Patriot Lacrosse is one of the most respected lacrosse clubs in the country. When Coach Chuck Ruebling founded the club in 1998, he did so with a mission to provide all players who wanted recruiting guidance with a top-notch recruiting program. Chuck managed the process with a variety of tools – phone, email, written records, Microsoft Word and Excel, and later with Google Forms and online document management systems. Relevant information was siloed and disconnected. It was disorganized, but manageable.
In the past decade with the proliferation of “early recruiting,” Coach Ruebling has gone from managing the recruiting process for 10-20 rising seniors to managing the process for 80-100 freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors. Patriot Lacrosse knew that if they were to continue providing an elite recruiting program, they needed a way to organize the process seamlessly. In 2014 Patriot fully embraced a platform approach and integrated with SportsRecruits.
“SportsRecruits helps us engage the players to get involved in the process. It’s given them structure and organization in their pursuit of the college recruiting process.” – Chuck Ruebling, Director
This case study will highlight how Patriot Lacrosse has effectively handled the following challenges by integrating with the SportsRecruits platform:
- Efficiently communicating with college coaching contacts given size and breadth of organization.
- Managing the recruiting processes of an organization that has grown substantially in the past five years.
- Ensuring player engagement in the recruiting process at scale.
Communication is Key
Using the SportsRecruits platform, Patriot Lacrosse’s communication is now more efficient. This is true both internally between staffers and externally with college coaches.
While Coach Ruebling needs no introduction to coaches at the next level, this platform allows his conversations with them to start further along, saving both time while increasing their effectiveness.
“The most important thing on the platform is the communication and the connectivity; that has been the biggest plus,” said Ruebling.
Utilizing features on the platform that allow him to send student-athlete’s information instantly – with no attachments – means conversations with his college coaching contacts begin from a constructive place.
“My procedure is usually to send four names to a school with their profiles and anecdotal information,” said Ruebling. “Then I usually follow up with a phone call asking if they saw the email and getting some more feedback. It makes the front-end of the conversation a little bit easier, and saves the time because many of them have read what I had to say and take the conversation to another level.”
Communication is an area of focus for Patriot Lacrosse.
In addition to augmenting the communication with college coaches, Patriot has also been able to improve its internal communication. One feature that has been helpful is the ability for club staffers to recommend schools for student-athletes.
“The platform has helped with our internal communication,” said Ruebling. “If a coach calls me about X, Y or Z player, I can now tag those schools for the players.”
Thanks to the SportsRecruits platform, Patriot Lacrosse is better equipped to effectively utilize contacts both internally and externally, allowing the breadth and scope of all communications to be significantly greater.
“SportsRecruits is great – one-stop shopping with pretty much everything we need, with all of the information we need at hand,” said Ruebling.
Managing Student-Athletes at Scale
Patriot Lacrosse is one of the most respected lacrosse clubs in the country. When Coach Chuck Ruebling founded the club in 1998, he did so with a mission to provide all players who wanted recruiting guidance with a top-notch recruiting program.
Chuck managed the process with a variety of tools – phone, email, written records, Microsoft Word and Excel, and later with Google Forms and online document management systems. Relevant information was siloed and disconnected. It was disorganized, but manageable.
With the proliferation of “early recruiting,” Coach Ruebling has gone from managing the recruiting process for 10-20 rising seniors to managing the process for 80-100 freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors. Patriot Lacrosse knew that if they were to continue providing an elite recruiting program, they needed a way to organize the process seamlessly. In 2014 Patriot fully embraced a platform approach and integrated with SportsRecruits.
5X INCREASE IN PATRIOT PLAYERS NEEDING RECRUITING ASSISTANCE
Since 2009, Patriot Lacrosse needs to assist 5X the amount of players in the recruiting process because of the accelerated timeline. Thanks to the SportsRecruits platform, the organization is still able to provide its student-athletes with tailored assistance.
“10 years ago, I would only be dealing with 10-20 kids at most, and it was very manageable,” said Ruebling. “Now, we are dealing with 30 kids per class times three or four classes. So the number of kids that we are dealing with has exponentially increased. It’s gone from 10-20 to 50-100. That became unwieldy. There were tons of different papers. Now, SportsRecruits makes that more manageable.”
SportsRecruits provides the club the tools and resources needed to ensure student-athletes have guidance through the recruiting process. The platform does this for the organization by allowing staffers the ability to monitor all player activity in one place. This ensures no players are slipping through the cracks while streamlining the process for both parties.
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Chuck Ruebling is the Director of Patriot Lacrosse. He is a legend in the coaching community, bringing over 30 years of coaching experience to the organization. He has been the head coach at the Delbarton School in New Jersey for 29 years, and was most recently an assistant coach on the U19 Men’s National Team.
“The big thing about SportsRecruits is that you can see the activity of the player,” said Ruebling. “With Google docs you were never given a notice that this player contacted this coach, or updated their profile. I would be looking through 60-80 kids on the Google docs, and I would not be alerted to any communication with college coaches or the viewing of a profile by the college coaches.
Driving Player Engagement with SportsRecruits
The recruiting process is very competitive. As such, players need to be engaged in order to drive their own process. As the recruiting timeline accelerated, more Patriot players became involved. It became a challenge to ensure each student-athlete was engaged.
Student-athletes have always driven their own recruitment, but input and guidance from the club were vital. SportsRecruits makes these actions possible for Patriot players and staff. The platform provides student-athletes the the tools they need to reach out to schools, and provides access to all activity for club staff to monitor.
The result is a player-driven process that allows organizational input, advice and guidance where needed.
“One of the biggest positives we have seen with SportsRecruits is the engagement of the players,” says Ruebling. “They like it. It’s part of their routine in the recruiting process. It is safe to say that the engagement by the players in their process is up significantly.”
4X INCREASE IN PLAYERS ENGAGEMENT IN THE RECRUITING PROCESS
SportsRecruits has increased player engagement in the recruiting process for Patriot student-athletes significantly, by approximately 4X
As players are better able to find schools that are the right fit, club staff members can watch their activity in real time. This ensures players, with the help of their coaches, are targeting the right schools. “The players are able to spark interest in a broader spectrum of colleges, as opposed to me making a phone call to spark interest,” added Ruebling. “[Targeting] many schools as opposed to one or two schools increases their opportunities.”
With players more engaged, club staff then ensures no one is slipping through the cracks, as the platform provides full transparency from both the student-athletes and the club.
Seeing activity – like when a college coach is looking at a student-athlete’s information on the platform – is a helpful indicator of player engagement and ultimately, success in the recruiting process.
“I like to look at which coaches have been viewing profiles,” said Ruebling. “It becomes very clear which kids are engaged in the recruiting process, who are working hard at this. I track that.”
About Patriot Lacrosse
Established in 1998, Patriot Lacrosse offers boys lacrosse players clinic based instruction, summer elite teams and community outreach opportunities. Patriot Summer Elite Teams are for the elite player in grades four-12 who wishes to be coached by the best and to compete with and against the best players in the country. Patriot Outreach Program is rooted in the belief that “giving back” is an essential component of character development. Patriot Outreach offers community service opportunities in the lacrosse community and supports community service opportunities of its members. Patriot Elite understands that lacrosse is a means to support the development of young men. Their focus is on helping young players become the best athletes and best people that they can possibly be. The club was started and is grounded in the fundamentals and instruction, and continues that focus with one of the most elite coaching staffs in the country.