Monday, June 27, 2022

Welcome To Summer

 How was your first full weekend of summer? 

In these parts it certainly felt like summer, with sunshine, some humidity and temps that reached the 90s both Saturday and yesterday.

What did you do? Hopefully you got outside. Or maybe you went to the movies? That's always a good way to get out of the summer heat.

Maybe you left for vacation. If so and you're reading, you get extra bonus loyalty points. 

TB went for a longer-than-normal bike ride yesterday, before it got too hot. He rides on the roads, and he did notice that there are a lot of people who like to ride motorcycles on their weekends. And they like to ride in big groups.

Motorcycles are really loud, as you might have noticed. At least you can hear them coming from behind you while you ride, though putting a motor on a bike seems to be cheating a bit.  

What's really startling is when someone passes you on their motorless bicycle. You can't really hear them coming, and then all of the sudden there is someone next to you. Every time that happens, TB says a quick "hey, how are you" and then wonders why they can ride so much faster than he can.

It certainly was a great beach weekend if that's what you chose to do. Miss TigerBlog and some of her recent graduate friends took full advantage, spending the weekend at the Jersey Shore. 

It hasn't been that long since those same grads who were on the beach would have spent such a weekend on lacrosse fields, playing at summer recruiting events. If you haven't experienced those, they are quite a sub-culture, that's for sure.

Whatever the sport is, summer is a big time for recruiting. In TB's case, he's spent a ton of weekends on sweltering fields watching his kids play, first as little kids and then eventually in front of college coaches, with their folding chairs, notebooks, binders and sun screen, all of them dressed in some shirt or hat or pair of shorts that gives away who they are.

TB liked to wear his Princeton stuff to those events and try to get the good parking where the coaches' park. It worked more than it didn't work.

Anyway, that's the roundabout path TB has taken to get to today's point, which is that for pretty much all college coaches, this is prime recruiting season. 

If you look on, you've noticed some stories that announce incoming classes. For instance, there's THIS one, which talks about the men's soccer class. 

If you didn't read it, that class is the No. 5 class nationally according to That's pretty encouraging. Remember, the men's soccer team had a perfect Ivy League season a year ago and produced an MLS draftee. 

How do you think such classes are put together? Step 1 is getting out on the fields and watching the players. Talent evaluation is hugely important. 

These recruiting events are everywhere these days. They have games all day and into the night. And if you're a coach, you have to be out there. You have to watch hundreds and hundreds of players to find the ones who can make you better, and at Princeton, that means athletically and academically.

For a lot of coaches that TB has spoken with through the years, this is actually one of their favorite parts of the job, as bizarre as that might sound. You have to love it though, because once you lose the fire, that's it. 

As TB was riding yesterday, he got a call from Princeton head men's lacrosse coach Matt Madalon. He was out on the fields, as he was during the week, as he will be on basically every weekend. Multiply that by pretty much every sport and every coach, and you have a pretty good understanding of what the life of the college coach is like. 

It certainly has its glamorous moments, but it is also a grind. It's also competitive. These coaches see all the same faces at all the same venues, the coaches who are also there to evaluate and start to build their own classes. 

So enjoy your summer weekends, Tiger fans. Get to the beach. Go water skiing. Enjoy vacations.

The seasons will be here soon enough.

And, maybe, while you're doing all that, give a thought to the men and women who coach the teams you like to watch, and think of how they're spending their summers. It'll make you root for them even harder.

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