Kudda. Why Coaching Matters.

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College Recruiting Nights

Kudda was privy to attend two college recruiting nights presented by the coaches at some of the top D1 and DIII programs.

For the boys recruiting night, Dave Pietramala from Hopkins and Gene McCabe from W&L presented the process from a D1 and D3 perspective. For the women, sponsored by the M&D Lacrosse Club, Kelly Berger from UMBC, Ricky Fried-Georgetown and Muffy Bliss from McDaniel College spoke.

There were several themes that were present at both evenings’ discussions:


Time Table

Club Lacrosse, Camps and Tournaments


Future of recruiting


ALL coaches stressed the importance of solid academic achievement. There are so many top players that will never get admitted to these colleges because of poor grades. For example, during Jake Reed’s Blue Chip Camp, coaches were given their packet that also included player’s academic achievement. So often coaches would see a great player, turn to see the grades and realize this player had no shot of attending their college.

Coach McCabe stressed how strong grades make the process so much easier… coaches aren’t going to be scrambling and pleading with their admissions people if you don’t have the grades.

The Recruiting Timetable

All coaches addressed their timetable for solidifying their recruiting classes. For the D1 coaches, Fried, Berger and Petro, this process has been accelerated over the last 2-3 years. Petro shared that he has juniors right now committing and that he’ll probably have the 2010 recruiting class wrapped up by spring. For the D3 coaches, McCabe and Bliss, their timetable is pushed back a bit. Right now both coaches are solidifying their 2009 recruits. McCabe told us that he’s looking at juniors but will start to recruit them come springtime. Check out Coach Fried’s thoughts on the timetable by clicking on The drop down menu for “Choosing a Playlist” and selecting “Recruiting Timetable”

Club Lacrosse

The coaches addressed the proliferation in club teams, recruiting tournaments and camps. They all urged players to limit the number of tourneys and camps that players attend in the summer. One area that divided the men and the women coaches was the role of the Club Coach. Coach Petro seemed very concerned with the influence of some of the club coaches in the recruiting process. He and McCabe revealed that they rely more heavily of the HS coach, who probably has more contact and interaction w/ the players during the year and has a genuine vested interest in helping their players make the right college decisions. Petro shared some stories of some club coaches who charge their players a fee for contacting college coaches. That, with the incentive to boost that the club’s players are attending certain schools to increase enrollment made both coaches much more focused on the HS coach’s opinion. This differed from the women coaches who rely on the input of the Club coach almost as much as the HS coach. Then again, girls’ club lacrosse has been around longer than the mens’ club scene.


The topic of Specialization came up on both nights as parents asked if it was better that their child play lax instead of basketball or soccer. The coaches all agreed that they look for those athletes who play multi-sports. They don’t want the players who are just lacrosse players. They’re looking for that well-rounded athlete. The players will specialize in college- no need to do it in HS. All coaches agreed that there is no advantage to playing just lacrosse year round and that it’s better to play other sports.

The Future of Recruiting

The women coaches felt that since their sport is growing, both in the number of players and in D1 schools offering scholarships, the timetable won’t change too much. Not so with the men. Petro feels that it’ll be even more competitive since there are only 50+ D1 schools and lots more players from all over the country. He sees colleges possibly looking at freshmen and possibly younger in the years to come. McCabe is alarmed, as were the other coaches, at the number of tournaments and recruiting camps that are stretching family budgets and players’ intensity. Unfortunately, since there is a huge financial incentive from running these events, the coaches feel that we’ll continue to see an increase in the number of camps and tournaments.

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