This article appears in the March issue of Lacrosse Magazine. Don't get the mag? Join US Lacrosse and its 300,000-plus members today to start your subscription.
Make the most of the recruiting videos you send to college coaches
by Nelson Coffin | LaxMagazine.com
Notre Dame coach Kevin Corrigan values recruiting videos as a huge piece of the recruiting process. "There are just too many kids to cold-call," he said. "We give everything that comes here a look."
© John Strohsacker/LaxPhotos.com
Seeing is believing.
For coaches scouring the lacrosse landscape for the next creative left-handed middie with speed to burn and a shot to match, there's no substitute for actually seeing that player breeze past befuddled defenders with glazed expressions on their faces and too much ground to make up.
Yet the only way for Coach X, who might boast a team already in playoff contention, to see Johnny Fast or Jenny Quick deliver the goods against a hated high school archrival is through the technological gift of a video or digital recording.
Sure, the coach, depending on how many assistants are available, can send an underling on a scouting mission. But the best way to make a personal personnel evaluation is to either be on site or check out the game footage later in front of a flat screen.
Increasingly, the latter method is preferred by bosses too busy to find travel time outside the office or practice field.
Plus, it's a terrific tool to pare down to a precious few those who the coach will attempt to see in person, saving time in his or her schedule.
"On average, there will be four or more major recruiting events each weekend from June until the end of July," says Chris Meade of LacrosseRecruits.com, the official recruiting tool of US Lacrosse. "The coaching staffs will divide and conquer by taking responsibility for tournaments in certain areas of the East Coast or the entire country. At larger programs, a staff of four paid coaches will have much better coverage than a smaller D3 program that consists of two paid coaches.
"To help coaches recruit you, especially the coaches from smaller programs or outside your geographic region, you have to give them the opportunity to see you play," Meade adds. "Seeing your game video can ultimately lead a coach to plan on attending a specific tournament or make sure they are on Field 12 at 2 p.m. to watch you play in person. The video package that you provide is the first opportunity for a coach to evaluate you. You get to pick the clips and performances that best exemplify the type of player you are. The process is not easy, but the time and effort you put into your video will help yield greater results with coaches."
After all, coaches need all the help they can get in uncovering the next 50-goal guy or gal.
"It's a huge piece of the recruiting process," says Notre Dame men's coach Kevin Corrigan. "There are just too many kids to cold-call to get to."
Corrigan says that no video is turned away.
Recruiting Video Do's and Don'ts
* Send a video of your best game
* Send grainy, out-of-focus images
"We give everything that comes here a look," he says.
The chances for a longer look increase with the quality of the product, meaning the player and the video.
"First of all, it needs to be of a decent quality," Corrigan says. "You don't want to look at something that looks like 'The Blair Witch Project.' And you want to see the player in context, not just some guy running past a lamp post. You want to see him against the best competition."
Remember, putting a prospective player's image in the hands of a professional videographer can be money well spent. It's the kind of tool designed to put a potential recruit's assets in the best light, especially if he or she comes through in a big game.
"For example, if you are an attackman and have a great game against a UNC commit, that game video will allow coaches to compare you to DI talent," Meade says. "If you play in developing areas, you may not have many opportunities to play against great competition, so I suggest that you focus on getting film from tournaments or camps over the summer."
Meade says that many tournaments offer professional videography staffs for entrants, so be sure to check ahead.