On this week’s episode of New England Lacrosse Journal’s “Chasing The Goal” podcast, hosts Kyle Devitte and Jack Piatelli were joined by Rivers head coach and Fighting Clams director Justin Walker, as well as Noble and Greenough head coach and 3D Lacrosse administrator Matt Rowley.
Walker recently sold the Clams to 3Step, a company that also owns 3D Lacrosse. This essentially makes longtime friends Rowley and Walker co-workers.
As the head coaches of two successful Independent School League programs, Rowley and Walker have developed hundreds of players at the prep school and club level.
In the first part of this two-part podcast, they talk about their backgrounds and how things became a lot more friendly in the club world because of the pandemic.
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Kyle Devitte: I think what I wanted to ask you two about first is, how long have you guys been friends?
Justin Walker: That’s a great question. It was back in the NESLL days. I think Ken Allis and my father were in some way, shape or form, or our companies at the time were enjoying some friction. And you were close to Ken and I was close to my father. So, we felt like that might be sort of a good way to establish some back channels. And you initiated it. That was the first time I ever met you face to face. I shook your hand at fields and stuff, but we never talked.
Matt Rowley: I actually think that I was with NESLL, but it was also when I was beginning to do sales for 3D Blue Chip (Lacrosse Camp). for the first time as well. So I was coaching NESLL that summer, but that was the first year prior to us launching 3D Blue Chip and me going to 3D Lacrosse. So, I think there was a little bit of both going on there. Prior to that, we were staunch adversaries and heated rivals in both club and high school.
Jack Piatelli: How many coaches have you talked to where the parents are sending the e-mails to the coaches trying to promote their own kid? Why isn’t the kid writing the email, right? I got an e-mail from a parent last night asking if the son could come work for us this summer. Has he sent me an email? Because if he wants the job, then he (needs) to write the e-mail. If he wants to get recruited, he’s going to do the work.
JW: Absolutely. And I think one of the other interesting things about the e-mail you bring it up is one of the things I’m wrestling with. What’s the right amount of e-mails to send? Because some clubs, you know someone before your spring season, during your spring season, after, and then middle of your summer. If they’re sending that many e-mails … e-mail is not a functional recruiting tool. You’ve literally just edged it out of the space where it’s functional.
And I think right now, because so many club directors are carpet bombing recruiting with the need for multiple e-mails, you’re doing away with the medium being even remotely effective. Coaches don’t get paid enough to sit and open e-mails.
MR: My hot take is the correct number of emails (to send coaches) is zero.
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