Monday, April 21, 2014

Dealing With Rejection

Fred Opie (far left) in a Herk vs. Nassau game at Hofstra University 1983  
It’s that time of the year when college coaches are out traveling around the country watching tournaments and checking out prospective players and deciding who they can and should recruit. Soon some players will start receiving email, mail, and phone calls and invitations to visit campuses. Some highly coveted players entering their sophomore and junior years in high school are starting to feel the pressure. Those not   receiving any "love from coaches" are starting to feel low self-esteem.  My story as former scholarship lacrosse player at Syracuse University and U. S. National Team player may surprise you. I did not receive allot of love my junior or senior year. As senior I might have received two letters from Division III coaches  My prospects improved after attending junior college (JUCO) at Herkimer County Community college and playing for now Hall of Fame Coach Paul Wehrum.  I first tearn All American honors my first year at Herkimer but the honor did not help my case much because are team did not advance to the final four teams in the JUCO championships. That was the stage in the game when coaches came to see players like they now do at summer tournaments and thereafter offered opportunities to the players they believed would contribute their programs. Clay Johnson from my hometown played for Maryland and he was my hero. Thus naturally I wanted to play for Maryland one day. The problem was I recruited Maryland harder than they recruited me a guy with little notoriety. University of Maryland coach Dino Mattessich supposedly sent somone to watch me play against Nassau Community College on the island. Nassau was the top rank team in the nation at the time and players from the program regularly earned scholarships to the top lacrosse programs and schools in the country. I played perhaps my best lacrosse ever. However following  the game Maryland continued show little interest no discussion of scholarship money occurred. I sent inquiries’ to the coaches at Carolina and West Point receiving in turn cordial rejection letters. It was during this time I learned the skill of how to spot a rejection letter without opening the envelope. This skill would later serve me well as I tried to get my first books published from 2000 to 2009. Syracuse went on to beat Maryland in the NCAA quarter finals that year in the Career Dome. Coach Dino Mattessich resigned as the Maryland lacrosse coach shortly thereafter and left coaching to become an athletic director. I don’t believe one of my many phone calls to the Maryland lacrosse office ever made it pass the secretaries who screened calls; nor did any of the coaches return my calls. Now that friends and people who I've coach are college coaches, I better understand both the process and just how many contacts they get about prospective players. Most do the best they can returning calls and emails but they are simply understaffed and overworked. Coaches feel terrible when a great player gets overlooked and players feel slighted when coaches show them no love. I certainly learned over the years how to make myself more attractive as I candidate and much of what I learned happened through lacrosse. Perhaps most importantly, I learned how to separate what I do from who I am and the importance of fit when potential employers or publishers say no to me.

My College Recruiting Series: 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

What To Do If You Don't Get An Athletic Scholarship Offer?

Me on the right covering Yorktown's Rob Hoynes during the Spring of my senior year at Croton Harmon High School. Rob, a great player and person, went on to be an All-American midfielder in high school and at West Point.  
 Related links  below

My College Recruiting Series:

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Sankofa Lacrosse Interviews Part 5, Devon and Tre Sherwood

Fred Opie interviews Devon and Tre Sherwood. Devon played goalie at Duke University and Tre midfield at Western Connecticut University. They played high school ball at Baldwin High in Nassau County, Long Island. There father Chuck Sherwood played goalie at Hempstead High and then at Duke in the the early 1970s. They are members of the SanKofa Lacrosse Team on October 25, 2013 on the campus of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Opie played lacrosse at Syracuse University and on the 1990 U. S. National Team. 

Sankofa Lacrosse Interviews:

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Sankofa Lacrosse Interviews Part 4, Chazz Woodson

Fred Opie interviews Chazz Woodson co-founder and members of the SanKofa Lacrosse Team. The interview took place in the fall of 2013 on the campus of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Woodson played collegiate lacrosse at Brown and now plays on the LXM tour. Opie played lacrosse at Syracuse University and on the 1990 U. S. National Team. 

Chazz Woodson Lacrosse Highlights:

Chazz Woodson on Twitter:

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Sankofa Lacrosse Interviews, Part 3 Sam Bradman

Fred Opie interview with SanKofa Lacrosse Team's Sam Bradman who played college ball at Salisbury State and now on the LXM tour. 

Sankofa Lacrosse Interviews: [watch now]

Sam’s Bradman’s College Career: [watch now 2 min 28 sec]

LXM Pro Lacrosse Highlights:

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Sankofa Lacrosse Interviews Part 2

Fred Opie interviews University of Virginia alum and LXM Pro John Christmas and Onondaga CC's Kieondre Woody members of the SanKofa Lacrosse Team. Opie played lacrosse at Syracuse University and on the 1990 U. S. National Team. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan

Frederick Douglass Opie is an invited halftime speaker at a fall youth Lacrosse tournament at Lincoln Sudbury High School in Massachusetts in November 2013. In this halftime talk Opie challenges players, coaches, and parents to redefine success on and off the field. He says that success and failure in most instances are planned events and that stress is most often comes from lack of preparation. He shares how he as person with ADD/ADHD as taken steps to succeed over the years. Opie played lacrosse at Syracuse University and on the 1990 U. S. National Team. He is Professor of History and Foodways at Babson College.

One Nation Lacrosse [Watch Now 7 min 19 sec]

Helping Boys Develop Friendships: [Listen 17 min: 51 sec]

What Makes A Good Coach? [Listen Now 52 min 50 sec]

Lessons from My Graduate School Experience: