Archive for the “Planning” Category



Summer Recruiting

It’s that time again…summer club season.

By this point in the year, most high school lacrosse players have sifted through the multiple club teams, showcases, prospect days, and tournaments to which they have been invited, and tough decisions are being made.  Likewise, college coaches are finalizing their plans, allocating precious recruiting resources to various tournaments and events throughout the country.

In this installment of our College Game Plan Education series, we’ll provide a basic overview to get the most out of your summer investment.

So let’s stay at a high level and get started with a few questions:

Have you narrowed the list of schools that you’re interested in?

There are over 350 colleges with NCAA Men’s Lacrosse programs, but only a few schools that align with your academic, athletic, social, geographical, and financial goals.  Taking the time up front to focus only on best-fit schools will save you and your family tremendous amounts of time, money, and frustration.  We call this developing a “target list” of schools.  Factors such as what academic programs are offered (and their rating), school size, location, social aspects, level and culture of the lacrosse program, and the coaching staff must be considered to make an informed final decision and should be part of developing your target list.

What coaches from your target list committed to attend your events?

The questions I most hear from families in late spring revolve around one topic: the BEST teams/camps/showcases to attend this summer to be seen by college coaches.  The answer to “which is best?” comes down to how many of your targeted schools will be at an event and whether you can interest them enough to come see you play.  For example, a showcase heavily attended by Ivy League schools would likely not be the best use of resources for a player with a 2.5 GPA.  If you have the grades, the desire, and the talent to attend Harvard or Princeton, however, it would likely be a great event to attend.

Have you contacted any coaches to let them know where you’ll be playing?

Many players believe that if they’re on the right team or at the biggest showcase, they’ll simply get noticed.  NCAA rules limit the amount and type of contact a coach can have with an underclassman (currently 2018 and below), so you can’t expect to have meaningful conversations with them when you see them or meet them in person at events.  While accolades like all-star teams and all-tournament teams on your resume can certainly have an impact, a college coach usually arrives at an event with a list of names they’ll be evaluating and those players’ schedules, so it’s important to make personal contact and begin to establish relationships with coaches in the weeks leading up to your events.

Do you have an effective online presence?

Lacrosse is quickly growing into a nation-wide sport, with more and more new players picking up a stick each year.  College coaches are flooded with emails and phone calls from high school players that desperately want to attend their school and be a contributor in their program.  It’s wise to make it as easy as possible for a coach to evaluate your potential as a recruited player rather quickly.  In today’s recruiting landscape, a highlight video, your academic information, and your measurable statistics (height, weight, speed, etc.) are a bare minimum.  It is a good idea to also include references and their contact information, your upcoming schedule, a copy of your transcript, and even a personal statement or a list of college goals you’re looking to achieve.  Your goal is to establish a relationship with these coaches, so the more you set yourself apart during the initial evaluation phase, the more likely you’ll be recruited by multiple coaches and programs.

      Steps to Maximize Your Summer Game Plan

  1. Develop a target list of potentially best-fit schools and lacrosse programs
  2. Create/Update/Maintain online presence that markets YOU
  3. Establish contact with college coaches, interest them in your information
  4. Be yourself, ask questions, and learn all you can from the coaches you meet
  5. Have fun playing lacrosse
  6. Conduct follow-up with interested coaches after each event

      Other tips for success:

  1. Stay hydrated and have a nutritional plan at summer events
  2. Play hard all the time, you never know who may be watching
  3. Play smart- it’s still a team game in the summer
  4. Always display sportsmanlike conduct
  5. How you look & act between games matters

The common thread in everything we do in the recruiting space is that it’s all about relationships.  Choosing a college is an extremely personal and emotional decision for every family, and the investment is likely the largest any parent makes in their child’s future.  As such, every player and parent feel the need to be personally comfortable with the school, the campus, and the lacrosse program before committing to attend.  Likewise, college coaches earn their living based on how their team performs on and off the field, and the stakes are high, so they have to truly get to know the young men they invite to play for their program.  Developing relationships with college coaches should be one of the main goals of your summer, and will require you to formulate a plan to make the best use of your summer lacrosse schedule and the opportunities you will have to be seen and evaluated by your best-fit programs.

