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A Proud Tradition

NCSA caught up with newly hired assistant coach of Guilford College, Coach Bates.  Here is what Coach Bates had to say about his lacrosse program:

1. How would you describe yourself as a coach?

I would say that I am a players coach. I want each player to achieve his maximum potential. I have high expectations for my players and expect them to put in the time necessary for us to be successful. I will push them and continue to work with them until they have achieved it, whether that is in 1 season or 3 seasons. I want my players to walk away from my program after 4 years and say, “That was a great experience. I learned a lot, but achieved more than I thought I could.”

2. What’s unique about the experience at your school?

Our school is unique primarily because of our school’s Quaker background. The Quaker tradition and Guilford traditions have created an active learning and accepting community. Our players will get to know their professors on a first name basis and interact with people of a variety of beliefs and backgrounds. Sure, other schools can boast the same type of interaction, but due to our size, this is a very real part of everyday life at Guilford. On the lacrosse field Guilford has a proud tradition and we are currently in the process of rebuilding while also competing in the always competitive Old Dominion Athletic Conference which makes for a very exciting lacrosse experience!

3. What do recruits need to know about you?

Prospective players need to know that we are here to help them be as successful as they can. We genuinely care for our players and strive daily to help them reach their goals in all aspects of life. Our office door is always open and our players know that they can come see us at anytime to discuss lacrosse, school, life, or whatever.

4. What do you look for in recruits?

We look for hard-nosed, hard-working, multi-sport athletes. We want players who have proven themselves not only on the lacrosse field, but in academics, community service and in other athletic endeavors. Lacrosse is a sport that can be enhanced by an athletes experience in other sports. Lastly we want players with character. When we talk with their high school or club coach we want to hear things like: coachable, team player, hard worker, and respectful.

5. What is the one thing every recruit needs to do with the recruiting process?

Every recruit needs to be proactive. Players need to understand that there are more and more high school lacrosse players looking to play in college every year. College coaches do not have the time to get to know every high school program and go “hunting” for players. The recruits need to pursue the colleges they are interested in, contact the coaches and get their information to the coaches as quickly as possible. Too many players wait for college coaches to call them and miss their opportunity to continue their career.

6. What sort of questions do you really like to hear from recruits?

We like to hear questions about the school and the academic side of college. This lets us know that the athlete is just as interested in his education as his lacrosse experience. College is not just about continuing to play, but about getting a degree that will support the student for the remainder of his life. Also, it is always reassuring and shows maturity when the athlete knows some information about the college. If he can talk about schools in our conference, different areas of study, the location of campus, this shows me that he has already done a little homework on the school and is being proactive with his college search.

7. What turns you off when you’re recruiting a student athlete?

There is nothing worse than when a coach makes a call to a prospective player and the player hardly talks at all. The recruiting process is very much about building a relationship and letting the coach and player get to know each other. The recruit needs to be able to talk about himself, share his career goals and ask quality questions when talking with the coach.

8. What do you think your program is the most successful at?

At Guilford we are blessed to play in one of the toughest conferences in all of Division III. We face top 20 teams week-in and week-out as well as a strong out of conference schedule. We have new and outstanding facilities that when coupled with our strong academics, make for a very complete college experience.

9. Why should a recruit consider your program?

We offer an opportunity to truly find a lacrosse family that will support them throughout all aspects of their lives. This is formed by players with similar life values, by working hard on the field, by playing a very tough lacrosse schedule, and through quality interaction with players, coaches, and other mentors who want to help you grow.

10. If a recruit is interested in your program, how should they reach out to you?

The best way to get our attention is to fill out our online questionnaire on our Men’s Lacrosse page. This gets sent directly to me and gives me all the information I need to “get the ball rolling” with the recruiting process. To further get our attention, send me a complete schedule of your spring/summer/fall lacrosse schedule, with dates and locations of all events.

About the author
Aaron Sorenson