A big aspect of being a part of competitive sports is hopefully playing at the next level after high school: college.
I am one of the many people that play sports that want to play in college, in particular the sport of lacrosse. I play on a club team whose purpose is to expose us to a higher level of play and to colleges. This summer I played lacrosse with my club team in Utah, Colorado, and Milwaukee. All of these trips were meant to expose us to college recruits.
After this summer, I began to get many emails from colleges from all over the United States. Most of them are just advertising and nothing personal but I did get a few personal emails directly from coaches. They asked me to come visit their campus and participate in their recruitment camps.
The process of choosing which college to visit involves studying the level of play, coaching, academics, location, and interest. I narrowed down these emails to a college in North Carolina called High Point University. They were holding a recruitment camp at their campus, so my dad and I flew there to see what it was about.
This was my first time ever visiting a college for sports, so I was pretty anxious. When we arrived at the field for the first day out of the 3-day camp, there was upwards of 250 kids there, way way more than I expected. There where kids from all over the country and all levels of play. We all were spoken to by the coaches as a group and they explained their expectations of intensity, effort, and discipline. This is a Division 1 program so it was very serious.
We got split up into 20 player teams and through the weekend we worked with each other and scrimmaged against other teams. All over the field there were coaches from other colleges watching us play. This can create a lot of pressure.
After we’d play and practice, they gave us tours of the locker rooms, campus, and dorms. There were also motivational speakers that talked to us about staying healthy and being in good mental and physical shape in order to play at a Division 1 level.
Overall, this was a very good experience and helped me know and understand what is expected in the next level of play and also exposed me to my competition to get there. I learned a lot about myself and what I need to do to get better and was also a great confidence booster knowing I could compete at the highest level of college sports. I plan on doing a few more of these with different colleges to help myself decide what I want to do and be ready to start my life as an adult.