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What I learned: Advice for girls lacrosse

Best advice from players: Don't feel pressured to commit early Jimmy Hurlburt/ESPNHS

According to a US Lacrosse report there are 105,914 girls playing high school lacrosse and of those, 13,105 will go on to play in college.
With that growth has come an increased competition in college recruiting.

While there are guidelines and processes surrounding recruiting, college athletes will reveal that there are surprises along the way. These lacrosse recruits share the surprises they faced so you can anticipate them.

Question: What one piece of advice would you give to other players who are just starting on the recruiting process?

Hannah Clinton, 2012, Manchester Valley (Manchester, Md.), Mount St. Mary's
"The one piece of advice I would give future players is to not get caught up in the process. Many of my teammates committed early, but that didn't mean I had to. You run on your own time so you should visit every school you like and make a decision after you have explored all your options. Take your time and never let it get stressful."

Thea Leitman, 2012, Cold Spring Harbor (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.), Iona
"Listen to your coaches advice. My travel team coach, Dave Kotowski of Team Elevate, gave me directions and I followed his plan to the best of my ability. I handled contacting the coaches of the schools I was interested in as if were a job. In addition to your summer tournament schedule, keep the college coaches updated on your fall ball season, winter training, and high school season. Call them, email them, do whatever it takes to get yourself noticed and to make sure they know how high your interest level in them is."

Kelly Reese, 2013, Severn (Severna Park, Md.), Virginia

Many of my teammates committed early, but that didn't mean I had to.

-- Hannah Clinton, Manchester Valley (Md.)

"Don't feel the pressure to commit and rush the process because you hear of other players making decisions early. Also be realistic about your academic and athletic ability. Not everybody who wants to play lacrosse in college will have the chance to at a school they think meets both. I would definitely say to visit different kinds of schools as well. Find out the things you do and don't like about a college so you can eliminate a school you know wouldn't be a good fit later down the road."

Alex Revel, 2012, Oakton (Vienna, Va.), James Madison
"As quickly as possible, try and narrow down your list of top three schools. Visit the schools, e-mail and meet the coaches, and going to the camps are crucial. Your list of schools is bound to change, but the earlier you narrow that list down, the better. Enjoy the ride, because this only happens once and you want to make the right decision for you."

Jane Truffer, 2013, Archbishop Spalding (Seven, Md.), Penn State
"I would encourage them to be proactive. If you start your visits early and make contact with college coaches even before they try to contact you or your club or high school coaches, you certainly have better chances of sparking interest in coaches by whom you wish to be seen. Another piece of advice my coaches encouraged me to remember is that college coaches want team players. If you make your teammates look good, you are also going to look better. Lacrosse is a team sport in which success of the team is significantly more important than success of the individual."

Brianna Turner, 2013, Dublin Coffman (Dublin, Ohio), Winthrop
"Get a list of at least 15 schools that you are interested in and make sure that you email them constantly, putting yourself out there and getting noticed."