Chris DeLano, owner of the Albany Power, one of the leading lacrosse club programs in the New York Capital Region. Chris DeLano also coaches lacrosse at Niskayuna High School, just outside of Albany. Coach DeLano had a lot of great advice to give high-school athletes looking to play lacrosse at the collegiate level.
What advice do you give your high school student-athletes who want to play at the college level?
Specifically, before events (showcases, tournaments, etc.), Coach DeLano advises players to send emails to the college coaches they want to begin conversing with. In the email, he recommends players be as detailed as possible, providing playing field number, team colors, jersey number, etc. He also suggests that players research the college to ensure the college is a good fit for them. Geography is another significant factor to take into account. For example, players need to be sure they are open to going cross-country if a California lacrosse coach expresses interest in them as a player.
How can a high school lacrosse player get noticed during the recruiting process (showcases, club teams, etc.)? What should high-school lacrosse players focus on throughout their recruiting process that’s different from other sports athletes?
Coach DeLano’s expertise is the sport of lacrosse, so it isn’t very easy to compare the recruiting process for other sports athletes. For lacrosse players in general, college recruiters are trained to identify fundamentally sound players on the field and evaluate the talents they have to offer. The Albany Power Lacrosse Club stresses that their athletes should be unselfish when playing; they shouldn’t show off merely because a college coach is potentially scouting them that day. Coach DeLano also said that he believes it’s important for college recruiters to see athletes making good decisions on the field, which complements his earlier statement about being unselfish.
What are your thoughts on the NCAA divisions?
It’s important to set goals for yourself as a player, simultaneously it’s important to be realistic. Players must evaluate themselves against other talents, for example, “Can I compete against this Division I prospect?” That being said, a lot of players from the Albany Power Lacrosse Club go on to play at top regional schools in the country. Ultimately, it depends on the player, and the Power staff will support and motivate their players to achieve their goals no matter what Division they are hoping to play in.
How vital are overnight visits? What should players look for? What questions should they ask?
Overnight visits are very important for high school prospective athletes to gauge what campus life is like. The athletic side of college is only a portion of college life. Coach DeLano suggests players go on a general admissions tour, but staying overnight with a currently enrolled student-athlete is an incomparable experience. During overnight visits, high-school prospects can begin to imagine living at the college in question. Specifically, attending classes, having meals, and spending free time with current students allows high school athletes to take part in the full college experience.
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