Kudda. Why Coaching Matters.

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Summer Recruiting Tournaments

This weekend marks the beginning of the club lacrosse summer recruiting tournaments. For some of the Mid-Atlantic girls clubs, they have the Charm City classic outside of Baltimore and for the HS boys; there is the Rutgers MVP camp. From now until the end of July, every weekend will have a tournament or camp where college coaches will be evaluating players’ skills. It is pretty exciting to look around on the sidelines and see a lot of top D1 coaches watching a game where your kid is playing, knowing that if they play well, they might be getting some interest from these coaches. Unfortunately for many parents, they take this as the only opportunity that their kid will have to shine. Thus more pressure is placed on their kid to perform, which usually doesn’t happen in those stressed situations.
So let’s say that your little sweetie pie doesn’t have the game of her life or that Jr got stripped of the ball in right in front of the Harvard coaches. You think to yourself, “It’s all over! They’ll never get any interest now!” Hold on as this isn’t the “death sentence” that you think it is. Coaches are looking at a variety of factors/skills during these summer games.
Several of the coaches interviewed mentioned that they are looking for lacrosse players and good athletes first. Not too many were looking for positional players: with the exception of goalies. Most are looking for the type of athlete that will fit into their system of play. Check out these interviews by clicking on the Recruiting Clinic near the top of the video player.

Most coaches know that your kid is going to make a mistake or two. The key thing that they look for is how your kid handles themselves afterwards. Janine Tucker, head women’s coach at Johns Hopkins, looks for girls who sulk or point fingers at other teammates. Janine asks, “Do they give up or go 120% for that next groundball?” Georgetown Head Coach Ricky Fried calls this,”the competitive nature”. What is their reaction to a mistake? A common theme that a lot of coaches mentioned were, “How does the player deal w/ adversity?” Does this light a spark in the player or does it, “cause them to have a mental breakdown and require therapy?”
Another area that coaches notice is how the players interact between games. “Coaches want social players that are willing to be part of a team,” says Janine. Do the players isolate themselves in between games or are they in the thick of things?
Coaches are also watching for any negative behavior from parents. Are parents over-bearing? Coaching from the sidelines? Screaming at the referees? Coaches don’t want a “head case” parent involved in their program for the next few years so parents, be aware that you can adversely affect your kids appeal. Speaking of parents, coaches are also very cognizant of how players interact with their parents. Anne Phillips watches this closely for any signs of disrespect or condescending behavior.
So just because Jr and the “Little Princess”, in your eyes, dropped the ball, it doesn’t mean that college coaches think they dropped the ball. There seems to be plenty of opportunities for them to show the coaches some of their other qualities. Conversely, just because they scored 5 goals or got every ground ball, it doesn’t mean the coaches want them if the players are selfish and high maintenance.

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