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What Experience is Needed to Play College Lacrosse?
Finding a hobby in a sport can always seem like a daunting prospect. Especially when you’re trying to enter a group sport past the age of 5. When there are players in the game that have played throughout their high school years, finding a place to play college lacrosse might seem out of reach. However, here at the Hobby Kraze, we say there’s no reason for not being placed on the team. You just need to make sure the person who has been playing all their childhood is on your team.
But, it does beg the question of wanting to know how much experience really is needed to play college lacrosse. And, whether your experience might place you in Division 1 or Division 2. So, we’ve gathered a know-how for you to look at when determining your career as a lacrosse player.
In fact, we’ll be covering everything from the different Divisions in the recruitment process all the way to the height and weight requirements for each player to play college lacrosse.
1. Why Is Club Lacrosse Important in an Athlete’s Career?
If you’re a keen lacrosse player and you’re aiming for a career playing the sport you love, then it’s very important that you begin to understand how club lacrosse can lead to you entering the ring to play college lacrosse later in your career.
Being in high school and seeing college loom in the distance can be frustrating, especially if you’re not sure of the requirements to take you in the right direction to play college lacrosse. For one, simply playing lacrosse within your school season might not be enough to make the cut for Division 1 or Division 2.
This is where club lacrosse shines through: becoming a team player within club lacrosse during the entire year will allow you to increase both your experience and your exposure.
Taking time out of your training will always have a negative impact on muscle retention and muscle memory, meaning a club lacrosse team that plays through the year can provide you with the best opportunity to progress as a lacrosse champion.
And, being a part of a permanent team allows you to meet and build relationships with key coaches from colleges across the states. Which automatically opens doors to play college lacrosse within any different college. Plus, you could already be playing with (or, against) your future teammates.
Top tip from the team here at The Hobby Kraze: make sure to meet as many coaches as possible to get to know your future boss on the pitch. They’ll also be able to help you gain a position within Division 1 or Division 2 of the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) program.
2. How You can Build a Strong Relationship with a College Coach
When you are part of a club lacrosse team, you’ll be open to contacting and meeting with college lacrosse coaches. Which, if you’re looking to play college lacrosse, is key.
Now, as we are here to ensure you can make the most out of your hobby, sport and career, we want to be able to give you the essential tips, tricks and confidence to make the next step. Being part of a club lacrosse team will already put you in good stead for leaving a positive and lasting impression on a college lacrosse coach.
So, here’s a little step-by-step to build a strong relationship with your future college coach.
- Step 1: Be a part of a club lacrosse team to increase your experience in the sport.
- Step 2: Always play your best game in case the college lacrosse coaches are watching. When you become the top of the bunch, your current coach will be able to put in a good word for your position to play college lacrosse.
- Step 3: Make your way over to the coach after your game and introduce yourself. In this brief meeting, try to exchange contact details.
- Step 4: Send an introductory email to show your enthusiasm to play college lacrosse and become part of a family. Also, share your active online profiles surrounding lacrosse.
- Step 5: Perhaps follow-up your email communication with a phone call. You can demonstrate confidence and establish your interest. However, it’s important to know that your college coach cannot return your call until the contact period has started (after June 15th in Sophomore year or after September 1st in Junior year).
- Step 6: Keep in contact with your coach. With this, you can update them on your progression and success to demonstrate your potential value to play college lacrosse. During this time, you’ll also need to keep social and online profiles up to date.
3. Are There Height and Weight Requirements?
As with any competitive sport across the US, there are ideal height and weight restrictions. However, whether you’re a male player or a female player, these numbers should not deter you from trying your luck to play college lacrosse.
This is because college lacrosse coaches have been shown time and time again that skills, competitiveness and mindset are the true figures that should be looked at through recruitment. There are plenty of big and small players who have been successful teammates within Division 1 and Division 2 lacrosse.
That’s not to say that some colleges won’t follow the rough guidelines. Each college has their own specified guidelines on player height and weight, and some use these guidelines more strictly than others. And, while height is not something you can control, maintaining a healthy and required weight is.
The idea is that you need to be fit, strong, nimble, light, fast and accurate. As long as you’re always working out to improve your body and health in these respects, you should be sorted to make the cut to play college lacrosse.
4. Different Divisions and Their Recruiting Types
Now you know the requirements of becoming a team player within a college lacrosse club, we can guide you through the different Divisions of college lacrosse and which one you should aim for.
