College Lacrosse Scholarships and Recruiting: 10 Easy Steps

College Lacrosse Scholarships and Recruiting: 10 Easy Steps

Are you a high school lacrosse player looking to play at the college level?

But you don’t know what steps you need to take?

You’re in the right place.

This guide will help simplify the recruiting process and increase your odds of getting recruited.

These are the 10 steps we are going to delve into in this post:

Step 1: Perfect the Fundamentals
Step 2: Attend Camps and Clinics
Step 3: Create a Highlight Video
Step 4: Build Your Resume
Step 5: Market Yourself on Social Media
Step 6: Make Good Grades
Step 7: Become Eligible
Step 8: Research Programs
Step 9: Learn the Differences Between NCAA, NAIA, and NJCAA
Step 10: Email Coaches

Step 1: Perfect the Fundamentals

If you want to get recruited for lacrosse, you need to prove to coaches that you have what it takes to play at the next level.

But how?

Perfect the fundamentals.

What fundamentals should you focus on?

You should master how to scoop, pass, and catch.

In addition, work on cradling the ball and shooting with accuracy -

Skills that make a big difference come game time.

Practice checking and dodging techniques in game-like situations to make you more prepared in the fast-paced setting.

Lastly, speed work and agility exercises will make you a stronger and more valuable athlete.

Coaches look for athletes who are highly skilled, but more specifically, well-versed in the fundamentals.

By mastering these skills, you can prove to coaches that you are ready to play at the next level.

That leads us to the next topic of discussion:

Step 2: Attend Camps and Clinics

If you are looking for a way to learn how to improve your skills and athleticism,

Camps and clinics are perfect opportunities to enhance your skills outside of practice.

And the best part?

Camps and clinics are held by a number of colleges and universities.

Take advantage of opportunities held by schools you are interested in playing for.

You will be able to learn techniques from collegiate coaching staff and players.

Plus:

You will have the opportunity to connect with other athletes and coaches.

This could be extremely beneficial because:

It will help you start forming a relationship with coaches early on and give coaches an opportunity to see you play in drills and games -

An opportunity that is extremely invaluable in the recruiting process.

Now that you have started forming relationships with coaches, you are ready for the next step:

Step 3: Create a Highlight Video

Highlight videos are crucial for college recruiting.

Why?

They give coaches an insight to your playing style and abilities.

But the question is:

How do you create a great highlight video that will help you stand out amongst your competitors?

Start by filming yourself clearly during games.

Use a tripod to eliminate any unnecessary shaking.

When you are editing, include only your greatest plays.

The video should be short and precise.

Don’t include unnecessary transition clips.

Also, make sure you are well-distinguished.

You want college coaches to leave with the impression that you are a talented lacrosse player with a lot of potential.

Do you want to know a secret tip that will really make you appeal to coaches?

Research the playing styles of your favorite teams,

And include clips of yourself capitalizing on similar plays.

This will surely impress coaches and make them think you will fit into their program.

Step 4: Build Your Resume

Highlight videos are extremely important.

But, they are not the only thing that you need prepare as you get ready for college athletics.

What else do you need?

You need to build a well-rounded resume.

Coaches want to recruit athletes who show potential -

Not only on the field, but off the field as well.

Prepare a list of your extracurriculars

And descriptions of the impact you have made in them.

You also want to gather all of your academic information.

GPA, SAT scores, and ACT scores are necessary for college admission.

Lastly, be sure to include your game statistics.

Highlight the fields that you excel in and present those first.

You are a great athlete,

But now you have to prove to coaches how great you really are.

That leads us to the next step:

Step 5: Market Yourself on Social Media

Once you have your highlight video and resume created, what should you do next?

Post your highlight video to a public platform, such as YouTube.

This allows coaches to easily find you whenever they want.

Then:

Add the link and all of your resume information to your RecruitRef profile.

By doing this, coaches will have all the information they are looking for on a single page.

Social media is a great place to market yourself to coaches.

And:

You can be sure that college coaches will search for potential athletes’ social media profiles.

Why?

Coaches want to be sure that they are recruiting athletes with good reputations who will proudly represent their program.

They use social media to get an insight to your character.

By sharing positive content, you can prove to coaches that you will be a good fit for their program, both on and off the field.

Step 6: Make Good Grades

You’ve probably heard this many times:

Make good grades in school.

Academic success is extremely important if you want to play lacrosse in college. There is a reason “student” comes first in “student-athlete.”

The truth of the matter is:

You won’t be able to play in college simply based on athletic talent.

Your grades and test scores will determine whether or not you are eligible to play at the next level.

You want to start performing well academically your freshman year.

Why?

Because your GPA becomes harder to change later in your high school career.

Study hard and you will definitely reap the benefits.

A strong academic performance will make coaches think:

You will probably be a smart player.

And:

Academic excellence will open up more opportunities for your future.

And with that being said, we can now discuss how to determine your eligibility.

Step 7: Become Eligible

Academic performance determines your eligibility.

Each school sets a standard for their student-athletes to uphold.

And some schools require you to register with an eligibility center before they are able to move forward in the recruiting process.

If you are looking to play lacrosse for a school in the NCAA or NAIA,

You must register with their eligibility center,

The two eligibility centers slightly differ in terms of requirements.

The NCAA Eligibility Center requires that you uphold a minimum GPA once you have completed all of your core courses.

In addition, they require that you have a minimum SAT or ACT score.

What’s the minimum?

The minimum is determined by a sliding scale.

What does this mean?

The higher your GPA, the lower the minimum required SAT or ACT score. And vice versa.

