So, you want to play lacrosse in college? That’s fantastic. Playing collegiate athletics is an amazing experience with myriad benefits. Before I address some things to think about as you start your college selection process, I think it’s appropriate to mention a few facts in order to give some perspective.
When I speak with young players about their goals and college ambitions, a lot of players say they “want to go D1” and rattle off Final Four teams as their top targets. Players and parents need to understand that there are about 65 Division 1 lacrosse programs. Most programs will recruit 10-15 players per class. That means that in order to make it to the D1 level, you have to be one of the best 700 players in the country. To make it into a top-20 D1 program, you have to be one of the best 250 players in the country. With approximately 175,000 boys and 120,000 girls playing high school lacrosse across the country, prospective collegiate lacrosse players need to realistically evaluate where they rank on this list. That being said, there are over 20,000 men (~13,000 women) participating on a college lacrosse team (D1,2,3/JUCO/MCLA/NAIA). Still, that equates to only 10% of high school players making the leap to a college team. While it’s not entirely correct to assume that the 10% that move on are the top 10% of all high school players, there is a strong correlation. On a national level, are you a top 10% player or committed to becoming one? I provide these figures not to discourage, but to provide some perspective, and to motivate you.
If you are, and plan to pursue playing lacrosse in college, it's imperative that you remember that you are going to college first, to be a student, and then to be an athlete. You are going to pick your school based on how it will prepare you for the rest of your life. This also means that you need to be proactive. Don't sit back and wait for the perfect school to call you. Do your research, find where you would like to go, and do some recruiting of your own.
To learn more about what you should look for when selecting the school that is right for you, read our 5 A's of the College Selection Process.