Talent will set players apart on a lacrosse field, but talent alone will not get anyone recruited to play lacrosse in college. Players need to get in front of a college coach, whether in person or on video.
What is the best way to do that? Do high school athletes also need to play club lacrosse or are there other ways that can get them onto a college campus to play?
Club lacrosse teams do have some advantages over all but the most elite high school programs across the country. Club teams travel to big tournaments across the country which makes life easier on college coaches that otherwise would struggle to attend high school games.
Club teams may also have coaches on staff that have connections with colleges to more easily get tape or recommendations in the hands of coaches. Players need to be careful when evaluating club teams and make sure that the clubs they are looking at are reputable and have genuine connections in college lacrosse.
Club lacrosse, however, is not the only way to get in front of those college coaches. High school coaches can help players reach out to prospective colleges in their local area to provide a good word and even help get highlight videos in college coaches’ hands. There are also other opportunities that players can attend, such as prospect camps or showcase events.
High School Lacrosse Prospect Camps
Prospect camps are a great way to gain visibility with college coaches. Prospect camps are organized and held by college teams on their own campus, so they can be a powerful tool for prospective players and their families.
Camps do require a financial and time investment, so players need to evaluate camps based on how their skills stack up with the level of college.
High School Lacrosse Showcases
Showcase events are different from prospect camps in that independent organizations organize the showcases and college coaches attend to see players. Some showcase events are invite-only, but there are options where players can attend with recommendations from coaches.
These lacrosse showcase events are largely regional, so players and families should look at showcase events near colleges that are of interest.
All this proves that in order to play college lacrosse, a player needs to stick out one way or another.
In the 2019-20 season, there were 121,011 boys and 106,162 girls playing high school lacrosse in the United States. There were 16,841 men and 13,908 women playing collegiate lacrosse for 641 teams across the three NCAA divisions, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), and the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA).
There are opportunities to play lacrosse in college, but hard work, talent, and networking all play a significant role in the recruiting process no matter which level you aspire to.