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Lucas Barra, a former team member of SportsForce, created Dreamchasers to help give millennials the tools, resources, and inspiration to create a life of their dreams.  The Dreamchasers podcast is the place to go to get inspired, hear from the upcoming stars like you, pursue your life goals, and help you take your life to the next level.

For their first podcast, Lucas interviewed our CEO, Andrew Beinbrink, regarding entrepreneurship, goals in life and his passion for helping student-athletes reaching their goals.

In the interview, Andrew gives tips on navigating the recruiting process for student athletes, how to set life goals, and creating great habits. He emphasizes how important it is to ask for help when you need it, as well as, creating a game plan in order to achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself. Further, he explains that the first step to being successful in life is to have faith in yourself. He recommends to always see yourself at your best because when you re-engineer your self-image, it improves your energy, how you connect with other people and how you show up in relationships and in life.

Here are a couple more key tips Andrew goes over regarding the college recruiting process:

– You must build the faith muscle to be successful. We underestimate the importance of faith in creating a winning mindset. Create affirmations around building faith and utilize them on a regular basis. For example, “I will have a successful phone call with this client”. Repeat a few times and it will help to increase your faith

– The college decision is one of the most important decisions in someone’s life. Take the time to make the right choice for you.

– We are all entrepreneurs at heart. If you can take ownership as the CEO of your life and build from the inside out, success will come.

You can check out more informative and inspirational content on the Dreamchasers website.

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College Coach shaking hands with Recruit

To greatly improve your chances of competing at the collegiate level, it’s critical to understand the importance of building and sustaining personal relationships with college coaches. This is sometimes the essential separator between two equal recruiting candidates.

Because player statistics and videos don’t tell the whole story about a student-athlete if a coach is interested in recruiting you, voice to voice contact or in-person meetings are ultimately necessary.   During these moments, it’s absolutely critical to make a good impression. Always be prepared for the encounter whether over the phone or in person. The most effective way to accomplish this task is to:

1. Take time to learn about the school, the coaches, and the sports program. Go online and read about the coaching staff backgrounds along with the programs’ successes and challenges. Learn about the conference they compete in and the other teams they play against. Understand the current roster of players and where you might fit in based on your specific position, measurables or stats.  Learn about the school academically and be prepared to share with the coach why it is a top fit school/program for you. Keep notes next to the phone to help remember key things you want to discuss with the coach. Keep a journal of personal notes about your calls for future decision-making purposes.

2. Ask intentional questions. Before a call or meeting, write out a list of questions that you want to learn about the school and the coach.  College coaches always appreciate well thought out and intelligent questions.  Some things to uncover in these conversations may include the programs’ graduation rates, team GPA, team goals, in-season and off-season training schedules/expectations, team bonding events and how the coach sees you fitting in the program.

3. Be memorable – write a hand written note. After a conversation or meeting with a coach, write a hand written note thanking him or her for their time. At the very least, send a thank you email within 24-48 hours.

4. Introduce yourself at camps. Don’t be intimidated or afraid to walk up to each coach and introduce yourself. Let them know your name, high school, grad year, position and that you’re excited to be there. To make this first introduction even easier, send the coaches in attendance a letter prior to the camp, along with your game video so they have a better chance of remembering you.

5. Stay connected. At the end of a call or meeting, ask the coach if it would be okay to email and update each other every 1-2 months.  Also, ask what social media platform they prefer and keep in touch that way as well. Monitoring the success of a college program and or congratulating the coach shows you have a strong interest in their school/program.

Maintaining consistent touchpoints and building personal relationships with college coaches will typically produce very positive recruiting results. Results that will help you to determine your best-fit school, best coaching staff, best athletic/academic programs, best offer and the best future career opportunities.

 

Over the last five years, SportsForce has helped over 1,000 student-athletes and families successfully navigate the college recruiting and athletic scholarship process while saving families on average $50,000 in college expenses.

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Creating a College Target List

Chances are you are overwhelmed by a never-ending list of colleges. There is a lot of stress that comes along with trying to figure out the ONE school which is right for you.

The first step for creating your college target list is to start identifying your Reach, Target, and Safety (or Fallback) schools.  We recommend that each category should have at least 10-15 Schools.

Reach School

These are schools that you just might get into.  These are labeled your dream or reach schools for a reason.  While you may fall short on some of the requirements you could try to make up for it in other areas.

