What College Coaches Are Looking For
While college coaches all evaluate athletes a little bit differently, there are a number of characteristics that are universally important. Unfortunately for athletes, there are more skilled athletes wanting to play in college than there is space (or scholarships) available. Choosing the wrong player can be an expensive mistake. Coaches work hard to avoid this by looking at the total player package. Here are some key things that are being evaluated throughout the recruiting process, from first contact to signing (and beyond):
1. Fundamental skills. These are critical but not enough.
2. Academics. No matter your skill level, you must meet the school's academic standards.
3. Strong Work Ethic. On and off the field. You must be motivated to do your best in school and sport. You need to demonstrate good goal setting techniques and follow through to meet those goals.
4. Passion. Not just for lacrosse. Athletes need to be passionate about other interests as well. Coaches want athletes who are well-rounded and can handle stress when things get tough.
5. Character. Coaches expect to have athletes around for several years. You need to be the kind of person that the team can rely on. An athlete that treats all those around them with respect. Coaches need to know you won't embarrass the school or the program with poor decision making and bad behavior.
6. Grit. Athletes need to be mentally tough and capable of performing their best for as long as it takes to reach their goal.
7. Sportsmanship. Demonstrate that you can win and lose with class.
8. Coachability. This one is often overlooked by athletes but it is one of the most important traits you'll need to succeed. Athletes must be willing to take constructive feedback from their coaches and learn from their mistakes. If you have everything else but aren't coachable, it's a problem.
What Makes A Great Highlight Reel
A highlight reel can be a good way to get on a coach's radar. The reel should make a positive impression while accurately reflecting your full skill set. We've put together some tips to help you make the most of your highlight reel.
1. Put your best plays at the beginning. Coaches are busy. You have about 30 seconds to convince them to invest more time in watching your reel. Make the decision easy for them.
2. Show variety. Coaches want to see the breadth of your skills, not just one thing over and over.
3. Make it easily accessible. Use YouTube or Vimeo. They work for everyone. And make sure your reel can be viewed on mobile devices.
4. Include contact information. Provide your own name, email, and phone number as well as that of your high school and club coaches. Include your GPA and test scores.
1. Ask coaches to get back to you with detailed feedback on your performance. Respect their time. Don't try to take advantage.
2. Add in loads of special effects or sound effects. They only annoy EVERYONE!
3. Use music with inappropriate or offensive lyrics. No swearing, no racial epithets. Your reel should represent who you are in the best way possible.
And it's ok to ask for help. You don't have to spend a lot of money on a professional videographer. In many cases, local college or university students (who need resume builders) can help you produce a clean and effective reel. At ASU, the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts has a newsletter where athletes can post jobs for film students.