Editor's Note: Laura Frankenfield of Wissahickon (Ambler, Pa.) has been a regular blogger for ESPNHS. She takes readers, especially fellow high school lacrosse players, through the recruiting process from the player's perspective. In November, the junior verbally committed to Boston College.
After summer of lacrosse is over, there’s not much to do but wait. Sept. 1 will come and go, hopefully bringing some emails and letters in the mail. It might be overwhelming, which is something you’ll get used to given that it’s the start to a crazy fall. If you open your email on Sept. 1 and don’t find much, it’s by no means the end of the world. Give it some time and you’ll get some interest.
Whether you get emails or not, you should sign up for fall ball with your club team. Coaches use this to continue to find girls they want to recruit, or to verify whether or not they are interested in a player. While this might seem like a lot, the fall will fly by before you know it.
I think probably the most important rule is to keep an open mind. Don’t close any doors. You have to be sure to keep all your options open, because the recruiting process is full of surprises. If you get an email from a school that you think you might be at least somewhat interested in, respond! If you don’t respond and sound at least slightly interested, a coach will move on to the next girl. It’s a messy process; you’re not going to fall in love with the first school that contacts you and be done. You have to respond to the emails, visit the schools, meet the coaches and teams, all before you figure out where you want to go.
Basically, you have to kiss all the frogs before you find your prince charming.
Between fall ball, junior days and 3v3 tournaments, don’t expect to have too much of a social life. You’ll spend consecutive weekends away from home, which can be taxing, but in the end it’s worth it 10 times over. You’ll get to see amazing campuses, meet amazing people, and hopefully find a school that is a perfect fit for you.
While that may seem so fun and easy the whole process is not that smooth. You’ll find that there are coaches who truly have your best intentions in mind, while there are a small few who don’t and are just playing the recruiting game. While that can be discouraging, it’s better you find that out sooner rather than later. You’ll figure out what you like and dislike in a school, team or coach. When it comes down to it, you’ll just know.
It’s an amazing feeling when you do find a school and lacrosse program that you do love. I had that feeling for a while and the day before Thanksgiving I committed to Boston College! It was easily the biggest decision I had made my whole life, but everything kind of fell together in the end.
My biggest thing throughout the whole process was keeping in mind that when I graduated from wherever I went to school, I would have to go find a job and it would be a lot easier to do so if I had a degree from a well-renowned school. Because of lacrosse I was able to look at schools that academically would have been a reach. While lacrosse may seem to be the end all be all, my biggest advice is to look at schools you would not normally be able to, and look all over.
Looking all over is what I did. All fall I was back and forth traveling between my final schools, which aside from BC, ended up being Johns Hopkins, Notre Dame, Princeton and Duke. But once I was in Boston, and even though I never really thought of myself as a “city girl” per se, I wanted nothing more than to be at BC for my college career.
As far as the lacrosse side of things is concerned, that just fell into place too. The coaching staff at BC is amazing and they supported me throughout the whole process. When I visited, I really got a feel for the team and what life at BC is like. I guess it’s hard to really put into words everything that made me chose BC because in the end, I kind of just knew it was where I wanted to be.
I can imagine reading this it must seem very overwhelming and stressful, and don’t get me wrong because it is, but it’s also an amazing process. Quite frankly, if I didn't play lacrosse I wouldn’t have known where to start when it came to looking at schools. While I was stressed out throughout the fall, it’s rewarding to know that all that hard work, countless tournaments and camps are paying off.
So enjoy it, soak up all the information, meet all the coaches and players, and don’t leave a page unturned. The lacrosse world is full of opportunities and chances are anyone who wants to play will end up finding a place they love.