Target School

These are schools that you should feel pretty confident that you will be accepted to.  Your target schools should be places that you really want to go to.  You should meet all or at least most of the requirements and test scores for these schools.

Safety School

These schools you should feel the most confident about: You are going to get in! These aren’t your dream schools, but you should have some interest in your safety schools.  You should be on the high end or exceed all of the requirements for these schools.

The next step in the creation of your personal college target list is to identify what characteristics of a college matter most to YOU.  Some aspects that can affect which category possible college choices include athletics, academics, cost, and location.

Important Factors to Consider:

Athletics:

Academics:

  • What is the academic reputation of the school? Is it competitive or relaxed?
  • What are the entrance requirements – SAT scores, AP courses, GPA minimum?
  • Does the school offer the major or program you’d like to pursue?
  • If you’re unsure about your future, does the school offer plenty of options?

Cost:

  • How much is your family willing to pay for college?
  • Are you relying on athletic scholarships or financial aid?
  • Will you be paying out-of-state or in-state tuition

Location/Size: 

  • How far away from home do you want to be?
    • Do you prefer a big city or a small town?
    • Do you prefer a large, fast paced environment or small, more personalized attention?                                                             Small: less than 2,000 students

                             Medium: between 2,000 and 10,000 students

                             Large: more than 10,000 students

 

Have a question or are looking for some potential help?

It all starts with an honest NCAA evaluation by an expert who knows what college recruiters are looking for and where you stand, an evaluation of what level of college is right for you.

Learn about scheduling your NCAA evaluation & consultation by following the link provided

http://www.sportsforceonline.com/college-prospect-evaluation-form.php

 

 

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College Prep Ivy League Admission

Matt Hunt, founder and CEO of College Hunt Educational Counseling, once again leads a very informative workshop for prospective college athletes this time focusing on admissions for Ivy League schools.  Throughout the workshop Matt breaks down the requirements and application process for Ivy League admission, as well as providing helpful tips and insight to meet these requirements.  The workshop will conclude with a question and answer segment hosted by Matt. (See link below to the workshop) His experience while counseling at Rancho Bernardo High School has provided an opportunity for him to speak directly with Ivy League admission personnel gaining inside information on the admission process.

Click here to view the video and slides from the Ivy League Workshop

The Ivy League admission office is looking for a positive display of well roundness in every aspect of life

Do you meet the requirements to attend an Ivy League School?

Preparing to compete 

  • Enroll in the highest curriculum possible (honors, AP) taking advantage of your strengths
  • Participate in 2 or more extracurricular activities demonstrating commitment and leadership
  • Strong performance on SAT or ACT

Separating Yourself from other Applicants

  • Participate in internships focusing on your major or career goals
  • Extraordinary initiative or creative thinking in designing your opportunity
  • Strength of character in overcoming adversity

The Essay

  • This is an opportunity to express yourself, future goals, growth, and a particular strength
  • Include specific information regarding the major you wish to be placed in
  • Write your OWN essay, take ownership of process and product

Have a question or are looking for some potential help with the college selection process?

Matt is currently conducting a limited number of college planning consultation calls with families that are serious and committed to attending college.

Click here to schedule your consultation call or you can reach out to Matt directly at matt.collegehunt@gmail.com.

 

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Top 10 NCAA Recruiting Showcase Tips

Andrew Beinbrink, the founder and CEO of Sportsforce, recently completed a live online workshop focusing on how to maximize the benefits of recruiting showcases.  He emphasizes various aspects of NCAA recruiting showcases while providing valuables tips to increase an athletes success at these showcases.  (See the video of the workshop down below)  As a former NCAA Division I and professional baseball player, Andrew has experienced many recruiting showcases providing him with first hand experience to share.

Click here to view the video and slides from the workshop

Are YOU Getting the Most Out of Your Recruiting Showcase Appearances?

Choosing the Right Recruiting Showcase

  • Assure that the showcase’s format will allow the athletes to gain the most exposure
  • Research which colleges and coaches will be attending the showcase
  • Is the time and energy being invested have an equal future return?

