An article was recently released on laxjournal.com called “How To Make the Right Club Choice” by Chuck Jaffe and it got me thinking about what goes on in these types of teams here in Utah. Last year I attended the ULA Annual Convention and I remember one of the first things Matt Striebel spoke about was the recruiting process. He spoke a lot about grades and starting the process early, but one thing stood out to me: he did not suggest playing for a travel team as a good way to be seen by college coaches. He suggested above everything else, going to camps. This quote from an NCAA D-I coach echoes Matt’s feelings towards these types of “club” teams:
“In general, I don’t feel that clubs are teaching the players the fundamentals or the game,” said an NCAA D-I head coach from a New England school, who requested anonymity on the subject. “There are some clubs that do a great job of that…. but most are turning into more exposure based-club. They play in a ton of tournaments and their practices consist solely of scrimmaging.”-“How To Make the Right Club Choice”, Chuck Jaffe, Oct. 12, 2011
I’m not saying that “travel”, “elite” or “select” teams are bad, because there are benefits that come from playing on these teams, but I will say that you cannot solely rely on playing for these teams to get recruited to play lacrosse in college. Also, if you decide to join one of these types of teams make sure you research and ask around in the community so you know exactly what you are paying for. How active are the teams? Who is coaching? What are they teaching? What are the team’s goals? These are just a few of the questions to ask before making the investment.
I am certainly no expert on the subject, I never even played lacrosse in college (BIG mistake) but I have listened to countless conversations and read dozens of articles and they all turn out the same information: go to camps, contact coaches, be proactive. You have to gain exposure by sending videos and by reaching out to college coaches when you are playing or attending a camp in their area. Lastly, use the resources at your disposal. Contact your coach, other coaches in the community, me, or the Utah Lacrosse Association.
Then, once you have finished playing in college, after setting all new records and you have your degree and a good job, come back during the summer and join the ULA Men’s League where you can relax and have fun playing some scrappy lacrosse. You’ll find me there! There are also many other ways you can give back to the lacrosse community here locally. Teams are always looking for coaches with experience and with the leagues growing as they are the ULA is always looking for new officials. Reach out and see how you can join in and be a part of the lacrosse community.
Last thing, this weekend is the Rocky Mountain Elite 150 and 75 and there will be a summarization blog shortly after so keep a look out and pass the word!
Editors Note: Check out this video from the 2010 Rocky Mountain Elite 150