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How A College Lacrosse Coach Assesses Recruits For Shared Values

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Amy Bokker (@AmyBokker) is the head coach for the Women’s Lacrosse team at Stanford University. Since joining the Cardinal in 2009, Bokker has established Stanford as the West’s premier program, consistently ranked among the country’s Top 25. She also serves as an Assistant Coach for the U.S. Women’s National Lacrosse Team.

Bokker talks about her approach to recruiting in this video clip. She looks for recruits who will fit in with the three pillars of her team: communication, trust and commitment. Some of her most successful athletes haven’t necessarily been the top recruits, but their values align with team culture, they are willing to work hard, and they listen to their coaches. Identifying recruits who will fit in with this model helps Bokker sustain her program's success.

Given the early recruiting game of college athletics these days, Bokker says this is harder and harder to evaluate before committing a player. So she watches how athletes communicate with teammates, coaches, parents and others on the sideline. She tries to ascertain if they value trust and respect the same way she does. She not only assesses a recruit’s skills, but her behavior exiting the field, after a foul and on the bench.