Skills for Lacrosse College Recruiters
Stand Out From the Competition With These Tips from the Pros
GameBreaker Lacrosse Camp is a great place to have fun and prepare for lacrosse season. Each season, our campers learn how to improve their skills on the green, while gaining valuable experience that will prepare them should they decide to enter into college sports. A well-rounded lacrosse player should have some experience playing defense, attack, midfield, or goalie; however, coaches at the college and university level look for specific skills when recruiting the next lacrosse superstars.
If reaching 6 feet tall is not in your near future, it’s important that you begin working towards your strengths. To stand out amongst the competition, you’ll need to show ability with net and ball handling fundamentals. Lacrosse goalies are natural leaders, in the net and on the field, so look to improve your communication skills with your defensive teammates.
Skill-wise, college coaches look for goalies with on-field communication and leadership skills who also make big saves and possess an accurate clearing game to scoring opportunities.
College coaches at tier 1-3 NCSA schools are generally looking for similar skill sets, but trends show club experience and physical build also come into play. Most recruiters want to see that you participated in high school lacrosse 3 or more years as a starter or major contributor to the game. If you are currently not a starter, summer sports camps will help improve your game along with your communication skills, and challenge you to improve your consistency at the goal, so you can move into a starting position on your high school team.
Most people associate the best attackers with big charisma on the field, and the toughest ones get the biggest attention from tier 1 school recruiters. If you’re looking at T2 and T3 schools, you won’t necessarily need a showy performance, but improving your aptitude on the field, and scoring, or assisting with, goals is going to be the key to attracting the attention of a recruiter. If you show room for improvement, high school and club experience, and a passion for the sport, you’ll improve your chances to find a place at a college-level team.
For attackers, coaches look for confidence, leadership, an understanding of the game, direction changeability, and field vision.
Are you an expert at face-offs, transitions, and two-way play? If so, you won’t have to wait long for tier 1 lacrosse recruiters to come looking for you to fill their midfielder positions. Some colleges have height prerequisites for this position, but take heart that coaches will often overlook physical guidelines when a potential player shows skill and confidence. If you want to be a college-level midfield player, you need to have good ball control and scoring potential, and hone your defense and face-off skills. Tier 4 recruiters may not necessarily look for a top scorer, but if you are capable of assisting, you have a chance at playing for a college team.
Defense! If this is your shout-out, you are most likely the backbone of your lacrosse team. In addition to an imposing presence, competing for a spot at a tier 1 school will require that you have excellent on-ball and technical skills, and pose a threat in the clearing game. You will need to learn how to be a reliable ground-ball player with good offensive coverage and effective 1-on-1 moves. To be considered for any tier, you’ll also need to take best advantage of your physical assets and skill-sets, and actively communicate with your teammates during play. If you are having trouble with effective coverage or communication, our summer sports camps can help you improve with practice, drills, and a diverse community of coaches and teammates to help you get comfortable with competitive lacrosse in a fun, inspiring environment.
High school athletes interested in taking their game to the college level should consider a club lacrosse team or camp for visibility and recruitment, especially if you live outside of the Northeast. In addition to giving you an opportunity to perform and compete in front of potential recruiters, camp and club lacrosse coaches often network with their college-level counterparts, allowing them to advocate for interested players.
When preparing for college recruitment you want to make sure your playing style is well-rounded and versatile. You may have superb technique, but if you can’t execute a play, or maintain your stamina in a match, you may be passed over for consideration. Only the top 5% of men’s lacrosse players in the United States play Division 1 lacrosse on a scholarship.
Competition at both Division 1 and 2 colleges is high, and requires an athlete to be committed in the classroom as well as on the field. Athletic scholarships are not always available at Division 3 schools, so getting recruited at this level is also a challenge. However, the benefit of a Division 3 college is that it may offer better scholarship or financial aid options than Division 1 or 2 schools when you show a high aptitude for academics. Colleges with National Association of Intercollegiate Athletes, or NAIA, affiliations are often overlooked by high school athletes.
NAIA programs are comparable to NCAA Division 2 lacrosse schools, requiring prospective students to maintain a good GPA and show promising skills on the field. Kaiser University, a top-ranked NAIA school, also requires applicants to register for an “ELIGIBLE” determination with the PlayNAIA Eligibility Center (www.playnaia.org).
Registering for the NAIA improves your access to athletic scholarships, and shows prospective coaches that you are serious about lacrosse. There’s even a registration area for your parents who may want to learn more about the NAIA and its coaches, or set up a tour of college programs and campuses.
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Are you interested in pursuing lacrosse at the college or university level? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on preparing for a college athletics program.