FLG lacrosse club was born in 2007, attempting to offer a program that differed from many in existence in the lacrosse hotbed of Long Island.
The organization is committed to building well-rounded student-athletes who excel on the field, in the classroom and in their communities.
To accomplish this, FLG uses lacrosse to teach its members leadership, teamwork, friendship and a good work ethic. Off the field, FLG players are taught the importance of giving back, partaking in various charities, mentoring and community service events.
“Our mission from day one is building more than just athletes. It’s more than just lacrosse. Lacrosse may have been what brought kids to our platform, but the extra curricular activities and other elements inside our program are why they stay.”
-Corey Winkoff, FLG Club Director
“FLG is a program; it’s not a series of lacrosse teams,” said Club Director Corey Winkoff. “We designed our program and put systems in place to take kids that are developing to helping them through the recruiting process and through their college experience and then as alumni.
This paper will look into how FLG uses the SportsRecruits platform to provide real, tangible value to their student-athletes and families.
Growing a Program, Changing the Culture
FLG was born in 2007, attempting offer a program that differed from many in existence in the lacrosse hot bed of Long Island.
“FLG was really the outgrowth of an idea,” said Winkoff. “It was an outgrowth of one team, and it was an outgrowth of the things that we observed along the way. We try to learn from mistakes made in the space and from what we have observed so we can grow in a positive direction.”
The organization takes a program-wide approach to facilitate this growth. With the ideal that each player deserves the same opportunity at the forefront, FLG prioritizes providing every student-athlete equal attention, regardless of differentiating factors.
For example, the club is organizing a 27-college road trip that is open to every member of the organization – not just one or two of the select teams.
“It is nice to work with a group that is constantly getting better, and helping us to get better as well. It’s the feeling of daily and weekly improvement – seeing new features, a new webinar you guys put out – we learn something, and we can bring it to the kids. You don’t always get that in a business. And you can see it in the results. It’s stuff you can track. You can see the development.”
For FLG, a successful member is one who is treated with care throughout their organization, from the elementary level through the middle school and high school level. The club also offers opportunities for alumni to come back and contribute, while helping to reinforce and foster a family atmosphere.
“It’s all about how you define success,” said Winkoff. “For us, it’s more than just winning games. We designed our program and put systems in place that first helps kids to develop, then helps them grow through the recruiting process and their college experience, and then as alumni. We have expectations for our kids as well that don’t necessarily deal with just lacrosse. We hold them accountable to grow as people, not just players.”
FLG takes pride in their commitment to growing and becoming the best organization possible, willing to adapt to external changes while upgrading the experience of each and every one of their players.
In accordance with this ideal, FLG was looking for a way to improve how they assisted their student-athletes through the recruiting process.
“It helps that we have a staff that is open and flexible to change. We are open to learning and growing ourselves, so we are constantly looking for ways to get better.”
Enter the SportsRecruits Club Management Platform.
FLG integrated the SportsRecruits platform within their organization in 2014. They were attracted to the idea that the platform easily allowed them to keep an eye on all of their players’ activity – allowing them to more efficiently reach their entire organization.
“We had something similar within our program, but here was a dedicated resource and software getting better and better,” said Winkoff on why FLG decided to integrate with SportsRecruits.
“What better way to help our kids through this process than with an online platform that people are focused on and constantly improving? It just made sense.”
“It’s a great tool. We can check up and make sure our kids are helping themselves on a daily basis. It is easy for us, and helps us interact with our kids more frequently about their recruiting process, to make sure they are doing their part. It’s another avenue to discuss with parents and let them know they have more resources than they may know.”
One of the best features of the platform is putting the tools needed for success right into the hands of the student-athlete. With the platform, they can organize their target list of schools, house academic, athletic and video information, contact coaches and track their progress.
FLG staff can monitor all of this activity; ensuring players are doing their part in the recruiting process while allowing the family to feel the personalized attention they are being given.
“It’s a great tool,” added Winkoff. “We can check up and make sure our kids are helping themselves on a daily basis. It is easy for us, and helps us interact with our kids more frequently about their recruiting process, to make sure they are doing their part. It’s another avenue to discuss with parents and let them know they have more resources than they may know. The biggest thing is that it’s a great and easy way for kids to empower themselves through this process, and it’s easy for us to show them how it can help.”
The platform has elevated the efforts FLG was already making. By utilizing the platform, and making it a priority in their organization, the same efforts that were already being made are simply more organized and efficient, while ensuring no player slips through the cracks.
“It has definitely made things better, and the kids can pick it up quickly” said Winkoff. “They are growing up on technology. They have been dealing with computers since first grade. They can navigate things so easily now.”
The platform has ultimately helped the organization to be in better communication with their student-athletes, while simultaneously putting the player in position to be proactive and successful. It has facilitated the players becoming more involved and engaged in the process.
“What’s interesting is that we deal a lot more with the recruits than we used to, and the platform encourages that,” said Winkoff. “Whereas back in the day you’d have to spend a lot more time with parents who may not know what their son or daughter is thinking about their recruiting process. When dealing with the recruits, you can hold them accountable, set expectations, and say directly that this is what needs to be done to help you get recruited. We really enjoy dealing with the player and guiding them through their process.”
Customizing the Tools for Success
As FLG continues to grow, they are also attracted to how the platform is able to go to work for them as they need it.
“It is nice to work with a group that is constantly getting better, and helping us to get better as well,” said Winkoff. “It’s the feeling of daily and weekly improvement – seeing new features, a new webinar you guys put out – we learn something, and we can bring it to the kids. You don’t always get that in a business. And you can see it in the results. It’s stuff you can track. You can see the development.”
“It helps that SportsRecruits is more than just another online platform.” “You [SportsRecruits] are an educational platform with a mission that educates club programs on how to help student-athletes empower themselves through their recruiting process.”
In addition to the customization the platform allows, FLG also likes how the platform did not completely replace older methods; it simply made them more efficient while putting the impetus on the player to be proactive.
“We give kids to-do’s and timelines, and hold them accountable if they don’t meet expectations,” said Winkoff. “They respond to that like they would a coaching point. It’s the same concept. The best part is that for kids that are using the platform, doing everything right and still not getting the response they like, at that point, the process inverts itself. I take that upon myself to get in touch with coaches. But I know that now because the player was proactive. It helps us see where some additional support may be needed. There is always rooms within this platform to do things they way you used to.”
Ultimately, the platform has allowed FLG to grow intelligently and efficiently, while blending perfectly with their mission to provide student-athletes the same experience in a program, not just a series of teams.
“It helps that you SportsRecruits are more than just another online platform,” said Winkoff. You are an educational platform. Your mission is to help clubs, educate them and be in a better position to help their kids. Your intentions are in the right place. It allows transparency. You can see which kids are doing what they are supposed, and which kids are note, and then go from there.”
“We want to be efficient and intelligent about the process. That is why we use SportsRecruits.”
At a Glance
What they needed
A system to facilitate the goal of providing a first-rate experience to the entire program.
Intelligently streamline the assistance they were providing.
A platform nimble enough to respond to the changing needs of a growing club.
What they did
Implemented the SportsRecruits platform into their club in 2014.
Entrenched a club-wide culture change emplacing the system.
What they are saying
“We are very grateful for how much SportsRecruits has helped our Club Program. It has helped us stay organized, on track and informed about our kids. It helps us set expectations for our families, to show them what they need to be doing to get themselves recruited. In terms of holding kids accountable and empowering them to take control of their own recruiting process, this tool is a home run.”
FLG Club Director