“Only attend individual camps if a large number of schools are attending the showcase, or if there is a high amount of interest in that particular athlete”

Maximizing Performance at Recruiting Showcases

  • Be sure to get 8 hours of sleep and always stay hydrated
  • Play with passion attempting to do your best at all times
  • Show your ability to work in a team environment

“Coaches look to see if athletes are showing glimpses of a level of skill and ability that they know they are going to be able to coach and get better”

Contact With Coaches

  • Email coaches with some basic information about yourself as well as why they should care about you and the easiest way to scout you
  • When meeting a prospective coach be sure to give a firm handshake and make eye contact
  • Continue with a follow up email to coaches after their evaluation of you

“You want to make coaches say, I am going to make the time to come see you play.  So letting them know where you are going to be gives you the best opportunity to be recruited”

Have a question or are looking for some potential help?

It all starts with an honest NCAA evaluation by an expert who knows what college recruiters are looking for and where you stand, an evaluation of what level of college is right for you.

Click here to learn about scheduling your NCAA evaluation & consultation

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Finding the right college fit can be one of the most difficult tasks in the college recruiting process…

However, once you do, it will be one of the most rewarding decisions you make in your entire life!

You’ll need to consider everything from athletics, academics and location to the financial costs and social atmosphere of each school. All this criteria goes into creating your college target list and what you and your family should consider when making a decision before you even contact a school.

 All these tools are in our College Recruiting Resources Section.

EXAMPLE CASE: Let’s say you’re a student who has a 3.0 GPA and a 1400 SAT score. Those are solid marks, but not in the upper ranks for academics. Likely, that student-athlete and family shouldn’t target Ivy League schools or schools like Stanford or UCLA on the West Coast. Rather, you should do some research and determine what schools are a better fit for you both athletically and academically.

ACADEMICS

There are some great websites like collegeboard.com that can help you determine what schools might be a great fit for you to attend.

Keep in mind if you are being actively recruited, you don’t have to have the same grades that are required for the listed academic requirements for most schools.

ATHLETICS

Athletically, the best thing you can do is to go out and see a college team play, or watch them on TV to see the caliber of play and if you are capable of developing into that caliber an athlete.

Visiting the athletic website for each college is a must as well.

Here you’ll want to look for the following:

– Get an idea of the type of roster they have and what positions are already filled

– See what their depth chart looks like

– Take note of what the backgrounds of the players are. Were they All-League in high school? All-County or All-State?

Remember, it’s great to dream and have a vision for your career, but it’s also important to be realistic and use your time wisely when you’re looking at the college decision and college recruiting process.

You can get started today by getting a personal scouting evaluation – CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED

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Hopefully you have created your college target list.  If you haven’t started your college target list yet, click here to see how to easily get started.

Once you have started your college target list you should really go through all of your schools and start ranking them based on how they score on some important decision factors.  Click here to review the different decision factors you should be using to help you create and rank your college target list.

The next step for managing your college target list is to use the different decision factors and start identifying which category to place each school in: Reach, Target or Safety.  We recommend that each category should have at least 5-10 schools.

In order to determine which category each school falls into, it is important to know which each category really means.  Below we have broken down each category and provided some additional information to help you identify which schools belong in each category:

Reach Schools

Definition: A reach school is a college that you have a chance of getting into, but your test scores, class rank and/or high school grades are a bit on the low side compared to the school’s profile.

These are schools that you just might get into.  These are labeled your dream or reach schools for a reason.  While you may fall short on some of the requirements you could try to make up for it in other areas.

Expect strong competition for your reach schools and make sure to manage your expectations when applying to these schools.  Your odds might not seem great, but you need to make sure you apply to your reach schools.  You definitely won’t get in if you don’t apply!

Target Schools

Definition: A target school is a college that you are pretty likely to get into because your test scores, class rank and/or high school grades fall in line with school’s profile.

These are schools that you should feel pretty confident that you will be accepted to.  Your target schools should be places that you really want to go to.  You should meet all or at least most of the requirements and test scores for these schools.

Be sure to consider multiple factors when reviewing the schools profile.  Your location could play a key role as State schools often favor in-state students.  If you are applying to out-of-state schools, you may need to exceed the requirements.

Safety Schools

Definition: A safety school is a college that you will almost certainly get into because your test scores, class rank and/or high school grades are well above average when you are reviewing the school’s profile.

These schools you should feel the most confident about: You are going to get in! These aren’t your dream schools, but you should have some interest in your safety schools.  You should be on the high end or exceed all of the requirements for these schools.

