits.com streamlines the recruiting process for you and exponentially increases your visibility among college coaches by making it convenient for them to see you play and view your profile. He will be submitting posts and commentary about the recruiting process periodically on LMO.

For questions or comments, e-mail chris@lacrosserecruits.com.


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