Preparing for College Lacrosse

Written by Alec Gern, True Lacrosse Illinois Alumni & Current Student-Athlete at Carthage College

Not many people find themselves making it to the next level in Lacrosse. Only 12.5% of high school graduates move on to play college ball. Being a part of that small percentage is a great reward, but the sacrifices that need to be taken for higher achievement are just beginning. So you might be asking, “what are some things that prepare you for college lacrosse?” The simple answer is to make sure you have your stick in your hands every day. However, in this blog, I want to more accurately explain what separates the average incoming freshman from the best incoming freshman.

Bond With Your Team

Almost every college lacrosse team will start by reaching out and inviting their new freshmen into their family, whether it’s in a group chat with all your teammates or a captain on your team reaching out. These are important moments because they begin helping you build chemistry with your teammates. Taking advantage of these situations gives you someone to reach out to when you first get to campus or if you have a question about something that you don’t quite understand. You must seek these opportunities and start to build these bonds.

Use The Off-Season

What you do before you get to campus on your first day of school matters. The off-season is the most crucial part of building your skills and getting back into shape. During the summer going into my first year, I took my off-season very lightly. I had my stick in my hands a couple of times a week but wasn’t really taking my training as seriously as I should have.

It wasn’t until I got to college that I realized that first impressions were everything. My coach’s first impressions of me weren’t horrible, but they weren’t as good as they should’ve been. Because I took my off-season lightly, I had automatically put myself at a slight disadvantage. If there is one piece of advice you should take away from this blog, it would be this; Know that what you do in your off-season will determine where you sit on your depth chart.

Find Where You Contribute The Most

You should also focus on finding your identity on the field. Some might be asking what I mean by this. What I mean is that everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, and finding how you fit into your team will give you the best chance to earn some playing time in your first year. As a freshman, I saw myself as a dodging attackman from X. I soon realized that maybe I was more of an off-ball guy and started to float more towards the crease. Figuring out your identity early on will help improve your lacrosse skills and give you insight into what you need to focus on when training.

Lean On Your Team

Finally, not everything is going to be positive. As a new college lacrosse player, you will have to overcome adversity and seek help at times. That’s one of the most important things I learned. Never be afraid to reach out to your teammates in hard times and realize your team has your back.

Good luck this season to all incoming freshmen.