Recruiting– The Summer of your rising Junior year and that fall is the time the recruitment process gets rolling. The college recruiters and coaches are trying to identify their 8 – 12 student athletes who they will actively recruit. Going to team camps and recruiting tournaments is paramount. There are an unbelievable amount of colleges playing lacrosse and the student athlete needs to decide where he wants to play and where he can best compete. Be realistic, but don’t sell yourself short. There are great lacrosse programs for all levels of talent at the DI, DII and DIII levels. Realize that college coaches are looking at a lot of players and trying to keep their team balanced in the coming years. For example, a team may have a lot of returning midfielders but short on attack or defense, and the coach will concentrate their recruiting efforts on filling their deficient positions. Therefore, they may only recruit a few players at one position but many more at another position. Look at the colleges on your wish list and see if they are heavy in a position in the coming years. This may sway your decision one way or another.
The recruitment process is a game of numbers, don’t take anything personal, keep all your options open, but make the best decision for you. Scholarship money is very tight, there is more scholarship money academically, therefore, pursue the academic scholarships as hard or harder then the athletic scholarships. Athletic Scholarship money will rarely cover all expenses during your college career and it is not uncommon for colleges to spread their 12.6 scholarships among many players. Remember, those scholarships are for the entire program, not just the incoming recruiting class. The “Full Ride” Scholarship is mostly a myth and scholarships are on a year to year basis.
- This is the time for the student athletes to visit the colleges they have a desire to attend. Visit the college website, find the lacrosse coaches email and let them know you will be visiting their school and see if you can stop by the lacrosse office. Ensure you follow up the visit with another email thanking the coach for his time and information.
Remember, your high school coach and counselors are your best resources and advocates in helping you with the college admission process. Your Looney’s Lacrosse coaches will also help you during the recruitment process, giving you an honest opinion as to what level of competition you will best be able to compete at the college level. But always remember, don’t let anyone sell your talents short, there are many stories of players who did not get recruited, worked extremely hard to get better, walked on at the college of their dreams and had a successful and rewarding college lacrosse career.
The best advice we can give when deciding where you want to attend college is, the four years of your college lacrosse experience will be an unbelievable, rewarding, and memorable experience, but pick a school that will prepare you to compete in the “real world” and enjoy success in your adult life. Remember, your college lacrosse career is 4 years, your profession of choice is life long.
Rising Freshman and Sophmores:
- Academics– This stage in your high school academic progress sets the foundations for your Junior and Senior years. Put the time and effort in your studies now, for if you start off slowly, it will be difficult to catch up. The minimum GPA colleges look for is a 3.0, again thats the minimum you will need to be egilible academically to be considered for admission. Study for and take the PSAT test, continue to study for the standardized tests, as most schools still use the standardized tests to determine your eligibilty. Freshman year is not too early to explore your college options. Make a list of colleges you aspire to attend and find out from those schools what courses you need to be taking. You can go to www.NCAAClearingHouse.org and find out what courses you need to be taking for your list of colleges. You do not want to wait until your Junior year to find out you are lacking the necessary courses required by your school choices. Most Division I schools will have recruited and committed to players after their Junior year, therefore it is imperative you have the academic foundations in place. Enlist the help of your school counselors to have these academic foundations in place.
- Recruiting– Ensure you are attending camps that are well run and work on improving your lacrosse fundamentals. If there is a camp run by the college coach of a school you would like to attend, you may want to attend that camp. Even though the college coach can not have any recruiting interaction with freshman and sophomore student athletes, it may get you some exposure. Ask your High School Lacrosse coaches what camps he may recommend and if he can get you into some of the higher profile individual camps (Jake Reed’s Blue Chip Camp, UnderArmour Tryouts, Top 205, for example). Stay well rounded and play other sports, college coaches and admissions departments like to see the multiple sport, well rounded athlete. Concentrating on one sport alone leads to injuries and burn out. Find time in the lacrosse off season to keep working on stick skills, your best avenue for this is to “hit the wall”,work your off hand, concentrate on catching and throwing with good techniques, and keep your conditioning up. Have a conditioning program in place, concentrate on getting stronger and faster. Speed is one of the top priorities college coaches look for in determining a players athletic ability. Talk to your High School coach and let him know what your off season plans are, ask him what you need to work on to improve your game, and where you stand in his plans for the upcoming lacrosse season.