TD Ierlan’s decision to transfer to Yale is one that will hopefully make him happy. He has expressed that he was deciding between Cornell or Yale, and that he hasn’t felt right at Albany. His decision is mainly attributed to education, and TD has raised his grades so that he could be accepted to Yale. I bring all of this up because TD is transferring so he can receive an Ivy League education. He is also doing what’s best for him so that he can be successful after college. While TD may love lacrosse, he knows that he must look past the creator’s game and think about his education now.
Lots of players that are looking to play college lacrosse only consider the lacrosse part of college. Lacrosse is a big part of your schedule, but it isn’t your life. You’ll need to be a good student to even be eligible, and going pro doesn’t exactly come with a six-figure salary. Picking the right school for you comes down to what will fit you best and where you’ll thrive. Education is the most important part of your decision, and your journey to getting recruited at a great school starts in high school.
College Lacrosse Recruiting Tips: GPA > G’s & A’s
Coming from a player who missed Academic All-Conference by 0.022 his senior year of college, and 0.08 his junior year, focus on your grades more. I was a hair away from an honor two out of three years that you’re eligible and I missed it because I didn’t try hard enough. Playing wallball or getting in some shots was never a problem, but an extra hour of study always seemed horrible.
I was a successful student who earned several academic honors while in college and high school, but I really hate myself for missing out on Academic All-Conference. Being able to show that I was a great student even with mandatory lacrosse activities 6 days out of the week was a challenge, and I ultimately fell a little short. This didn’t ruin my education, and it didn’t affect my play on the field; however, it was a goal of mine I feel all players should strive for. Go out and prove that you’re more than a helmet and gloves. Put the time in with the books instead of the balls for once. Become a person that you’re proud to be, and a player that can do more than just play.
Make Yourself A Desireable Student-Athlete
Believe it or not, team GPA is a statistic that coaches actually care about. Being the dumbest team in the athletic department is no laughing matter, and on-field success can’t cover that up. Being a bad student in high school makes you a liability to coaches. They always want great players on the field, but bad students aren’t allowed on the field. Literally. Schools all have grade requirements for athletics, and if you’re below their GPA line you don’t get a jersey.
If you have bad grades in high school, any coach will see you as a risk. College classes are more rigorous and challenging, so if you can’t hang in high school you probably won’t be excelling in college. This isn’t always the case; but, when it comes down to whether or not they want to offer you a spot on their team, you might not make the cut.
Earn Your Way Onto A Team With Your Brain
To avoid all of this, just put in the work. If you actually are a good student in high school you may even qualify for some academic scholarships from the college or university where you’d like to play. Academic scholarship is also the sexiest phrase in college sports. When you qualify for money from the school and not from the team, you become a cheaper option for the team with the same value. It’s basically like that head, shaft, cleats, or helmet that you really want just went on sale so now you can get that and a pair of gloves too.
Teams in NCAA Division I & II only have a limited amount of scholarships they may offer every year. Each time they decide to offer one to a student they are reducing their reach. If that student takes four months to decide where they’d like to go, that’s four months when that scholarship is reserved for them. If they decide to go somewhere else, the team can offer it to someone else; however, you are an amazing student so you don’t even need that scholarship. You received a grant and an academic scholarship for your great grades, and because of this, you were given a spot right away without having to wait for another player to decline.
Always Choose Education Over Athletics
National championships are really cool, but you’ll never feed your family or finance your home with one. Sure plenty of college athletes go on to have successful pro careers with oodles of cash lying around their mansions, but we play lacrosse.
The money just isn’t there for our pro players right now, so even most of them have day jobs. You’ll end up with one of these, and your education is how you’ll find a good one. The school you decide to attend will be the basis of your professional career, and while it may not define your achievements, it can easily help enhance them. A great education and a prestigious university in your back pocket is a recipe for a comfortable living and a fulfilling future. So choose where you’d like to go based upon what you’d like to study, the quality of the education, and the ability for those at that school to help you do what you really want to outside of lacrosse.
While a great lacrosse player never puts down their stick, at some point they hang up their cleats. They trade them in for business casual shoes and a briefcase so they can find a career in the world outside of sports. That doesn’t stop you from being a lacrosse player from the rest of your life; it makes you a person. As a person, you have to make sure that you can find something inside or outside of lacrosse that can let you make an honest living. The resources from the school you attend will become like your teammates. Annoying at times, but always there when you need them. So take advantage of a quality education and reach for the very highest heights when you want to achieve greatness. After all, even though you may only see yourself as a lacrosse player, you’re a student before you’re an athlete.
Read the full guide on How to get recruited.