Now this may seem pretty obvious, but you would be surprised how many recruiting classes lack where the biggest needs are. This kind of runs in line with Rule 1 of get a goalie in every class.
What I mean by recruit to your needs, is exactly that. Are you losing all three of your starting attackman to graduation and only have four guys in the pipeline? Well, then it looks like you need attackman, doesn’t it. That is the kind of stuff I am talking about with Rule 2.
It is critical for college coaches to not just jump on the high-caliber guys without any thought. I mean sure, every coach would over to have a Myles Jones or Lyle Thompson type player, but that’s not reality. That is why college coaches need to identify where their needs are and recruit to those spots first and foremost. If you can get a high caliber player at one of those spots the great, but for many programs that actually don’t appear to follow this rule to a T there is no 5-star walking though the door.
And it is lower programs in particular where you do see coaches not recruiting to their needs. There are always multiple programs that fail in this aspect every year and I really don’t understand how.
Now you need to recruit to your needs because those holes need to be filled. Whether that player will be a day one starter or will be in the pipeline for a few seasons, you need a hole to be filled.
If you refer back to Rule 1 where I talked about if a goalie or multiple goalies go down then you need a backup, it’s the same thought process here. You have to have more than just two tiers at every position. For example there are some defensemen that are put at LSM as freshman and sophomores to get reps and will then become starting close defenders as juniors and seniors. Those players were there if needed and still got reps at the LSM position.
You need to think about that in recruiting because injuries do happen in a contact sport and you may need a young guy to step up if needed.
Another part of recruiting to your needs is based on system and style of play. Why did the Thompson’s work so well at Albany? Because of the Scott Marr system of play free and loose. That style of play that Albany runs is much different from that of Maryland or Notre Dame. Now would the Thompson’s still have been as good at those places? probably, but not every team has that kind of talent.
When out on the recruiting trail coaches need to grab players that fit their system or style of play. When you look at schools like Navy, Air Force, and Army they do it best. The service academies are much different then other schools, but there is a prototypical Air Force attackman, a Navy-style midfielder, and an Army type defenseman. These programs always get players that seem to fit the style of play on both sides of the ball.
As previously mentioned, the service academies are different but they are the best example of college coaches recruiting to certain style of play. Now, there are some players that can fit into any style of play and those are even better gets for many coaches across the country.
Lastly, filling holes and recruiting to your needs can create competition. When you have a talented senior leave then the player right under him may feel that he has that spot secured. well, if you bring in a player or multiple players to fill a void at that particular position then the guys already on the roster will work harder to get that starting spot as well. That kind of competition is great for teams and can bring out the best in everyone.