It's that time of year again, boys and girls. (No, it's not "Should I buy a jacuzzi because I really want a jacuzzi?" time. That's in December, duh, right after you realize that sitting in hot water while its snowing is a mind-bending yet desirable reality. Don't you remember? Jeez, get your times of the year straight, jerkface.)
With the summer starting its sunrise, young men from around the country will make pilgrimages to various posts to improve their game and, if they're lucky, catch the attention of a coach or two in the hopes of eventually hitching on with a Division I program somewhere in the United States. This is a difficult time for a recruit, what with the contact period open and their phones acting like a drag strip starter tree. This period, however, is even more difficult for the coaches out there: You only get limited shots at getting an evaluation and recruiting pitch right; if you screw it up, well, Manhattan is looking for a coach.
Luckily, I'm here to provide some helpful tips on evaluating and recruiting all that talent out there. As a recipient of a B.A. in "Intelligence" from the University of Genius, I am uniquely equipped to make sure that all you talent evaluators out there are going into this summer with a knowledge set that will make all these trips efficient and successful.
TIP NUMBER ONE: EVALUATE ONLY THE HUMAN SPECIES
That alligator lurking over by the trees and the swamp? Ignore it. (I mean, ignore it for lacrosse purposes, not for existing purposes. A chomped leg due to negligence toward alligators in your general vicinity is a quick trip toward becoming a swamp boat operator, not an established lacrosse talent evaluator.)
I know there's an allure to wondering whether you can "coach up" an alligator to become, at a minimum, an honorable mention All-American. But the simple fact remains that while alligators have the mean streak necessary to become great takeaway defenders -- with reference to limbs and not, you know, the ball or anything -- their short arms are terrible for developing stick skills (or even for holding a stick). Trust me.
TIP NUMBER TWO: AVOID AWKWARD
If you happen to notice a player that intrigues you, don't walk up to a random adult and ask, "Excuse me. Do you know that kid's name? I'm asking for a friend." Especially don't do it if you nudge the adult in the ribs and wink and have a sly smile or anything. Also, any kind of "You know what I mean?" eyebrow activity is probably a bad idea. And also you should be a coach or something when asking these kinds of questions and not have restricted access to playgrounds and bowling alleys and the like.
Failing to follow any of that stuff is how you end up in the back of a police cruiser and having your picture put in the newspaper.
TIP NUMBER THREE: THE SALES PITCH
Once you pick out a small litter of talent that you'd like, always lead with the positives when pitching your program:
- "Sure, Michigan is working on building dedicated lacrosse facilities, and you can go there if you want, but I have it on high authority -- and don't go spreading this around -- that we're going to be playing games by 2014 on our moon base facility with intergalactic broadcasts. Have you ever played lacrosse in near anti-gravity? I bet Virginia can't offer you that; what I can offer you is a universal title. Think about it, my future lacrossetronaut." (That may be a lie, but it's cool to lie to teenagers. (I think.))
- "We have the nation's most dedicated strength and conditioning program ever conceived. There's something magical and unique about our daily pushes of T-90 tanks through a group of peaceful protesters that both emboldens your inner bear spirit while also teaching you the civics of oppression. We're all about building a well-rounded individual in our program: sound mind, strong body, complete spirit, and crushing the minds, bodies, and spirits of people we disagree with."
- "Would you like some of our literature? Maybe attend one of our meetings? L. Ron Hubbard was a great man."
More later? Who knows. The Internet is unreliable!