Off-field performance matters as much as what you do on the field.
Whether you realize it or not, getting recruited in women’s lacrosse takes more than on-field performance. Yes, your talent is a huge element but, there aren’t many women’s LAX scholarships in NCAA DI and DII. So your academics, recruitability, and leadership factor in too. That’s why it’s important to know a few things about the process to raise your recruiting profile.
Figure Out Where You Fit
Only about 12% of high school women’s lacrosse players will play at the collegiate level. Of those, only 3.5% end up playing for a Division I program. To raise your recruiting profile, it’s important to know where you stand athletically so that you find the program that’s the right fit for you. To do that, ask your coaches to assess your skills. Once you know where you’ll fit best, research the skills and attributes of the teams you’re interested in. Find the best place that’s a good fit for you.
If you’re not in the northeast U.S., getting the exposure you need to be recruited takes some extra effort. That’s why it’s important to attend girls’ lacrosse camps. Women’s college LAX coaches don’t have large recruiting and travel budgets. If they can’t come to you, it’s vital that you go to them.
Remember that all lacrosse camps are not created equal. Clinics, showcases, and camps may all mean different opportunities to improve as a player while raising your recruiting profile. This all depends on who’s sponsoring them, how they’re run, and where they are. While you should look for the camps that will put you in front of coaches from schools you’re interested in, make sure you also focus on camps where you’ll have a chance to shine. Find the camps that fit your skill level and give you a chance to demonstrate your talents. A multi-day camp will likely provide more time for coaches to see and evaluate you as well as more time to interact with coaches to get a feel for what they want in a recruit. And don’t forget to start early, because the potential you show today could turn into recruiting interest tomorrow.
Have A Recruiting Profile And Highlight Video
If you’re not an elite, nationally-ranked lacrosse player, odds are you’ll have to make yourself known to college lacrosse coaches. Again, women’s college LAX coaches don’t have extensive recruiting budgets to travel to dig for hidden gems. That’s why you need to have an online recruiting profile and highlight video to provide an online introduction to your skills. The profile should be a brief overview of you, your physical characteristics, your lacrosse experience, your academic accomplishments, and some relevant statistics. Your highlight video should be a short look at some recent on-field accomplishments and be updated often. Your profile doesn’t need to be your life story and your highlight video doesn’t need to include every goal you’ve ever scored. Keep it brief, hit the high points, and provide enough information so that a coach will take note and want to see more.
Be Ready To Reach Out
In addition to having limited recruiting budgets, women’s college lacrosse coaches also have a limited amount of time. Therefore, it’s likely you’ll have to reach out to coaches via letter or email to introduce yourself. Make sure introductory correspondence includes: your position, team, graduation year, school or club team, relevant numbers and stats, your GPA and entrance exam scores, and most importantly, an overview of why you want to attend that coach’s school and what you can bring to the program. Include links to your online profile and highlight the video. Make each message unique to that coach or school and avoid mass emails or form letters. Keep it brief. Include you and your coach’s contact information and send it to let the coach know you’ll be calling soon or to invite them to watch you compete.
Don’t Overlook Academics
Did you know that there are actually more NCAA Division III women’s lacrosse programs (301) than there are in DI, DII, NAIA, and NJCAA combined (292)? That means there are far more scholarship opportunities in DIII, right? Well, right and wrong. NCAA Division III schools don’t offer athletic scholarships, but the majority do offer a good number of academic scholarships. So, to give yourself the best opportunity to play in college, it’s important to keep your grades up.
Even if you’re not considering a DIII school, academics are still hugely important because the odds of landing a full-ride scholarship in DI or DII are slim to none. Remember that women’s lacrosse is an equivalency sport and each program is allotted a limited number of scholarships. For example, most DI women’s LAX teams have 32 players on the roster, but only 12 scholarships. Most coaches will try to mete out pieces of those 12 scholarships to benefit as many players as possible. It’s likely you’ll need additional help covering your college costs. For example, if a coach awards an equal, partial scholarship to every player on the team, each player could receive a scholarship to cover only 37.5% of their tuition. While every coach and scholarship allotment may be different, better grades and demonstrated leadership qualities can qualify you for more academic and merit-based scholarships to help offset your college costs.
In addition, while your lacrosse skills may get you on the team, your good grades show coaches you can handle the load in the classroom as well. Finally, the good grades that make you eligible for more academic scholarships allow coaches more flexibility in assembling scholarship packages not only for you but for other players on the team as well. And that can make you more attractive as a recruit.
Women’s college recruiting can be a frustrating, confusing process. But, by keeping your focus on the important elements, you can minimize the stress, enjoy the ride, and find the school that offers you the best fit, on the field and in the classroom.
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