March 17, 2009

Part One (Sept. 2008): Free Fall? | Peer Review: Shannon Smith
Part Two (Oct. 2008): Passport to Campus | Peer Review: Gordie Wells
Part Three (Nov. 2008): Too Vested in Verbals? | Peer Review: Lily Ricci
Part Four (Dec. 2008): Piece of the Pie | Peer Review: Ilyssa Meyer
Part Five (Feb. 2009): Best Foot Forward
Part Six (March 2009): Camp Stories | Peer Review: What Camp Best Fits Me?

Recruiting is a topic on which families, prospects, coaches and others expend considerable resources, time and emotion. Lacrosse Magazine will delve into many of the sub-topics involved in a series of articles, augmented by personal stories from young men and women that have recently completed or are in the midst of the recruiting process.

Part Six of the series helps you navigate the summer camp circuit. This article appears in the March issue of LM, a US Lacrosse publication available exclusively to its members. Join today to start your monthly subscription.

Peer Review: What Camp Best Fits Me?

The answer to that question depends on your age and personal goals.

After starting as a freshman at Ithaca (N.Y.) High School, A.J. Fiore enrolled in a five-day summer lacrosse camp at nearby Hobart College. Fiore’s interest was piqued by a goalie-specific instructional mini-camp offered two days before the camp’s official opening.

“I was evaluated, they gave me a form on what I was good at at that time, what I needed to improve on, where I should improve, how I should improve,” he said. “Individual sessions are much more beneficial then actually the camp itself. Camp itself can be just games.”

Fiore’s pre-camp research paid off. He took that advice, applied it and each of the next two summers, made the Central roster for the highly competitive Empire State Games showcase. Last year as a junior, he committed to Cornell University.

Coaches, parents and players alike concurred on two key points. First, steady individual improvement through instructional camps, both fundamentally and physically, is vital during the youth to 10th grade maturation process. Second, the summers before junior and senior years are the times to aggressively sell yourself to college coaches — i.e. attend showcases.

Coaches and current college players strongly advise prospective recruits to contact camp directors and learn as much as possible about who will staff those camps, and which coaches plan to watch from the sidelines.

“What we do is we try and keep updated the list of camps and venues that we will be at, as soon as we know,” Cabrini men’s coach Steve Colfer said.

Aubrey Green and Kerianne Allen, current seniors and Division I commits at Mount Hebron (Md.) High School, chose their camps last summer by narrowing the lists of colleges they were looking at attending.

Allen weeded her decision down to Towson and UMBC, then attended camps at both universities.

“I really got to see the coaches and how they coach and interact, with just a feel for the whole campus and the whole program,” said Allen, who eventually committed to UMBC. “The girls were our coaches at the clinics, so you got to see the girls and how they interacted.”

Green chose Duquesne.

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