[The Ultimate Guide] What It’s Like To Play Division 1 Lacrosse

D1 College Lacrosse Recruiting (Part 1):

So you want to get recruited to play Division 1 college lacrosse? Great, that means that you are serious about furthering your lacrosse career. With so many different rules, D1 lacrosse recruiting can be a confusing process. At LaxWeekly, we are here to help. We made an ultimate guide showing you the steps you need to take in order to get recruited, as well as some general advice that will be helpful when you are trying to figure out your plan.

How to get recruited to play d1 lacrosse
Image: Princeton Athletics

If you want to play D1 college lacrosse, I have some great news: I think there’s a decent chance that you can find a place on a D1 college roster if you are willing to put in the work.

Let me explain. When I play pick-up basketball, I’m amazed at the level of play. There’s some guys who legitimately do not miss a 3 point shot in a game. Others are 6’4” specimens with incredible ball handling skills. Even though they are great at basketball, there’s absolutely no chance of them playing for even the worst team in D1 Basketball. That’s because the level of parity in basketball is ridiculous.

Division 1 Lacrosse: Parity

In D1 lacrosse, the depth of talent is increasing every year, but it still is not at the level that some of these other sports are. It’s extremely hard to play at a top 30 lacrosse school, and only a select few kids make it on a roster of that caliber. Once you get far down the list, however, things start to get a bit different. This is where I think good lacrosse players have a decent chance of getting a roster spot if they are fully committed to the training, conditioning, and practice it takes to become a D1 athlete. I’m not saying it’s easy by any means, but I think if you’re a really good lacrosse player with an incredible work ethic, you can probably get on a D1 team if you go above and beyond for the college that you want to play. With one or two new teams popping up every year, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that you can find yourself on a D1 team. 

D1 Lacrosse Player
Image: Villanova Athletics

To put this into context, I have spent a lot of time in Texas, a non-hotbed state for lacrosse. The BEST lacrosse players in Texas were usually able to play D1 if they chose to do so. Most of the schools they went to were not top D1 schools, but they were still D1 nonetheless. Then take my friend, an all-state football player for a top 20 school in the nation. There was no way he was ever going to play on any D1 football roster, but he was a great football player in a football hotbed.

Why so Many Want to Play Division 1 Lacrosse

Many people dream of playing Division 1 lacrosse, and it’s no wonder why. Men’s D1 Lacrosse is the most-viewed lacrosse league, easily surpassing both of lacrosse’s professional leagues by a large margin. During the season, there’s almost always 3 or 4 weekend lacrosse games on ESPNU and many more on WatchESPN (ESPN 3). It’s hard not to want to play D1 when you watch it is everywhere.

Towson Lacrosse Recruiting
Image: Baltimore Sun

There are many articles describing how hard it is to become a Division 1 player, but right now I want to discuss what it’s like to BE a Division 1 player. Although I am not a player myself, several of my great friends are and countless acquaintances of mine are as well.

The Reality of Division 1 Lacrosse

It seems like everyone in high school wanted to play division 1, but once I got to college, the people I knew who dreamed f of a D1 career wanted to part of it. This is because when you play Division 1 Lacrosse, lacrosse becomes your entire life. While you’re waking up at 5:00am to go do sprints, your non-d1 friends are having fun, sleeping in, meeting new people all the time. While you are trying to study after 3 hours of practice and 2 hours of film, your friends just go to the library whenever they feel like it. While you’re getting yelled at by 5 coaches to run faster, your friends are sitting on the couch watching TV.

This isn’t to say D1 Lacrosse cannot be an extremely rewarding and great decision, but it takes the right kind of person. Many of my friends would not trade the world for their experience playing D1 lacrosse, and some of my other friends are extremely happy with their decision to not play.

In part two of this article, we go over the steps you need to take (emailing coaches, highlight reels, etc.) to get in front of D1 Coaches.

Good Luck!

Leave a Comment