Munoz: Five Big Recruiting Tips
I have written before about my recruiting experience, but I think it's necessary to revisit the subject. Recruiting is the process that allows us to officially consider ourselves college lacrosse players, what we had aspired to do since we were young attending camps and tournaments. With July 1st just passing, and September 1st closely on the horizon, here are some tips that will hopefully help some of you out during this process.
Take your time
I have heard countless stories of people, boys and girls, who end up unhappy at their prospective schools because they didn't take their time during the recruiting process. With the current pace of recruiting it makes it difficult to do so. It is important that you try to take your time, though, so that you can really get a feel of the school, the team, the coaches, and everything else that contributes to your decision. In addition to this point, you should obviously include parents into the decision, but it is ultimately yours to make. The school you will spend four years at by yourself should be your choice. Just because a friend or sibling wouldn't have chosen the school you want doesn't mean it's not the right place for you.
Coaches want to hear from you, and only you. When you are writing emails to coaches make sure that they are from you and not your parents—trust me, they can tell. Also, when you're narrowing down your list of schools, be honest with them. Just like you want to know where you stand with them, they want to know where they stand with you. Also, a lot of coaches are really good friends, so it's likely that they'll know what's going on anyways. Lacrosse is a small community; it just is what it is. It's better to be honest about your decision than lying. If you're waiting to hear from a school let them know, they will understand.
When you're playing at tournaments in front of coaches, relax and play the game you know how. Don't try to over compensate and score every goal. Goals aren't the only thing that matters. If you make a mistake, hustle as hard as you can to recover. Recruiters want to see how hard you will work when you mess up. It's also not all about lacrosse. They watch for how you work with others, and how you listen to your coach and teammates. Just play the game you know how, and you will do great!
Try to stand out
When you're at tournaments and camps it's hard to stand out when you're with a good group of girls. Many coaches have said this to athletes before but it does help coaches to remember you when you wear something different or unique. Whether that's a bright color ribbon or just wearing a headband. Obviously the thing most likely to get a coaches attention is to play well, but I think this could help you a little bit and get coaches to notice and remember you a little more.
Yes, recruiting can be extremely stressful. It's not something I would want to go through again, that's for sure. But the important thing to remember is that everything will work out in the end. When it's over it's the biggest relief. With that said take your time still. When you take your time with the process you're decision will be that much better. Stressing never helps with any problem in life, so just try to relax a little bit and even enjoy it. It's not all bad—it was really fun to go and visit schools in different areas and see new things. Meeting new friends at camps and tournaments is fun too, some of them I still keep in touch with. It's a stressful process but a necessary one to get you to the next level, so don't get too upset with it because it's getting you to a better place.
I'm in the middle of this process myself, as a counselor. I just finished my first round of camp at Duke, and now headed into the next one. I'm definitely enjoying being on the counseling side of camps instead of the camper side. Even still as a counselor I'm meeting new people and catching up with ones I met last year. Camps are a big part of recruiting, where coaches can work with you on a closer scale. They're a lot of fun, and recruiting can be too if you let it! Good luck on the journey!