This is a message to girls of any age (and parents of girls any age): the way to get recruited is to be good. You must be objectively good ie. “anyone-watching-you-knows-it” good. There are no shortcuts, and money can’t buy greatness. If you aren’t good, and if you don’t perform well, it doesn’t matter how many camps or tournaments you attend, how many highlight films you send, or how many recruiting services you purchase. These do not secure an offer of admissions support from a college coach. Being a player and being a person that a coaching staff wants in their program is what will get you recruited.
Do your best so you can find the place that is the best FIT for you. Yes, I write about this a lot. I speak about it a lot.
First, let’s think about what good lacrosse players have- the qualities that make them attractive prospects:
There used to be a position called “First Home,” in women’s lacrosse, and there was also something called “Point.” At the time when those names were around, it was possible for players on a lacrosse team to hang close to the goal and the person on the other team who didn’t want to run could guard you. No longer. You cannot play NCAA Women’s Lacrosse without speed. You must be able to run at every level of women’s lacrosse now, and I dare say that to play NCAA lax, you had better LIKE running. Try this: Run 100yds in less than 15 seconds, and you can play at some college level potentially. Do it multiple times between 13 and 17 seconds, and now we’re talking.
Quickness: To lose a defender you must be able to dance. To guard an attacker, you must be able to guard that “dancer”/dodger/cutter. Non-negotiable.
Hands: You must be able to handle the ball at any position. This takes constant work on catching, throwing, dodging, shooting, and cradling. Getting better is boring. Get the reps in!
Vision: Without vision, playmaking/decision making, are hindered. In order to get it if you don’t have it… you must first know you need it. You need it. See the field, release the ball quickly, and make good decisions.
Now let’s think about what human qualities a student- athlete needs to have to be an attractive prospect. Let’s go Beyond the Field:
Following instructions: I continue to find it interesting when I hear coaches instruct players to do something, and then I see it not done. I do think lack of focus is more common with the way young people learn now, but when someone can’t touch the line in a sprint after being told multiple times- it’s weird. Listen, and following instructions/directions.
Be coachable: This is low hanging fruit, but I have noticed that girls don’t know that coachability is related to how they take feedback. Coaches don’t want to hear an excuse or an answer when mistakes are made. They don’t want to discuss it all the time. They want to see changes made, they want to hear – “got it.”
Be a good teammate: Being a leader means taking care of yourself- to demonstrate discipline- as well as demand it of others. Being a good teammate is related to what you do to bring others up. This is what coaches are looking for. Culture keepers. Start today- cheer for someone else.
For over a decade Tenacity/BearLax coaches have been evaluating players, counseling them in the college process, and supporting successes and failures on and off the field. There are certainly things you can do to be strategic. But to get recruited, you must be a good player… and I strongly believe you must be a good person too. Be both. There will be somewhere for you.
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