There are three Divisions of level for college lacrosse that coaches use to categorise their players. They are referenced as Division 1, Division 2 and Division 3 which all vary in terms of the competitiveness, requirement and coach influence you have displayed.
So, the questions must be asked; what is each Division, and which should you aim for?
It is said that the top 5% of lacrosse players have the chance to play college lacrosse in Division 1. This is because it is a segment dedicated to players who have spent their entire lives playing lacrosse as a hobby and career.
With this, it can be understood that it is the most sought-after division within the lacrosse playing arena. And, the team at The Hobby Kraze have some tips for getting you into that Division.
To gain a place within Division 1 to play college lacrosse, you’ll need:
- A first-class lacrosse game track record
- Leading academic performance on and off the pitch
- A strong relationship with a coach who has influence on the admissions board
While it is – by all considerations – a lower level than Division 1, it doesn’t mean Division 2 is any less competitive. So, you’ll still need that spirited game mindset to win the game.
In fact, there are many people who aim for a place within Division 2 simply because they believe it is less competitive. But, with fewer spots, comes a reduced chance of a spot.
Division 1 in the NCAA houses a roster for 48 players per program, however Division 2 has only 36 places per program.
And, you may not be surprised to hear, but the requirements to gain a place within a Division 2 NCAA team are the same as the requirements for Division 1.
While we have not yet mentioned the existence of Division 3, it does exist. However, unlike the similarities of Divisions 1 and 2, Division 3 has the least athletic scholarships to offer to their members. But, yet again, there is still a high level of competition to gain prominent place on the team. And, you’ll still need to go through the steps of building a relationship with your college coach.
The main difference between Division 3 with Divisions 1 and 2 are the opportunities for academic scholarship. Division 3 provides you with better chances for an academic grant throughout your college years.
However, it must be said that coaches within Division 3 colleges have far less of an influence over the admissions board. Meaning, your relationship with your coach can only improve your chances to be placed on the team to play college lacrosse rather than expand on your chances for a place at the college.
Finally, we have the NAIA. And, although this isn’t a Division of college lacrosse, it should still be on your radar as a chance to build on your lacrosse career.
Luckily, the NAIA has less of a demand, meaning your competition is reduced and chances of gaining a place on the team are hopeful.
And, it’s important to understand that Division 1 of the NAIA is comparative to the NCAA’s Division 2, ranking it fairly high for a player’s credentials. So, if you’re looking for a safe option to build on your athletic career and play college football with a relaxed level of competition, the NAIA may be the route for you.
A top tip from the team at The Hobby Kraze is to always aim higher and shoot for every opportunity. This is because it’s always better to leave doors open rather than regret closing them. For example; if you get your scholarship into the NAIA, you may always question your ability for a Division 1 or Division 2 position in the NCAA.
5. What Other Experience is Needed to Play College Lacrosse?
Lacrosse skills, while imperative, are not the only consideration that college coaches look to when recruiting their newest team members. Your future coach will also be checking to make sure you carry particular characteristics and capabilities that are transferrable to becoming a team player. For example; an individual who is academically smart in logistics could become a great captain on the field.
Knowing this, it is understandable that one of the key characteristics that coaches are looking for to play college lacrosse is high academic performance. With team players needing to maintain a steady grade point average, a coach can’t risk losing a good player when they can’t meet the grades. So, to reduce their risk, they’ll often look for plyers who can also deliver in the classroom.
Aside from academic intelligence, you need athleticism and endurance on your side.
Since lacrosse requires long periods of running on the pitch, you need to be able to endure long hours of practice, workouts and exercises. During these training sessions, you’ll be able to demonstrate your abilities to be agile, quick on your feet and balanced.
Finally, being a good character and key team player is one of the biggest and best attributes of a lacrosse player who is playing as a career rather than as a hobby. Lacrosse is a team game and becoming isolated from the crowd will get you nowhere for your career in lacrosse. To ensure you generate a good game, you’ll need to remain calm, positive and strategic. Plus, being a good teammate will always get you invited to the best house parties.
To tie up these guidelines, the team here at the Hobby Kraze wanted to leave you with one last nugget of lacrosse gold: think about your club and your class. The two most important aspects of experience needed to play college lacrosse are your good grades and contributions to a club.
We hope this article has been effective in answering your question on your lacrosse hobby, sport and career. Let us know your thoughts and, don’t forget, sharing is caring for us here at The Hobby Kraze.
Check out our other articles to help you play college lacrosse such as: “Your Lacrosse Stick Sizing Guide” and “Box VS Field Lacrosse: What’s the Difference?”.