Steven Boyle was a 4-year starter at one of the top college programs of his sport. He was a 3-time honorable mention All America, and a key part of a National Championship team. This is a young man who has a great perspective on recruiting and what it takes to be a D1 athlete at a top program. Now an assistant Lacrosse coach at Brown, Steven is still young enough to where his recruiting experience and college playing experience are fresh. His insights on his recruiting experience and how he found the right fit can help you, regardless of your sport.
“Charlie, one thing I would certainly encourage athletes, and especially lacrosse athletes to do is play multiple sports in High School. I know College lacrosse coaches really like those kids, because they get things from all sports, plus they are competitors.”
(Steven earned 3 letters in football and had 10 interceptions in High School as a Safety)
“I’m from New Hampshire, so college coaches aren’t going to go up there. You have to get your name out there. I went to the Top 205 in Baltimore. My High School coach had to nominate me. That was the one place where a lot of college coaches could see me in person. I went there as a sophomore. On September 1st of my junior year was when they could start writing me, and I heard from Syracuse, Princeton, Virginia, Johns Hopkins and others. Recruiting has really accelerated in recent years. I made my visits and had offers from North Carolina, Virginia, Syracuse and others. I committed to Johns Hopkins University before I played my junior year of High School.”
At Division One, certain sports do have full athletic scholarships, but not all. In sports like lacrosse, where there are 30 to 40 players on a roster, you don’t see a lot of full scholarships at D1 or any level. They divide them up. Because Steven was so accomplished in High School (a 3 time HS All America) he got close to a full scholarship. He just paid for food and books all four years.
This is a young man that had offers from several national powers. I wanted him to share why he picked Johns Hopkins. Some obvious reasons athletically would be their nine NCAA titles and the 39 consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament.
“Why did I pick Johns Hopkins? I felt they REALLY wanted me, plus they didn’t have a player like me on their roster. I am an attackman, like a point guard in basketball. Johns Hopkins has 5500 students, . so it is not too big. It is right in the heart of Baltimore, 3 or 4 miles from downtown. Socially, it is not Florida State or some party State University, but you can have a good social experience. Johns Hopkins usually drew about 10,000 fans per home game. The school has great tradition in lacrosse. It is D1 in that sport and D3 in all others. Our games were on ESPNU and we played grueling schedules against North Carolina, Duke, Maryland, Syracuse and other national powers.”
As I listened to Steven’s answer, I thought that he nailed two key factors in finding the right fit for College Sports. Number one, he found a school that REALLY WANTED HIM. That is key. Go where they really want you. Also, he found significant funding. If you can get those two, and you find a school that you would still love even if you had a career ending injury, then you are on it!
When I speak, I am candid with audiences about the commitment of playing college sports, especially at D1. There are some athletes that go to that level, and get worn out by it. Others eat it up. Steven took it on and came away with treasured memories.
“Charlie, I wouldn’t trade the experience I had for anything! We won the National Championship my freshman year. I started all 4 years.”
I got him to talk about the commitment it takes to be a D1 athlete. He went through it as a play, and now as a coach at D1 Brown continues to be connected to the level of commitment it takes.
“Charlie, when I was at Johns Hopkins, here is how it went. The season is in the Spring. In the Fall, we practice 4 days a week, and then go to Winter Workouts. For Spring season, we start preseason January 20th. A typical day during the season would have me taking classes in the morning. I would get to the locker room around 2:30. Practice would go from 3:30 to 6. Then I would watch film of practice and of upcoming opponents for an hour or so. You get 4 hours with the coaches, per NCAA rules, but it doesn’t stop there for us. So a normal day would have me there from 2:30 until about 8. then I would eat and study. It’s not a case where you can come back and go, ‘Now I want to play a video game.’ It is a commitment, and I knew that going in. I was fine with it. It is what I wanted. Athletes, especially at Division 1, have to understand the commitment. Also, I had a head coach in Dave Pietramala who is very fiery. He gets after you, but you have to understand it is not personal. He recruits guys who can take it. He is intense, but always has your back.”
Steven graduated from Johns Hopkins in 2010 with a BA in Political Science. He became an Assistant Coach/Offensive Coordinator under head coach Rick Brocato at St. Paul’s School For Boys in Baltimore. He joined the Brown coaching staff in 2011 where his focus has been working with the offensive schemes and the development of the attackmen and offensive midfielders. That’s another thing that can come from playing college sports. If you love your sport, there could be opportunities to continue on as a coach and stay connected to the world of sports.
To get a realistic 3rd party evaluation of your child athletically and academically from a NCSA Scout to help you find the right level for your young person at the college athletics level go here
Charlie Adams was a sports anchor for 23 years, where he saw many families struggle with the recruiting process because of a lack of education on the subject. Charlie is a supporter of NCSA’s message of Athleadership and sometimes speaks on the recruiting process. Since 2005 he has been a motivational speaker with his keynotes and seminars often being based on sports-related themes. Corporate leaders that bring him in as a speaker often tell him that they seek to hire former college athletes because those athletes bring the ability to manage time, lead, compete, set and reach goals, and work as team players because of their college athletics background. Charlie has written four books on peak performance and the power of attitude. For more information on his programs go to StokeTheFireWithin.com