College Lacrosse Series
We will be doing a College Lacrosse Series of Posts, focusing on college lacrosse and the phases of it, starting with recruiting.
Post 1 – Recruiting
Post 2 – What it Takes
Post 3 – A Day in the Life of a College Lacrosse Player
Post 4 – What Can Being and NCAA Athlete Do For You?
Getting recruited can often be the most stressful and confusing thing a young student athlete and his family can go through. Often times players just get so worked up about it they give up. If you have a goal or dream of playing college lacrosse, you can make it happen by taking the right steps and understanding the timeline and lacrosse industry more thoroughly. With the sport booming in every direction, there are so many “recruiting events” that people don’t know which to choose and why. There is only so much money to be poured into continuing to develop and at the end of the day players and parents aren’t sure their investments are going to work out as planned. Below you will find the things we as a staff place great importance on, no one can do it for you, but by seeking at the necessary coaching and help you can enjoy this great sport while getting what you should ultimately be after, a great education.
First things first, you must set goals. Setting a goal of playing college lacrosse is easy to write on paper and much more difficult to attain. We stress creating goals that are lofty but realistic at the same time. If you fall short you will end up being happy getting a degree from an institution that you will cherish the rest of your life. When setting goals we need to make sure they are SMART.
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Rewardable
T – Time Table
You must do this for academics and athletics. Depending on where you are in your life (age/grade) we suggest you map out a long term goal (2-4 years) and then break those goals down into Yearly, Monthly, and Weekly. What will YOU DO today to work toward your goal? This makes it much easier to see if you are taking all the necessary steps on a daily basis to reach your goal years down the line. You also must state what you are going to do to reach these goals. Academically, how much will you need to study to maintain a certain GPA (its different for everyone). Athletically, how much do wall ball do you need to do in order to be a great player. What are your strengths and weaknesses? How will you perfect your strengths and strengthen your weaknesses?
Timeline wise recruiting is happening earlier and earlier each year and we all need to understand that much more pressure is placed on the process because of that.
Try your best to accomplish your goals everyday and by the end of the year you will be happy with what you have accomplished. You also need to contact schools just to get onto their radar ASAP. Getting film from every event is crucial. Compiling film over the course of a 3 year period (9th-11th grade) will pay huge dividends. Make sure you don’t put yourself in a hole academically by starting slow. Getting a good base GPA for your freshman year and setting the bar high for the rest of HS is very important.
Middle School and High School is also a time when development is crucial. Don’t necessarily be concerned with where you are right now, but rather, where you could be in a year or two after putting in the hard work necessary to develop and reach your potential. You have to seek out good coaching and put together a curriculum for yourself and what you need to work on. It is easy to attend practices, but are you working on your own regularly to get better? I shot in my backyard more than anyone I know which is why I ended up accomplishing most of my lacrosse goals. It is very easy to practice bad habits, but if you are working on your own and really practicing the right way it will go a long way. There is quote to live by when practicing on your own, “practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect.” Taking a 100 shots on your own and shooting your hardest using the best form possible 25/100 shots won’t take you that far. Attempt to shoot your best or do wall ball the best you can 100/100 times is how you must approach this to get the most out of it.
How to develop personally? Don’t just play on teams, get into leagues, and go to practice. Make sure you are getting private lessons and spending money on actual coaching attention. There is a reason you are a player, because you are young and don’t know exactly what you are good/bad at. You need Coaches that are willing to tell you exactly what you need to work on and how you need to work on it.
Sophomore/Junior seasons is is more of a mix between continued development and trying to go to recruiting showcases and tournaments where your potential can be recognized by college coaches. You must get film and put together a highlight tape. Get it onto youtube.com so that Coaches can access it easily.
One of the most important things to do in recruiting is to have someone in your corner who knows college coaches and understands the recruiting process. Use every resource you have, not just your High School Coach or Parents, but the people that are most educated and influential within your region. Reach out, most of the time people are more willing to help then you think. YOU CAN’T DO THIS ON YOUR OWN! Like anything else, you need to get help from the people who have been there before and understand the process.
Pretty easy, right? Just work hard, practice a lot (the right way), seek out help (coaching, recruiting), contact coaches, keep your grades up, and compile film that best reflects you as a player. Make sure you get opinions from multiple people and weigh your development and recruiting opportunities trying to see what makes the most sense for you.
Lastly, everyone has a different path so don’t be concerned with what your friends or HS team mates are doing. This is about your future, very important, so treat it that way. If you want to accomplish something and you know you are doing everything you can to accomplish it, your probably will. You must be honest with yourself though, are you doing everything you can to control your situation, god knows not everything isn’t in our control. THERE IS A PLACE TO PLAY COLLEGE LACROSSE FOR EVERYONE, whether it is Division one or club, chances are if you work hard and keep your head up, you will graduate with a degree from an establish institution and thoroughly enjoy playing the sport that you love.