Editor’s note: The following was written by Matt Wheeler, President of LacrosseRecruits.com. We’ll be highlighting LacrosseRecruits on occasion, as LAS is a huge supporter of their mission to help you excel.
It seems like decades ago that I was getting ready for my junior season at Brunswick School in Connecticut (well it was 1999 so it was actually a decade ago…wow I’m old). I knew this was going to be a big season for me from a recruiting standpoint.
I had received a bunch of letters in the fall of my junior year and was excited for the season and the camps I planned to attend between my junior and senior year. There was no such thing as a “club” team or a “travel” team. Sophomores were not going on “Sophomore Days” to some of the top universities in the country. Players were not verbally committing in the fall of their junior year. The recruiting landscape was a bit different. I was going to play hard during my junior year and do my best at the camps during the summer. Looking back, I really had no idea what I was doing. Lucky for our members and readers of our blog, we are going to provide you with a checklist below of things you MUST take care of before your season kicks off to ensure you put yourself in a place to succeed in the college lacrosse recruiting process.
If you are currently a senior, I hope you enjoyed the recruiting process and things have worked out well for you. Enjoy your senior season and try to leave the program better than when you found it.
For sophomores, we recommend you do the following:
- Keep working hard in the classroom. If you are not working hard in the classroom, you are shutting doors when it comes to the college lacrosse recruiting process. Lacrosse is great because so many great schools play the sport. However, if you are not performing in the classroom, strong academic institutions will not be able to get you past admissions. The harder you work, the more options you have.
- Check with your high school coach to see if the school plans to film any of your games this season. If not, consider either hiring somebody local or contacting LacrosseRecruits.com, who can book you a video professional (Matt@LacrosseRecruits.com). Film is important because it allows you to put yourself in front of the college lacrosse programs you are interested in. With so many college coaches looking at sophomores, this allows you to enter that pool. Just showing up at a tournament and hoping the programs you are interested in are going to see you is very dangerous. With numerous tournaments taking place every weekend and 30 fields going at once, your chances of being seen by the right coach are tough. Having film, and quality film, allows you to contact those schools you are interested in that missed you on the recruiting trail.
- Attend recruiting tournaments for rising juniors. There are more and more options out there for rising juniors as more and more college coaches are demanding them.
- Continue to get better. Although there is more pressure than every on sophomores to perform due to the accelerated recruiting process, do not forget about fundamentals. Attending a camp that focuses on fundamentals and not on “recruiting” would be a good opportunity to work on your game away from the pressure of “recruiting” camps and tournaments.
- If you have video from your freshmen year or from the summer between your freshmen year and sophomore year, upload it to your LacrosseRecruits.com account and put it in front of college coaches. This will at least put you on their radar.
- HAVE FUN. At this point, you are 15 or 16 years old. Enjoy your sophomore season. The college lacrosse recruiting process should be exciting. Do not get yourself stressed out!
If you are currently a junior, we recommend you do the following:
- Do not let up in the classroom. When the recruiting process heats up, your performance during your junior spring will be important to college coaches trying to figure out if you are a student that could possibly be admitted to his academic institution.
- Sit down with your high school coach and have an honest discussion about the level of player you are. Although we all dream of playing in the D1 NCAA championship, the players at that level are few and far between. I played DIII lacrosse and had an amazing experience. We see far too many players that decide they only want to play DI and overlook great programs outside of DI.
- Sit down with your college counselor and discuss the level of academic institution you should be considering. Although you may want to go to Harvard and may be an unbelievable lacrosse player, you need to meet some pretty stiff academic requirements to be recruited by an institution like Harvard.
- If you have video, upload it to your LacrosseRecruits.com profile, create yourself a highlight using the tools built into LacrosseRecruits.com and send messages to all lacrosse programs that match your ability on the field and in the classroom.
We will write a series of blog posts throughout the season with tips you should be following throughout the season to put you in a position to be successful in the college lacrosse recruiting process. Be sure to check back in with us.
Matt Wheeler is President of LacrosseRecruits.com, a premier online recruiting service that eliminates the inefficiencies of the current recruiting process and provides a professional recruiting tool for players and the coaches that are recruiting them. Contact Matt at Matt@LacrosseRecruits.com.