The NAIA Eligibility Center doesn’t use a sliding scale.

Instead, they require that you meet two out of the three following criteria:

  1. Minimum ACT score of 18 or a minimum SAT score of 860
  2. Minimum overall high school GPA of 2.0
  3. Top 50% of your graduating class

By meeting these requirements, you will be eligible to play lacrosse in college.

However, if you are interested in playing for NCAA Division III or the NJCAA, the academic standards are not created and upheld by an eligibility center.

Alternatively, NCAA Division III schools and NJCAA schools set their own eligibility standards.

But how do you know which eligibility requirements you need to meet?

That leads us to the next step...

Step 8: Research Programs

Deciding to play lacrosse in college is a huge step for your future.

But how will you decide which program is right for you?

Begin by assessing yourself and defining your goals and aspirations.

You should consider all the factors that make up a collegiate experience.

For example, how big of a school do you want to attend?

How many students would you prefer to be in your classes?

How much do you want lacrosse to dominate your time?

Do you want to have more time to dedicate to your academic experience?

These questions will begin to guide you in your college search.

You will ideally want to find a program that matches the majority, if not all of your preferences.

But in order to find the programs available to you, you must:

Research, research, research.

Making an informed decision will greatly benefit you in the future.

And give you an idea as to what requirements and expectations you need to meet.

There are thousands of schools to choose from.

But you can start by learning more about the three organizations of college athletics:

Step 9: Learn the Differences Between NCAA, NAIA, and NJCAA

There are three governing organizations of collegiate athletics: NCAA, NAIA, and NJCAA.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association, NCAA, is the largest and most competitive organization of collegiate athletics.

It is composed of more than 1,200 schools divided into three divisions.

The divisions are based on school size and how many resources they dedicate to their athletics programs.

Division I is made up of the most competitive lacrosse programs.

However, the majority of NCAA lacrosse programs are in Division III.

NCAA Lacrosse Programs

Men’s Lacrosse Programs Women’s Lacrosse Programs
Division I 71 115
Division II 72 111
Division III 241 285

What’s the difference between the three divisions?

Division I lacrosse programs are the most well-funded and competitive out of the three divisions.

Division I programs are able to give away the highest number of athletic scholarships.

These can be full-ride scholarships as well as partial scholarships.

Division II is made up of athletic programs that are slightly less competitive.

The athletic budget is smaller for Division II lacrosse programs as well.

What does this mean for your scholarship opportunities?

Division II gives away scholarship money primarily in the form of partial scholarships.

Division III, however, does not give away athletic scholarship money at all.

It is beneficial to have had a strong academic record because although Division III does not give away athletic scholarships,

The majority of Division III student-athletes earn other forms of scholarship money,

Such as academic scholarships or grants.

Division III is also the least competitive of all three divisions.

Why is this great?

Division III harbors a collegiate athletic experience without the extensive time commitment that Division I, for example, requires of you.

This means shorter practice times and less travel time in-season.

This leaves more time to dedicate towards your academics and extracurricular opportunities.

Ok, but what about the other governing organizations of collegiate athletics?

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, NAIA, is comprised of a little over 250 institutions.

And the National Junior College Athletic Association, NJCAA, is made up of more than 500 schools.

The NAIA is comparable to NCAA Division II in terms of level of competition.

What are the scholarship opportunities like?

The NAIA gives out athletic scholarships primarily in the form of partial scholarships.

What about the NJCAA?

The NJCAA is composed of two-year colleges that give away both full and partial athletic scholarships.

Why choose to go to a NJCAA two-year college?

Typically student-athletes choose to go to a two-year college if they have not had a strong academic record.

By doing this, it will help them grab coaches’ attentions and they can transfer to a four-year university afterwards.

Each organization has its own unique, defining qualities.

By learning more about them, it will help you narrow down the options available to you.

And once you have an idea as to what programs you would like to play for,

You can move on to the next step.

Step 10: Email Coaches

The final step of improving your odds of getting recruited is to email coaches.

Did you know?

There are thousands of student-athletes who are in the same position as you, also looking to play lacrosse in college.

You can increase your odds of landing a lacrosse scholarship with each of these steps, but especially by:

Emailing coaches.

Reaching out to coaches of the programs that you would potentially like to play for will show your interest.

And:

It will make it easier for coaches to discover who you are.

What should you include in the email?

Begin by introducing yourself and briefly talking about your accomplishments.

Be sure to mention why you would like to play for that specific program.

And do not forget to include a link to your statistics and highlight video.

Furthermore, include information about upcoming games or tournaments you are playing in, so coaches can watch you in person.

Coaches aren’t likely to respond to an email that sounds like it was emailed to a mass list.

Personalize your email.

Here is a good email template to use:

Coach [insert coaches’ name],

My name is [insert your name]. I am a [insert position] for [insert school name]’s lacrosse team. My dedication and hard work paid off this past season as I was awarded [insert accomplishment i.e. First Team All-State]. It is because of my love for the sport that I would like to continue my lacrosse career at [insert college name].

[insert college name] is my dream school because of its outstanding athletic record as well as its emphasis on character-building. I would love the opportunity to support [insert mascot name] as both a student and an athlete.

Attached you will find a link to my highlight video and statistics. Additionally, if you would like to watch me play in person, I will be playing at [insert tournament name] on [insert date of tournament].

I look forward to hearing back,

[insert your name]

This template is great because it sounds personalized.

Contacting coaches will help you start getting noticed, and

Put you on track to getting recruited for lacrosse and landing that scholarship.