It’s important to have your safety schools just in case you don’t get into your reach and target schools.  Your safety schools might provide other criteria that is more beneficial for your family (i.e. less expensive than your target and reach schools).  They may also offer a scholarship or other perks that weren’t available at your other target schools.

Additional Advice:

Don’t Forget to do Your Research

•We recommend using a “bottom up” approach while making your college target list.  While determining your reach schools is important, you should first focus on finding the schools that fall under your safety and target criteria.

•Understand your eligibility for admission at a particular school by getting familiar with the school’s admitted student profile.

Be Well Rounded

•While you may fall short on some requirements, you can make up for it other areas.

•Athletics can help lower the requirements in other areas.

•Volunteer Work, extracurricular activities and involvement in school organizations are also other great ways to boost your opportunities

Separating your schools will help you manage your expectations throughout the admissions process.  It will help ensure you set some ambitious goals for yourself, but you also give yourself some back up options as well.

Tell us how your target list and different categories are coming along.  Leave us a comment in the comments section below.

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We have been stressing the importance of creating your college target list.   It is the first step in preparing for the college recruiting process.  We recently went over how you can create your target college list and how to rank the schools that you add to your list.

Below is a breakdown of some important decision factors for you to consider when you are creating your college target list.

Important Factors to Consider:

Athletics:

  • How large is the roster?
  • Which division do they compete in (NCAA DI, DII, DIII, etc.)?
  • Are there athletic scholarships available? If so, how many?

Click Here to view the scholarships available for your sport in each division

Academics:

  • What is the academic reputation of the school? Is it competitive or relaxed?
  • What are the entrance requirements – SAT scores, AP courses, GPA minimum?
  • Does the school offer the major or program you’d like to pursue?

If you’re unsure about your future, does the school offer plenty of options?

Cost:

  • How much is your family willing to pay for college?
  • Are you relying on athletic scholarships or financial aid?
  • Will you be paying out-of-state or in-state tuition?

Location/Size: 

  • How far away from home do you want to be?
  • Do you prefer a big city or a small town?
  • Do you prefer a large, fast paced environment or small, more personalized attention?

Small: less than 2,000 students

Medium: between 2,000 and 10,000 students

Large: more than 10,000 students

As you can see, there are several very important factors to consider when developing your college target list.  It is essential for you review and discuss which factors are the most important for you and your family.

Tell us which decision factor(s) are the most important to you and how they have helped shape your college target list.  Leave us a comment in the comments section below.

 

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As you continue through the decision making process, chances are you are overwhelmed by a never-ending list of colleges. There is a lot of stress that comes along with trying to figure out the ONE school that is right for you.

College isn’t just a 4 year decision…  It’s a choice that will impact the rest of your life!

In order to help ease your anxiety, we’ve created a simple guide to help you narrow your search, create your target list, and pinpoint that perfect school.

Step 1: Create a list of target colleges

We recommend creating a list of target colleges and putting them into 3 different groups:

Group #1: Reach schools

These schools would have a very high ranking in almost all of the decision making factors that are part of your college decision (see below)

We recommend 10 – 15 schools in this group.

Group #2: Target schools

These schools would have a strong ranking in almost all of the decision making factors that are part of your college decision (see below)

We recommend 10 – 20 schools in this group.

Group #3: Back up schools

These schools would have an average to good ranking in most of the decision making factors that are part of your college decision (see below)

We recommend 10 – 15 schools in this group.

Step 2: Ranking target colleges

Create a list of all of your key decision making factors and give 1 to 5 points for each decision factor (5 being an extremely important decision factor).

Potential decision factors include:

• Academics (Majors offered, career development, alumni)

• Athletics (level of competition, W/L record, tradition)

• Social environment

• Size of school

• Public vs. Private

• Cost

• Coaching Staff

• Location

• Intuition (gut feeling, emotional connection)

We recommend doing this on a spreadsheet and then ranking the potential colleges you are interested in by using this system to create an overall point total for each school.

Once you have created and prioritized your college target list, you will be much more organized and can start setting up your game plan.  Remember, it is very important to examine many different factors when setting up your target list.

Be sure to include your family in the decision making process, as this is a huge decision that will impact you and your family for the rest of your life…

How’s your college target list coming along so far?

Be sure to share your story in our comments section below.

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