First: Find out what programs will be at the showcases

Second: Once you've checked out the program and the school, find out who the coach is (almost all programs have their coaches listed on their website). Be knowledgeable about the program i.e.: which conference it plays in, which division it is a part of, what their record was last year. This will allow you to keep the conversation with the coach going an extra step. 

Third: Email the coach. This is your first introduction and a way to really sell yourself. IF you have film of yourself playing, this is where you attach it. Say who you are, where you are from, what your interests are, and why/how you found their program. Next, say what showcases you noticed they would be attending, and tell them your schedule and the number on your jersey. Make sure they have all of your contact information and let them know you would follow up after the showcase. Many coaches get tons of emails daily and may not respond, do not panic-this is normal. 

Fourth: During the day, before or after some of your games, try to find the coach and introduce yourself. Separating yourself from other recruits is the name of the game, a handshake and putting a face to a name is a great way to do this. 

​Fifth:  It is good to be aware of when you/ coaches can begin contact. A great resource for this information is the NCAA website, under recruiting. As a general rule, most coaches cannot begin contact with prospective student athletes until September 1st of their Junior year. Past that date, a coach can contact you until you start school at a college. 

​Sixth: One great way to have your information all in one place is to make a recruiting profile. There are many great resources to do this, such as FieldLevel, NCSA, CaptainU, and many others. College coaches can actively browse and look at player profiles on these sites, and increases your visibility as a player. 

​Seventh: Highlight Tape.
If you have a highlight tape, or are thinking about making one, make sure that you cover all aspects of your game. If you are play attack, include riding and movement off ball. Mids should show that they can play on both sides of the field, and help with the clearing game. Defensively, show help defense, and making smart decisions with the ball after crossing the midline. Do not have a song that is vulgar or offensive. Try to make your tape less than 2 songs long (2-6 min) anything longer will probably not be watched. Do include your contact information, athletic stats/ awards, and academic achievements at the beginning of the tape. 

​Eighth: Social Media.
With social media having such an impact and presence in the recruiting world, it is important that you pay attention to what you post and who can view you on your personal accounts. One of the first things a college coach or potential employer will do is to immediately search you on most social media platforms in order to get a better understanding of who you are. A great rule of thumb is to place all personal accounts in "private mode", so that only people who you approve can look through your social media profiles. 

From a big-picture standpoint, we instruct players to approach the process with the following prioritization:

1. Academics
2. Social/Fit
3. Lacrosse

Academics should be the top priority. It is the reason for you to continue as a student beyond High School. It's important for you to find the right academic fit. Next, we value “Fit” or the social factors that match specific personalities. We advise players to ask themselves, “If I broke my leg on day 1 would I be happy at this school?” The lacrosse program comes last in our weighted scale. For good measure, the tales of players that were injured, lost interest, transferred, quit, or somehow left the team are endless. Lacrosse is important, but it has its proper place in our process.

We would suggest converting the below list of bullet points into a checklist for analysis when visiting a school or when comparing programs.

1. Academics

*  Major/Degree of Interest
*  Classroom Environment
*  Level of Difficulty

*  Internships Offered

First, players that have specific interests should ensure schools on their college list offer these programs. For example, players interested in business must research institutions that provide this area of focus along with a lacrosse program. Babson College immediately comes to mind as an institution meeting both criteria.

Next, players need to identify their academic standing within the greater student body and select accordingly. Does one want to be challenged, middle of the pack, or valedictorian? Lacrosse commitments — both in and out of season — should be considered, especially when deciding between NCAA Division I, II and III programs. Lastly, players should pay attention to the organizational structure of lectures, precepts, and labs. Colorado College has a unique block plan where students take a deep-dive into one class at a time over a three-and-a-half week stretch. Does that count towards or against this institution?

2. Social/Fit

*  Size
*  Type: Public vs. Private
*  Setting: Urban, Rural, Suburban
*  Travel from Home: Time/Distance and Type
*  Weather

Asking teenagers to ascribe their personal tastes across all of the above factors is far too daunting of an undertaking. Typically they either don’t know their preferences or have a difficult time verbalizing an opinion. So where does one start?

For the average teenage lacrosse player, his frame of reference doesn’t extend beyond the hometown. Therefore players should focus on attributes they can identify and whether they want those features as part of their college experience. Using this approach, players typically fall into two categories when it comes to their selection: change-averse or change-seeking. There is no right way, only the way that makes the most sense for you.

3. Lacrosse

Level: NCAA or MCLA
Coaching Staff
Style of Play
Academic Support
Roster Size
Projected Playing Year
Team Culture

One can get lost in any one of these factors. Players should consider what they want as their overall on-field experience and layer it on top of schools with the right academic profile and social fit. Playing time is a huge factor to consider. Some may prefer to immediately compete for a starting position, some may want to earn their role later on a deep roster of talent, some still may want to red-shirt a year before starting their career. It all comes down to personal preference.

Players should execute lacrosse program due diligence by examining the roster size and construction along with the stability of the coaching staff. Alarms go off when schools bring in extraordinary large classes or have disproportionate number of freshmen to seniors. These figures signal pending cuts, quits, and transfers — typically not a positive indication of a healthy program. Bonus points should be awarded when alumni are at the helm of a program. Clearly they respect the traditions, value the institution, and feel responsible for the on-field product and off-field character development.

Lastly, culture plays arguably the most important role but can be the hardest to define. In simplest terms, a player should ask himself if he enjoys spending time with the team. Sometimes a gut reaction represents the most powerful tool in the decision-making process.
One also needs to consider the team in terms of the greater athletic department and school as a whole. Does the program have access to the necessary facilities and resources that will make the team and players successful?

Creating a college list can seem like an incredibly overwhelming task without even factoring the necessary reciprocal interest from the school itself. Additionally, the timing of communication — emails, phone calls, campus visits — varies based on the parties involved. Needless to say, the recruiting process is unique for each individual and therefore impossible to boil down into a few simple rules. Instead, use the above guidelines to help build an initial college list and reference these priorities when making the final decision.

Maine Mussels Recruiting Director: Cooper Quenneville

Owner of the Maine Mussels

PG Year at Gould Academy- 2009

Played at DII Saint Michael's College- 2010 to 2014

 Assistant at Bowdoin College- 2015-2016 and 2018

Email with questions or advice: