If you have not read PART 1, please click here to learn how to find the “right fit” and set yourself up to find the right college for yourself. This article will outline what college lacrosse recruiters look for and how to get noticed.
Remember, September 1st is National Recruiting Day for lacrosse (D1 only) where kids can be looked at by colleges
What College Lacrosse Recruiters Look For And How To Get Noticed
When you consider how many high school lacrosse players have a desire to play in college, it can be very overwhelming and intimidating. It can also be frustrating at times as some kids must travel long distances and invest lots of money to get in front of a coach and be recruited.
So a good part of the planning process is to think about what you can do to put yourself in the best position to be recruited by the schools that you have determined are a good fit for you.
So you are a good player, have had a great high school career and played well for travel or club teams. But do you know what recruiters are looking for in a player?
After listening to several coaches speak about the recruiting process and telling high school players exactly what they look for in a college student-athlete, it can be summarized as follows:
Let’s face it, lacrosse is a game of speed, quickness, and strength. Coupled with your ‘hustle and heart’, which we will talk about later, coaches are looking for outstanding athletes.
You will often hear coaches talk about multi-sport athletes, too. Playing other sports develops players into becoming a well-rounded athlete. For example, playing basketball improves footwork, agility, and vision. Other sports like football and hockey develop strength and mental toughness.
The great thing about athleticism is these skills can be improved through hard work and commitment. You may not be able to become the fastest player on the team but focused workouts with the proper training and oversight can definitely improve your speed, agility, and quickness.
Proper weight training that focuses on explosive moves, core strength, and building overall body strength while maintaining flexibility should become part of your plan to get ready for college lacrosse.
The game is faster, the players are stronger, and the competition is intense. Coaches are looking for athletes that have both a history of great athleticism and self-determination as well as the potential to improve in the right program (which usually prove each other to be correct).
Size is always something coaches are looking for in players. As the overarching standard, coaches like tall defense players, big fast middies, and shifty attackmen.
However, do not let size intimidate or be a reason you do not think you can play at the next level. All you have to do is watch the top college teams play and you will see every team has players you might consider ‘undersized.’
These players are not only key contributors but many are stars at the top schools in the nation.
While you cannot teach size, you can improve your overall athleticism and coaches are looking at this as a foundation for all the players they recruit. Your job is to go to work and make yourself into the best athlete you can.
In college, the game moves at a lightning pace. Stick skills may be the difference in getting solid playing time in college or not. The ball moves fast, in very tight quarters, and possession of the ball and eliminating turnovers are keys to winning.
While everyone has certain strengths in his or her stick skills, playing in college will expose your weakness very quickly and opposing coaches will look to take advantage of these situations during games. Here are specific areas that college lacrosse recruiters look for and will be evaluating their potential new recruits for:
* Passing (both hands) and running at full speed
* Shooting (accuracy, both hands, goals scored)
* Stamina (coaches love a guy with a good motor)
Your Lacrosse IQ
Coaches like players who react quickly to ever-changing game situations. Your lacrosse IQ, knowing how to play the game, when to make the extra pass, and seeing the game unfolding in front of you, are all important elements coaches look for in high school players.
Coaches can quickly assess if you understand your position and where you should be on the field as the play unfolds. They will look for creativity and vision on the field. Know your strengths and weaknesses and watch top-level lacrosse to see how smart players play the game.
Coaches are evaluating your character at all times. Coaches want kids who listen, follow instructions and are open to learning the nuances of the game. Recruiters will talk to your club and high school coaches about your ability to learn and follow directions. It is a huge component of a player’s recruitment. College recruiters/coaches will spend lots of time asking about your work ethic and competitiveness.
Are you a team player or worry about your own stats? What is your reputation off the field like? Can you take criticism and improve from intense coaching? Are you a leader?
They watch you come on and off the field to see if you are hustling at all times or even if you complain to referees. All of these intangibles make up a big part of your recruitment. Coaches want kids with character – it is as simple as that.
Building a relationship with coaches goes a long way to improve your chances to be recruited. As early as possible, reach out to coaches and express interest in their program. Let them know you are interested in their university.
For many schools, your grades can be a factor whether the coaches can even recruit you. Many of the top schools such as Ivy League schools and the Service Academies along with many prestigious DIII schools will want to see your transcripts before they even determine if it is worth their time and energy to recruit you.
If you do not have the grades, it is not a realistic option for you. How to perform in the classroom counts.
Don’t forget to ask your current high school and club coaches to also reach out on your behalf. Many of these coaches are very credible talent evaluators and have recommended players to their school in the past.
If they have a relationship with a school of interest – get them involved on your behalf. Ask your current coach to reach out to the coaches of the schools you want to attend.
Some obvious things you need is a great highlight film. Make sure the first 30 seconds shows the best aspects of your game. If they are not impressed in the first 30 seconds, it is likely they will just stop and move on the next tape.
Here’s a cool video that shows Division one lacrosse coach Anthony Gilardi of Towson University explaining what he likes to see in a highlight video
Also, tell coaches where you will be playing during the summer tournament circuit. Let them know your game schedule and jersey # so they can look specifically for you.
Remember, the earlier you start this process in your high school career the more chances you will have to communicate with the coaches and be seen by them.
Update your highlight tape every few months or after you have played well during the tournament season. Coaches will notice how you have improved throughout high school or assess if you peaked early.