The Long and Winding Recruiting Path – Video

Posted: September 13, 2012 by Paul Rai in Alberta Lacrosse, Box Lacrosse, College Lacrosse, Field Lacrosse, Video, Vimy Lacrosse
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It seems like every time I go to the Inside Lacrosse website I see another sophomore (Grade 10 for my Canadian friends) verbally committing to an NCAA school to play college lacrosse.  I shake my head when every once in a while I see a freshmen (Grade 9) student making a commitment.  It blows me away to think that a coach can make a long-term projection on a player and that that they can actually see what type of student, athlete and person they will be in three or four years.

There has been a lot of chatter on Inside Lacrosse and other lacrosse websites that are questioning the early commitments and the way the recruiting process is working in Division I lacrosse.  My questions seem to always revolve around the cost of an education.  With only approximately 12 scholarships available for 40 man rosters, how does that money get allocated to these early commitments?  Are these players who are making early commitments getting full scholarships, partial scholarships or nothing at all?  Are coaches committing their 2016 scholarship dollars to players that they hope will have matured to a level that will allow them to compete at the NCAA Division I level?  There is a lot of grey area in the whole process that does not add up to me.

I write this as a parent who has sons that play lacrosse and would love the opportunity to play Division I lacrosse.  My oldest is a Junior (Grade 11) at a prep school in the US.  He attended Vimy Hockey and Vimy Lacrosse for six years before going to Westminster School in Connecticut.  He went there to try to improve his field game and focus on his academics.   A lot of recruiting is done in the summer at tournaments, but the summer for him means coming home to see his family and play some box lacrosse.  The box lacrosse training has been a huge part of his overall lacrosse development and has transferred well to the field lacrosse game.  The drawback is that he is unable to gain the summer exposure that so many of his US counterparts are gaining.  It’s difficult for Canadian kids to gain the exposure they need to get recruited.  Many Canadian kids are now joining club teams to play in the US during the fall and summer to get more exposure.  More cost all around to chase the dream.

For my son, the recruiting process or should I say the selling process is now in full swing.  He created a highlight tape, he has contacted schools and he has begun the process at school to take the standardized tests that all the NCAA schools require.  It’s work and with no guarantees it can be a lot for young players to do.  Unfortunately for so many players out there that are not early commitments, the road is still long and difficult.  My belief is that there are going to be a lot of late bloomers that are going to be better students and players than many of these early commitments.  Time will tell.

Here is my oldest’s highlight tape, a task that in itself took significant time and effort.  I wish the best of luck to all those looking for that opportunity and I always cheer for the underdog, the one that no one believed in, but proved everyone wrong.

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