The Dream to play college lacrosse is one that is shared by most players. Those who truly love the game and want to further their education see this as a no-brainer. College and lacrosse at the same time? Why not!
College Lacrosse Recruiting Tips
Recruiting is exactly why not! College teams have limited spots for the most part and this is truer the higher the division. While there are DIII schools that have amazing teams, they are more likely to pick players than most DI teams because of scholarships.
Recruiting for College Lacrosse Is Your Job
Only DI and DII schools may offer you scholarships so if you are not 100% committed to playing I’d start looking DII before the others. If you really are unsure then look at Club MCLA or NAIA schools because they will be more open to taking you. The biggest problem you will have is finding a school/team that accommodates your major, level of play, and comfort level.
Let me explain these:
Your Major/Your Life | College Lacrosse Recruiting Tips
The biggest mistake you can make with recruiting is looking at schools that won’t help your future. Professional lacrosse will more than likely not pay the bills considering most pro players have day jobs, and most players don’t go pro. So find somewhere that has a major you want to study and a good program behind that major. Lacrosse will be fun most places you go, so make sure that the other 20 hours of your day can be fun and productive too.
The best place to find out this information is on a sites admission page. There you can normally find anything you need, and if not there should be a number for someone to call. You can also get in contact with the coach if you have their info, and they should be able to help you out. Once you have figured out what you want to study, you need to find where you can really play.
Getting on the Field in Under Four | College Lacrosse Recruiting Tips
Playing college lacrosse is all about playing. So make sure you go somewhere that will allow you to actually play. Going to a better school, a better team, or a better location and sacrificing playing time can be a very difficult decision. While it is a little unlikely that many teams will allow you to be on the team if they don’t see you as an impactful player, it happens more often than you think. Coaches see many players as expendable, or “practice players”, who are meant to help better players get better. While you are part of the team and help improve the quality of the team, getting on the field is what really matters to most players. Certain places will offer more chances for field time than others, so do your homework.
That’s why having an honest discussion with your high school coach about your skill level and where you can play is important. Reaching out to college coaches and gauging their interest in your skill is also another option. In fact, you may be seen as more valuable to a college coach than your current coach. It is, after all, a matter of perspective for that specific team. Sending an email and some footage of you can get most coaches to be rather honest about where you will land on a team’s depth chart. Or whether you won’t land there at all.
Get In Contact!| College Lacrosse Recruiting Tips
When actually talking to college coaches remember that they are trying t.o sell you on the school. They will focus on positives and not mention negatives so do your homework. Coaches may also not be 100% on what they say about you. I would still take the best things coaches say about you as a bit of flattery, and the worst things as motivation. If a coach says he thinks you could start your freshman year, don’t think it’s a sure thing and take it easy. If a coach says he thinks you could squeeze on the team and likely will not play, don’t take that as your destiny. There is always a lot of time to improve or disappoint so make sure you make the most of it.
Comfort over Championships | College Lacrosse Recruiting Tips
A personal recruiting story of mine is that I was recruited by Limestone College in Gaffney, SC. I was told I would be offered a scholarship on my visit, and I was offered a free trip to visit the school. About a week before the trip I canceled, and now I write this article as a 0-time national champion compared to those in my class who decided to play at Limestone who are 2-time national champions. It doesn’t bother me though.
I canceled the trip because I knew I wouldn’t enjoy Gaffney or the school. Then I turned down DI looks because the major I actually wanted wasn’t good enough there. I declined following my high school teammates because what they wanted wasn’t what I wanted. The decision of where you play college lacrosse can be changed with a transfer if need be. It might alter your path, but it won’t destroy it. But I followed my heart and went where I was comfortable with the school, team, coach, and culture. Luckily, I don’t regret it at all! Unfortunately, I have seen many players leave because it wasn’t right for them.
Ok, I Know Where I Want to Be. How Do I Get There?
Getting noticed can be difficult and many players expect to just get letters in the mail from coaches/schools. Well, that’s not how it works. You will get letters and emails from some schools, but most will not be about lacrosse. The way that schools/coaches notice you is through playing. That means either getting a coach to come to your high school game, or getting them to watch you at a tournament. That isn’t all though.
You have to make sure that the coaches are looking for you. This means getting in contact with the coach before the game. Even days before the game is honestly the smarter plan. Finding a coaches email off the school site is easy, and sending a simple email with some footage and a schedule of when/where you will be playing does wonder for your chances.
That coach you emailed will already be at one of your games to watch the other team’s goalie. He would have never heard of you without your email. Now when you score on the goalie he is interested in, you become that much more valuable in his eyes. Coaches are always looking for talent. Find somewhere they will be and they will have to watch you too!
Well, what if they respond that there isn’t time to come watch me? That’s why you send film! If your games aren’t being filmed then you need to find someone to film them. If they are being filmed get your hands on the film. Showing coaches a full game along with a highlight tape is your best bet so they can really see how you play. Everyone looks good on a highlight reel and coaches will be just as interested in your mistakes as your triumphs.
I Found the School. Now what?
You should absolutely visit any school you are seriously considering. Being there doesn’t compare to pictures.Also, if the coach allows it, make it an official overnight visit. This lets you really see what the team is all about and the visits are normally lots of fun. You are allowed 5 total overnight visits, so choose wisely and make sure to take a few so you compare schools. Lacrosse will only be 4 hours out of your day on average, you gotta make sure the other 20 are good. So try the food, find out how far the walks to class are, see the dorms, sit in on a class, talk to a girl that goes there, and try the best local restaurant. There is so much more to college than lacrosse so make sure that you are happy with all of them!
After visiting and seeing what the school/team are like, you have to apply. Getting in can be a challenge at some schools, but coaches should ask about grades before visits. If they don’t, get in contact with the admissions department to gauge your likeliness. Remember that the better your grades the more schools you can go to. This can be the difference between your dream school and regret, so study up. Once you get in, because you got good grades, you get to attend and play!
Once you’re at school you’re living the dream. You will be able to truly experience a new brand of lacrosse. Days will be long, but worth it. You will get tired, but smile. And you may think about quitting, but the dream is too sweet. College lacrosse is an amazing time as a player and it needs to be enjoyed. However, once enjoyed it needs to be shared through posts on a Lacrosse website called Stringers Society so that more players get themselves recruited. It’s on you and every day you aren’t getting better you’re getting worse. So go get yourself recruited & follow these College Lacrosse Recruiting Tips!