Overview: Below is a general lay-out schedule or timeline that a high school lacrosse player who wishes to play at the college level might follow. This timeline is broken down by high school grade and was developed through input from former college players, parents, coaches, web research, and NCAA guidelines.Getting Started: It’s never too early to start. The biggest mistake a student-athlete can make is to wait until the last minute. The key to success in the college athletic recruiting process is rigorous preparation over a number of years.
• Settle into the high school environment
• Get to work developing good classroom and home study habits.
• Learn to manage your time!
• Stay focused academically. NCAA eligibility standards keep getting tougher. The grades you earn now will determine admission to college, initial NCAA eligibility and your future success.
• Play lacrosse for your school. Remember, the point is to play, not just make the team. Never be satisfied until you are some part of each game.
• Off-season — get involved in a work-out program and speed/condition training. Summer – Play for your club tournament team and try to attend a position camp for specialized training. Fall/Winter – Team practices, tournaments and winter league.. Also look for available club opportunities
• Get involved in school clubs and activities. Help in the community.Coaches and admissions counselors look for well-rounded student-athletes.
• Start researching colleges. Consider what each level of college lacrosse entails (Division I, II, and III). Begin thinking about academics — what are your career goals, and what types of things might you study to achieve them? Talk to your parents, guidance counselors, teachers, coaches, siblings, and older teammates to get information.
• Sophomores should take the PSAT. (practice for college entrance tests) Your school guidance office will supply these dates. Try to avoid a spring sports conflict.
• DO NOT LET UP ON ACADEMICS!
• Follow the same off-season recommendations as last year, minus the position camp. Consider attending a camp of a school of interest. This could provide some exposure plus give you an opportunity to experience the school in an overnight setting.
• Register for the SAT or ACT or both standardized tests. Most students take the test at least twice. Try to avoid the spring dates, as they may conflict with your high school season. Request that your SAT scores be sent to the NCAA Clearinghouse. (there is a box on the application form that you must check)
• Begin researching colleges that have lacrosse programs. Make a list of all the schools that meet your criteria (for example: Division III schools in Pennsylvania that offer physical education teacher certification as a major). The list should include 10 – 25 schools.
• Work on setting/sending email with your key information on highlight tape
Write a letter of interest you can send to the schools on your list. Ask a coach, parent, or teacher to help you write the letter. This letter can be sent via US Mail or e- mail, along with
• your profile and summer lacrosse schedule. Make sure you verify the coach’s name and mailing address on-line before you send the letter. Proof-read, proof-read, and proof-read again. Spell-check everything before you send.
• Return all questionnaires and requested info to the schools you might consider. If you know you are definitely not considering a particular school, let that coach know. Honesty is very important.
• Schedule letter – This is a simple letter or email to send along with your season schedule. You may use this format for your club team schedule too. College seasons run the same time as your school lax season, so coaches may not have much time to devote to attending high school games. However, some local coaches may be able to attend from time to time. Summer/Fall schedule will most likely provide the best opportunity to be seen.
• Remember that college coaches are restricted by NCAA rules regarding phone calls and contacts off their institution’s campus. E-mail is the most efficient way to correspond until you have finished your junior year.
• Start visiting local colleges to get a general idea of what is available. Visits to multiple colleges will help form opinions and prove to be valuable research for later comparisons.
• NCAA Initial–Eligibility Clearinghouse – Students who plan to participate in college sports at the DI or DII level should register with the clearinghouse. Clearinghouse guidelines suggest waiting to register until after completion of your junior year. Your high school guidance counselor can provide you with the registration form; however the quicker online option is suggested. We have a link to the Clearinghouse on our website under the “College Info” link.
• Once registered with the clearinghouse, student should send transcript to the clearinghouse.
• July 1st – Phone contact from college coaches is permissible. (Division 1)
• Follow the same off-season recommendations as last year. Your club team will be focusing strictly recruiting tourneys and camps. Separate from your club team,• If you are entering fall of your senior year and haven’t done any of the previous advice bullet items yet, don’t just give up. Submit your resume to as many college coaches as you possibly can and if for prospect days, showcases and other recruiting events for individual players.
• DO NOT LET UP ON ACADEMICS! Don’t lighten up on the course load. College admissions pay particular attention to senior year schedules...especially when comparing similar candidates.
• Review core academic requirements with you guidance counselor. Make sure you’re on track. You might be the best lacrosse player in the area, but if you don’t meet NCAA requirements, you won’t get accepted to school. It’s that simple!
• Begin narrowing your list of potential colleges. Some factors to consider: Academic profile, level of lacrosse, type of school, distance from home, and cost of attendance. Be realistic when focusing your list; include “sure things”, “reaches” and a “long shot” on your list.
• Contact the coach at the top five to ten schools you are considering; let them know they are one of your top choices. Include your summer lacrosse schedule so they can see you play.
• Prepare videotapes to have available for coaches that request them. Videos should include at least 30 minutes of unedited game footage. Coaches prefer to see the good and the bad...not just highlights.
• Have copies of your transcript, SAT/ACT scores, and senior class schedule available to send to coaches...particularly those you intend to visit. Your schools guidance department can help with obtaining transcripts.
• Tentatively plan “unofficial visits” to your top schools during the late spring and summer. Every school has scheduled open houses. Weekend tours are typically available. Current students usually give the tours. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Students will typically give very honest answers. (good or bad)
• Be proactive! If you are very interested in a particular school, make sure they know it.
Seniors in the middle of their spring season
• Hopefully by now you’ve either signed a National Letter of Intent (NLI) at a D1 or D2 school or given a D3 coach a strong indication that you are attending their school. You may also have secured a fairly strong walk-on opportunity. Most acceptances will go out between March and May so you should have an idea of what school you are attending.
• For those of you who never received offers or didn’t get accepted to certain schools, it’s time to swallow your pride and either find a school to play at for a year that may not be your first choice or a school to attend for a year with hopes of transferring into another program. The most important thing to do is put yourself in a position to have a productive school year somewhere. Be sure to plan to take classes that have transfer value. Continue your recruiting process by keeping relationships with coaches you may have previously spoken to and attempt to build new relationships with coaches at other programs. A simple phone call saying, “Hi coach my recruiting process got started a little late, so I will be attending (______) for a year, I would like to explore the possibility of transferring and I am interested in your school”.
• It’s also not too late to contact other schools and coaches about acceptance. While schools have application and acceptance deadlines, they will typically take qualified students up to the start of school if they have the room. Coaches will also take additional players on their team that have the abilities to play in their program. Do not burn any bridges in your recruiting process along the way and treat all coaches with respect and honesty as it’s possible you might have to call a coach that you previously didn’t express interest in last year. A simple “coach, I was wondering if there is still an opportunity to attend your school and play for you”, might go a long way at this point. D3 coaches especially hear this all the time, because they know there are many players who were hoping for offers from bigger institutions that never arrived.
• If you find yourself without a school to attend or a place to play, try and backtrack through your recruiting process and contact coaches that may have contacted you. You never know what opportunity might arise, and you may also get some recommendations from them as your best course of action.