The Ottawa Capitals are a Canadian lacrosse club focused on providing a high-quality lacrosse experience to the areas in the region that were under-served.
The focus of the Ottawa Capitals Lacrosse Club is to help their players reach the next level in academics and athletics. This could mean advancement into the US Prep School system, the NCAA or CUFLA here at home in Canada. As Club, a huge emphasis is placed on the academic aspect of the student-athletes.
The Ottawa Capitals lacrosse club was born out of necessity when Director Jay Fox, who was driving his son over 10 hours round-trip to play in Toronto, recognized the need for a local club lacrosse experience.
The goal of the club is to have every player attend the college of their choice. It does not matter whether that level is D1, D2 or D3. What matters most is that the player strives to reach their goal of playing at a specific level and/or program.
This paper will look into how the Ottawa Capitals use the SportsRecruits platform to provide real, tangible value to their student-athletes and families.
Looking for Technology to Manage Recruiting
The Ottawa Capitals are a relatively new club organization, currently with three teams at the high school level. The club was born out of necessity, when Director Jay Fox, who was driving his son over 10 hours round-trip to play in Toronto, recognized the need for a local club lacrosse experience.
“We started about three years ago,” said Fox. “It was born out of the fact that that I was driving 10 hours round-trip for my son to play in Toronto. I knew that everyone wasn’t going to do that, but that there were a lot of players here, in Montréal and in the Mohawk territories. I thought if we could draw in the good players from those areas that we would have a pretty good program.”
“I would just say SportsRecruits has made my life as a club director so much easier. It just allows me to advocate where appropriate to help move that process along. Without it, you are not always going to know when a school has reached out to one of your players, or when one of your players has reached out to a school. You can’t be on the phone with families all day, every day. The platform allows you to best monitor what is going on with your players’ recruiting.”
-Jay Fox, Director, Ottawa Capitals
With the importance of recruiting to the club experience, they were eager to provide a way for their players to be seen by college coaches. However, knowing they were not a hotbed area, they recognized the need for a technology solution.
“We are not exactly a hotbed area, and we understand the challenge of getting noticed,” said Fox. “We are not a bigger American club – we have full-time jobs and aren’t charging our guys a ton. We aren’t in it to make money. I know some of the bigger American clubs, they charge a lot already. For us, we thought we were really doing our players a disservice by not using the platform.”
The Capitals were spending a lot of time on administrative tasks and redundant work, which took away from time spent assisting their student-athletes. Coaches and club staff were devoting hours a day copying/pasting emails and manually trying to keep tabs on the recruiting efforts of their families.
“Before we had the platform for my older son, he had been using a spreadsheet to stay organized,” said Fox, whose son was a individual user of the platform before they implemented it for the entire club. “But, it took a lot of work to update it, inputting things like whom he spoke when, when he spoke with them, what they talked about. The platform eliminated the need to do that. Everything is there for you. It saves all of your messages and responses. Everything is right there.”
Like many club sports organizations, the Ottawa Capitals had almost no data about how their student-athletes were performing in the recruiting process. They were reliant only on individual meetings where accountability on the player’s side was limited, while transparency on the organization’s side was almost non-existent.
Enter the SportsRecruits platform.
SportsRecruits Integrated Solution
The Capitals started with SportsRecruits when Fox realized the platform that worked for his son could be a club-wide solution.
“It’s a real personal story for me, said Fox.” “My oldest son signed up for an account. I was helping him contact colleges and started looking around – just trying to go to websites to get coaches information was a pain. I found your website and signed up for an account. He took off with it. He was contacting coaches like crazy, and I just saw how much value there was in the product.”
With the club’s challenge of not being in a hotbed are, they needed a way to handle the differing needs of their student-athletes in order to provide them the most exposure. They recognized the need for their student-athletes to be proactive, and were drawn to the ease with which their players could contact college coaches.
The Ottawa Capitals club is committed to providing a first-class experience that stresses academics, ensuring players are in the best position possible to arrive at their chosen destination.
“The key feature is being two clicks away from emailing a coach,” said Fox. “You don’t have to go to a school site and search for their information. The platform makes it so easy to contact a coach. I also like how you can easily CC the assistant coaches from the school. Just making that contact with the colleges is great.”
With the assistance the platform provides, they were drawn to how SportsRecruits integrates seamlessly within their existing infrastructure, making the transition almost seamless to using the platform’s tools. As a director, Fox enjoys how helpful the platform has been.
“As a club director, for me to have the opportunity to know exactly who our guys are talking to, who is watching their videos, it’s great,” said Fox. “If a college coach watches a video, it is so easy for me to follow up with them the same day, send them an email advocating on behalf of the player, letting them know what I think of them as a fit. For me, it’s huge. If it’s just a player that doesn’t have the platform and is just putting his video up on YouTube, he doesn’t know who is watching it. You can do a geographical search, but you can’t tell that the Maryland staff just watched your video. That is just a huge value added. It’s unbelievable. We love it.”
Customizing the Tools for Success
As a younger club, the Capitals enjoy using the suite of tools on the SportsRecruits platform to begin the recruiting conversations for his families. One such tool is the ability to see which college coaches are viewing a player’s profile and video, as well as how the ability to easily recommend schools for the player.
“I would just say it has made my life as a club director so much easier,” said Fox. “It just allows me to advocate where appropriate to help move that process along. Without it, you are not always going to know when a school has reached out to one of your players, or when one of your players has reached out to a school. You can’t be on the phone with families all day, every day. The platform allows you to best monitor what is going on with your players’ recruiting.”
“As a club director, for me to have the opportunity to know exactly which college coaches our guys are talking to, who is watching their videos, it’s great. It is so easy for me to follow up with them the same day, send them an email advocating on behalf of the player, letting them know what I think of them as a fit. For me, it’s huge. It’s unbelievable. We love it.”
-Jay Fox, Ottawa Capitals
With the process in motion, the Capitals are able to let his families and student-athletes know a coach has looked at their information, and can tag a school for a player if they already had not done so. This alerts the family that it is time to contact the college coach while simultaneously allowing him to reach out to the coach on behalf of the player. All of this is done in a few clicks right from the platform.
The ability to easily message coaches and utilize data to assist families are two of the biggest reasons why the Capitals enjoy using the SportsRecruits platform. In this way, the team has a system in place to provide a consistent experience to members interested in playing at the next level.
SportsRecruits provides a way for the Capitals to provide tangible recruiting assistance to its families while at the same time being able to hold player’s accountable for their own progress.
“I recommend the platform and the service to anyone who asks and most people who don’t ask,” said Fox. “It’s been great for me as a club director, it’s been great for me as a parent, and it’s been great for so many kids that I have been around – both my own kids and our players. I am a huge fan.”
At a Glance
What they needed
A way to provide student-athletes with the ability to get exposure from a non-hotbed area.
Streamline the recruiting assistance provided by the club.
Data and analytics to point players in the right direction as they attack the recruiting process.
What they did
Implemented the SportsRecruits platform into their club in 2013.
Entrenched a consistent club-wide system to handle the recruiting process.
When we stared our team, I just wanted to be involved with you guys, because I really believe in the product.
Director, Ottawa Capitals