Playing in College
Our Club goals include producing student/athletes who have developed a passion for lacrosse. Students will find they have opportunities to play in college. There are many levels to play at and most college freshman will find their college has a Club team if not a D1, 2 or D3 team. For the hard corp totally committed lacrosse player, the Division I, II and III schools that have very elite programs.
Lacrosse will actually help you get into many colleges, as they look for kids to have art or athletic interests on top of their academic pursuits. (Think 3.5gpa and up.) Here is some information about playing at the higher level that may help put things in perspective for you largely based on one former college coach and lacrosse insider has to say.
9th graders are committing to college! Need to have your skills/grades lined up. With this early timeline, a strong freshman/ sophomore year academically will be critical as some schools will say yes or no based on these grades.
The summer before sophomore year is where the top recruits will make a name for themselves.
The summer before junior year is where the majority of D1 programs are finding the majority of their class. This timeline is moving up however. September 1st of your junior year is the first time you can be contacted by a coach through mail or email. If a program is serious about you, coaches will contact your high school coach before this and ask you to call the coach of the interested program.
November of junior year is a critical second to last chance to be seen by recruiters if you were missed the previous summer or if the recruiters want to see you again. By junior year spring, most schools at the top of the food chain will be 85% done recruiting.
Starting July 1st to be an important date, but is now obsolete as most kids are committed by this time
Official visits - the NCAA allow for 5 official paid visits senior year. This used to be a way for kids/ coaches to evaluate each other, now it is for committed kids or very late recruits.
PG year? Repeat junior year? Repeating the sophomore/freshmen/8th year is the smarter way to go as repeating sophomore or junior year is sometimes late for the class behind you.
Contacts/ Evaluations - Coaches can watch you play up to 7 times during the academic year and visit with you no more than 3 times after July 1st junior year of junior year, coaches can call you on the phone. Invitations/ open to the public: camps run by college coaches must be open to anyone with restrictions of age or total number only. There are no invitations allowed.
Clearinghouse - To be eligible for NCAA DI or DII competition, every PSA must be cleared. See your guidance counselor and make sure you are on track for the correct “core classes.”
Transfers - Many times it is easier to transfer into a school than get in out of high school. In lacrosse, one doesn’t need to sit out a year if A) you left in “good academic standing” and B) you were released by your school.
Junior College rules - You must graduate from a Junior College if you entered as a “non-qualifier.”
Unofficial visits - Unpaid visit to a school, you are allowed as many as you want
Official visits - Paid visit to a school, you are allowed 5 and must have started senior year.
Myths and Truths
Scholarship money reality - There are roughly 140-150 scholarships out there on any given year for DI prospects. Do the math. If you get ANY money, you are doing well.
The meaning of a letter or phone call - Letters don’t mean much, handwritten letters mean more, but understand that coaches are recruiting an “A” list as well as a “B” and “C” list. If they ask you to call, it is much more meaningful.
Do they really want me? - Tell a school you want to commit and you can have a spot and see what they say. If they act quickly, they want you; if they hedge, they have other players in mind.
How do I talk about money? - Explain that money will be a factor if it will be so no one wastes time if money is not available. Bring up the conversation, but be careful not to dwell on it as it can be a turn off.
It’s a game - This is true, but be honest and assume coaches are being honest too. Just because a coach says “we’d love to have you in our program” doesn’t mean he’s going to be able to take you. Asking for a commitment cuts to the chase. What do I do if I’m good but nobody knows it (and I’m a junior)? -It’s very late, but there will be schools looking for players in May after the season. Players get hurt, quit, and transfer off college rosters and coaches who had no spots in the previous July, might be looking. Reach out to them. OR decide to PG as early in your junior year as possible, which puts you in the sophomore category before it’s too late.
What is DI lacrosse really like? - A lot of work. Everyone is good but most fail because they get off track (party too much, can’t handle the load, can’t handle being yelled at).
Is DI the destination or the beginning? - If getting a scholarship is the destination, you won’t make it in college. You have to want to be the best in DI and keep working at it to have success at the next level. And most importantly, you have to love it.
Players from the West - are just as athletic, usually not exposed to as much great competition, but can be very successful.
Highlight tapes - Send them out. Coaches can decide in 30 seconds if they are interested.
Recruiting services: Use them. if you can't make your own highlight video and don't want to do the work yourself. Get help organizing your video and use links online rather than a DVD so a coach can click, watch, and decide if he likes you.